Roland Coate describes his current influences: Charles Eames, the Los Angeles freeways, Luis Barrag?n and the architectures of Pre-Columbian cultures. Coates describes how his work process integrates with his life. Coate argues that architects of the present belong to the last period in which technology exists, but isn’t accessible, comparing their situation to that of pre-industrial visionaries like Ledoux and Boull?e.
Video Archive | Technology (117)
An edited sequence of comments by John Lautner, Craig Ellwood, Ray Kappe, Daniel Dworksky, Leroy Miller, and Frank Gehry. Lautner discusses his decision to become an architect and the advantage of a profession from which no one retires. Ellwood discusses his desire to truthfully express structure, and he reflects on the limitations of architecture when compared to art. Kappe talks about the diversity of the field of architecture, and describes his design process, emphasizing the importance of dealing with all aspects of decision making. Daniel Dworksky gives an account of traditions in architecture, and discusses his own related interests. Leroy Miller talks about goals, and how cities and architecture shape our values. Frank Gehry discusses individuality and art.
Reyner Banham discusses the work of American industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague as a more genuine machine aesthetic than Le Corbusier’s architecture. Banham concludes by returning to his disagreement with Colin Rowe. On one hand, he agrees with Rowe that that the machine age mythology of economy, function, and life-enhancement, cannot be dismissed simply in terms of “Wrong forms, right meanings.” Rowe is also probably correct that the machine age mythology would never been understood if it hadn’t been encoded in forms that were already familiar to architects and the public—the sphere, the cone—even if these were not the parabolic forms being developed
by contemporary technology. However Banham argues that Rowe and the New York Five are na?ve if they think they can detach the formal language of modernism from their original utopian meanings. Banham responds to questions from the audience. Asked about Century City he describes it as an “off the peg downtown,” and stresses how remarkably long-lived the International Style has proved to be. Asked about the Rationalist movement, Banham praises L?on and Rob Krier for demonstrating the continuing power of the neoclassical vision, though doubts any of their work should be built. This leads to a heated debate about neoclassicism, with some in the audience dismissing all classicism as Fascism. Banham and the audience debate the interaction of politics, utopianism and architecture both historically and in the contemporary context, mentioning Schindler, Neutra, and Ungers. He discusses the environmental movement as a primarily American, specifically Californian, phenomenon, that reacts to the machine age fixation on Manhattan and Chicago’s Loop as the city of the future. To a question about the impact on architecture of the 1976 UK Budget Crisis, Banham responds that it’s impossible to guess what will happen. To a comment that this makes planning impossible, he retorts, “Planning’s always been impossible.”
Reyner Banham continues his discussion on Le Corbusier’s idea of mimicking technological production and function over form and design. Citing examples from Towards a New Architecture, Banham describes the lineage of selection applied to a standard type, and how that linage will eventually create a perfected form of that specific type. Banham uses this analogy to propose that the problem with the aesthetics of modernity is that technology moved faster than architectural forms could follow, eventually posing the question, “Should architecture follow technology?”
Bouman believes that the pace of physical architecture is too slow, and therefore operates at the intellectual level as an argument, and not at the emotional level as propaganda. This is out of tune with contemporary society’s desire for experiences and emotion and dislike of reasoned argument. His solution is to search for new modes of architecture, whether embedded in media, or in faster paced modes of architectural expression such as staging. His second aim is to not only discuss the world that exists but also create new topics and areas of discussion, and produce new cultural content.