Joe Lewis moderates a panel addressing the percent for the arts ordinance, its use and effects in Culver City. The panelists are Eric Owen Moss – architect, Mark Allen – artist, Barbara Goldstein – Director of Public Art in Seattle, and Joseph Giovannini – architect and former critic of the Los Angele Herald Examiner. Joe Lewis – artist and teacher at CalArts. Giovannini suggests “an interdisciplinary-ness going on in both directions … and it should be encouraged,” between architects and artists, and states, “no longer should art be an add-on,” to architecture. Allen in his opening comments, humorously says he called Jesse Helms to find out the answer to the question of What is art? Moss explains he is not interested in collectives or lobbies for architecture or artists. Goldstein states the question of art and architecture must consider public policy. The discussion covers the value of the ordinance for artists, the potential of developers side-stepping the ordinance, and the suggestion by Moss to look at other ways, such as a tax, to depoliticize the ordinance.
Video Archive | Aaron Betsky (12)
Michael Bell describes his work as developing out of a struggle against the constraints of linear time and our place within it. His work is about architecture’s ability to cohere and overcome linear readings of time. He discusses a project from 1989 that proposed a Topological Stoa” between East and West Berlin. He talks about the city of Houston. The center is relatively small and chaotic during the day and almost completely vacated at night. The downtown never quite grew to its potential, being belted in by the mid-city region, and paralyzed after the oil industry collapse in the 1980s. Bell describes how a period of investigating how things work instead of how they look led to a series of collages that are about duration. He talks about an upcoming exhibit at UC Berkeley where he plans to juxtapose his own work with paintings by Hans Hoffman. He hopes for a transformed visuality that would unify time and place in the contemporary city. He concludes by discussing a project for a 1992 Japan Architect competition, for which Rem Koolhaas wrote the brief asking for “a house with no style.”
Richard Sennet characterizes his upcoming book Flesh and Stone: the body and the city in Western civilization as an inquiry into how our bodies have related to the spaces they live in, especially urban spaces. He views the body as something that has changed over history, not as something biologically given. Different images of the body have
informed urban design. Sennett discusses “dead spaces” as built environments that embody contemporary fears of touch and contact. He contrasts Pope Sixtus V’s plan of Rome, in which the city is a collection of specific destinations, and Pierre L’Enfant’s plan of Washington D.C., in which the destinations are lost in a non-hierarchical grid. He links this democratized space which values movement as a value in itself with William Harvey’s discovery of the anatomical circulation system. Sennet discusses different ways in which a master image of The Body, as ideal and norm, has informed urban design: as image, as structure, and as functions. Sennett argues that Judeo-Christian concepts of the homeless, incomplete and imperfect “restless body,” suggest alternatives to contemporary sensory indifference, that realize incompleteness and movement.
Mehrdad Yazdani, a former design principle and a vice-president with Ellerbe Becket, describes the work of his firm. He prefaces his talk by saying that when he was in school in the 1980s, there were new definitions of “isms” coming out weekly, however he is more interested in constructed architecture. He discusses his design for a Red Line Metro Station in Los Angeles, the site and its relation to topography and surface, and his intention to create an urban space. Yazdani also shows two projects for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and the design of a house for himself and his wife, a fashion designer reflecting her forms and patterns. He discusses various corporate projects from Ellerbe Becket during the 1980s. Yazdani presents current projects such as clubhouse in Oman and a movie theatre at the Universal City – City Walk.
Enrique Norten describes buildings that he has designed in or around Mexico City, including houses, auto dealerships, low-cost housing, and cultural centers. Norten declares his belief in a modernism that is rooted in humanism and not dogma. He argues that a lot of 20th century cities are unencumbered by history or nostalgia and hence modernist by nature. Norten states that architecture cannot be experienced without movement, so it makes sense for the built objects to participate in the sense of movement and be dynamic.
George Ranalli presents a series of projects from his office and reflects on the practice of architecture and the interests of his work. Ranalli discusses projects that interact with existing historic and site conditions, furniture design as well as a series of competitions dealing with social and political issues in different locations around the world.
Aaron Betsky introduces Tom Matano, a car designer at Mazda. Matano presents his work from early student projects at Art Center to later projects developed for Mazda. Matano discusses his passion for cars and his role in the development of the sports model Miata for Mazda. He goes on to describe the cultural differences of designing cars for America and Japan and gives a demonstration on the scientific ways of designing a car, by looking at weight distribution and composition examples.
Christian Hubert and Sylvia Lavin each present their own lecture, both of them dealing with architecture’s relationship with emerging sciences and computer generated forms. Though the two lecture separately, they share a sense of shifting away from past assumptions of form and embracing new possibilities created by science and new virtual environments. While Hubert gives a more historical view of the relationships between body, desire, technology, and form, Lavin discusses contemporary views of emergence through data study and algorithmic processing. The two hope architecture can take advantage of emergent sciences as a means of formulating new ideas of how society, form and technology coexist.