Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on Josh Cooperman’s podcast, Convo By Design. We talked about architecture, art, music, life, and all the things that encompass our creative existence. This is an excerpt.
No longer targeting an adolescent male audience, comic books have become more complex and far reaching. Some comics, known as “graphic novels,” highlight the quality of the writing—even honored with the Pulitzer Prize. Alongside the award-winning stories, the artwork of comic books have evolved from the crude cartoons of early comic strips found in the back pages of the newspaper. Comic book illustration has advanced to the level of art. As in fine art, as in Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
“Eyes are the window to the soul,” so said Shakespeare, Da Vinci and many other philosophical minds. Is it just a cliché? How about: Can one witness the soul of a building through its windows?
For light, view and air, windows are basically openings in a building’s exterior wall. Whether circular or rectilinear in shape, whether big or small in size, whether adorned with a classical frame or a minimal contemporary composition, windows are typically a clear and flat sheet of glass.
But today, technology accompanied by an architect’s vision (or ego) have transformed windows far beyond that sheet of glass.
At the simple age of 24, I was employed by the world-famous Post Modern architect Robert A.M. Stern in New York City. Post Modernism, the architectural movement of the 1960s to the 1980s, may not be the most beloved style of design today and even many despise it. But Post Modernism does at times stutter a comeback in different forms.
In the 2004 film, Garden State, Natalie Portman asks Zach Braff, “You know what I do when I feel completely unoriginal?” She then performs a few awkward dance moves accompanied by shrieking and squealing.
Portman states, “I make a noise, or I do something that no one has ever done before, and then I can feel unique, even if it is only for like, a second.”
She proclaims, “You just witnessed a completely original moment.”
These images are what we commonly think of as symmetry. What you see on one side is mirrored on the other side. Classical architecture relied on symmetry for powerfully balanced compositions. But for a setting as peacefully symmetrical as the Taj Mahal, I find the architecture more interesting when accompanied by the asymmetry of life.