How many photographers can say they had a part in 411? And Chomp on This shouldn’t really count as comparison. Brian Gaberman is now behind the lens and building a beautiful portfolio of skate photos that go far beyond simply documenting a trick. In a field recently dominated by high-production videos, it’s nice to see a single instant framed, lit, captured and printed.
We’re heading to the Bronx for Thanksgiving and are taking Thursday and Friday off – enjoy the holiday weekend! Tell your mama’s what you’re thankful for!
An expert from “Taking A Position”, from the blog of Lebbeus Woods.
Architects are not born theorists, that is true. Most of the world’s best architects never wrote a line about their work, let alone proposed a theory–they didn’t have to. There were busy critics and professors who followed their works with great attention. Innovative architects were lucky to have their Mumfords, Gideons, and Tafuris, and, more rarely, their Foucaults, Deleuzes and Derridas. The theories that the theoreticians spun around their works enabled a wide discourse to develop, elevating architecture to a form of knowledge, lifting it out of the venal chatter of the marketplace. Sadly, those critics and professors have died, leaving a conceptual—and critical—void.
Many of us pored over theory books in school and attempted to extract every sliver of meaning that we could and integrate it into our studio projects, whether successfully or not. Having graduated from school and growing into a ‘professional’ environment, the struggle I find is finding the space for theory in practice. Managing a project means accommodating the needs of the clients, the funders, the contractors, the engineers, the users, the dept. of buildings, the dept. of education, etc. The list goes on and on.
Theory is most certainly at the end of that list. But how can we find the space for theory? Who will pay for it? Many probably would criticize Woods’ position as one of privilege and ignorance (his work is mainly theoretical and unbuilt) to the realities of the pursuit of building architecture. Who is right? Architecture does not exist within a vacuum, there are rules to abide by and parties to appease. Does this remove the purity and the joy from the work?
As with any creative process that exists within the world of commerce, there is the perception of the commercial destroying the purity of the work. However, as Woods notes, the great architects are the ones who recognize their position, navigate the commercial and ultimately build what they desire to build. Ultimately, we as architects have the power to mandate theory as an integral component of practice.
For those who say that theory is lost, it is not due to the lack of the vocal critics applauding the intricacies and influence of the work. Theory is lost by the architects who believe they are merely building buildings and not constructing ideas. I applaud all those who struggle to pursue the latter.
If you have thoughts of how this relates to your profession, please comment and begin a dialogue.
image: AIGA design archives
Life by Adonis Werther is a set of 4 prints that depicts the passage of time through one’s life. The prints have a similar narrative and structure of Chris Ware’s work. The print is available at Thumbtack Press, a great site for affordable art.
Evan Hecox is one of my favorite artists. His work for Chocolate Skateboards always impresses. This year he will release a hardcover monograph titled “Urban Abstract”. His work is definitely worth checking out, and if you have some money lying around, there are a number of prints available at Arkitip.
“Get away from her, you BITCH!”
These Ripley Powerloader and Queen Alien are desk toys not to be messed with. As stars of one of the most iconic battle scenes of recent history, they deserve a place on your bookshelf.
An interesting product from DBI-SALA, who specialize in fall protection, is the Harness Hydration System 1150174. The Camelback-style hydration unit slips into a pouch secured to the harness and uses a bite valve for liquid delivery. Very thoughtful.
The Roberts Street Chaplet Project initiated a series of travelling chaplets, designed to be easily broken down and moved from site to site. Moorhead and Moorhead designed what I think is the best of the six chaplets.
From the M&M site:
Designed in collaboration with North Dakota architect Richard Moorhead, Mobile Chaplet is one of six portable spaces for reflection commissioned to travel to rural communities around the state of North Dakota as part of the Roberts Street Chaplet Project.
Constructed on a trailer bed, the conceptual starting point for Mobile Chaplet was the covered wagons that transported settlers to the Midwest. A canopy of thermoplastic composite rods creates a woven vaulted space that is simultaneously intimate and open to the surrounding prairie landscape. A bench floats above the trailer bed supported by the rods which also act as a backrest for the bench.
Read more about the Roberts Street Chaplet Project.