Over two decades ago, I arrived into a Los Angeles summer. Between my job at a Melrose studio working on a building in Zurich, and designing one of my first independent projects, a café in West Los Angeles, I grasped tightly my 35 mm Nikon FE2, never putting it down. This summer was an authentic and faithful period of history that preceded iPhones and the obsessive posting of self-indulgent, overly-curated photos.
Lawyers advertise. So too do dentists. They run commercials; they have ads online and in print.
Architects don’t typically advertise. Are we more principled and virtuous, then to succumb to the pandering of advertising?
Take ten minutes and get ten thoughts for your design project.
Besides architecture, these ten thoughts can apply to many other pursuits, from graphic design to gardening, from composing music to creating life itself.
In 1893, architect Sumner Hunt served up the beloved Bradbury Building, a jewel in the gritty South Broadway area of downtown Los Angeles. To talk about the building’s elegance is akin to commenting on the freshness of the sushi from world-acclaimed chef Jiro One.
Rather than discuss the obvious beauty of the Bradbury, I am more fascinated by the architecture’s numerous chapters of evolution and interpretation. There are many lives to this iconic building, from film to music videos. Why and how?
I am exhausted watching Mid-Century Modern (“MCM”) seep into every crevice of design. As popular as this design movement is, I find MCM as outdated and old fashion, like the styles of 19th century Victorian or 17th century Baroque.
Why are people obsessed with living in this particular MCM past? Are these fanatics doing away with their computers, going to drive-in movie theaters, wearing saddle shoes, and twisting to Doris Day? No, these MCM zealots are only interested in the superficial look of a vintage era, roughly the 50’s and 60’s.
This wasn’t funny at the time, but such a speed bump on my career path was a building block in my character—at least I hope so.
I was dreaming of sushi. More accurately, I was tired and disoriented, as life loves to do to those who choose to participate. As a young Manhattan architect in the late 1980’s, thrilling yes, but it was late and I was hungry.