Gehry, Frank

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2008.08.23 21:06
Peter's canon
Personally, I like seeing all the study models of various projects by various architects. I like it because it clearly demonstrates just how pliant architectural designing can be. And I seriously consider the notion that it may well be Gehry that best introduced architectonic pliancy to the profession.
Is architectonic pliancy in somewhat sharp contrast to Eisenman's method? Up to a certain point (in time) I'd say yes. And when Eisenman's work started exhibiting some measure of pliancy, that's where I start to see Gehry's influence.
Have Gehry's designs of late become somewhat predictable and/or seemingly uninspired? Perhaps the pliability metaphor applies here too; perhaps the pliancy has been lost for being stretched too much and too far.
Another thing I like about all the study models is that so often almost any one of the models looks to be an exciting and/or interesting building. And often too it is within the collection of study models that one finds the riskier designs. "Getting it right" isn't the only operation going on. There's also a having-to-let-go of good designs.

2008.08.23 22:55
Peter's canon
To suspect that Eisenman's process conceals a much more pliant process doesn't eliminate Gehry's already self-evident very pliant process. Gehry's entire oeuvre is evidence of a very pliant design process.
Has Eisenman really been designing a process? It looks to me more like he's been designing a determinism, and I am personally aware of an aspect of Eisenman's process that proves very inflexible.

2008.08.24 08:43
peter's canon
I am quite surprised by the many who have not recognized Gehry's influence. If anything, he joined and most clearly built a unity of modernist architecture as self referential practice of structure and the same as a flexible practice of hyper-noumena; that is to say a compound of the mineral tectonics of here-and-now and the sating buffet of architectonic plasma.
Modern architecture is fully present and wide awake, and all the quondam dreams and nightmares now manifest reality itself. Is not then a prescriptive therapeutic and/or pharmaceutical architecture surely to be marketed as well?

2009.02.05 11:43
Venturi's Lieb (No. 9) House to be moved (or demolished)
There was never any implication that the Lieb House and the Villa Savoye were to be compared in terms of design, importance or influence. Rather, both buildings are examples of modern houses that have undergone a change in context via museumification.
And now going on to another dossier--the influence (back in the day) of Venturi et al on Gehry.

2009.02.05 17:12
Venturi's Lieb (No. 9) House to be moved (or demolished)

1974 peeling wall detail as precursor of Gehry's later pliancy?

2009.07.28 11:48
architectural representation. drawing. diagrams. etc...
Gehry's sketches is a very evocative nomination.

2009.08.16 12:01
Postmodernism sucks... discuss
...where we see Postmodern architecture related to the growing trend of realism in film (including cinematic pornography). Not exactly a parallel development, but more where realism in films opened up designers/architect's minds to a more realistic approach to designing buildings/environments. Prior to realism, most films were an adapted form of theater/stage production. Realism in film presented 'real' situations within 'real' settings. [Yes, there is the omnipresent irony of films themselves not being real to begin with.]
aside: Does anyone else remember the paparazzi catching Jackie O. after she saw I am Curious (yellow).
Outside the stage directions of the Modern Movement there is the quickly found serendipity of everyday living/experience, and this realm of no clear rules beyond the immediate context of the situation made it easy for (what Portoghesi called) 'the end of prohibitionism'.
Postmodern architecture would not have happened without a certain frame of mind, and that frame of mind was becoming more and more prevalent within films of the later 1960s and 1970s.
Strictly within architecture itself, Scully, in 'How things got to be the way they are now', finds the genesis of Postmodern architecture with Kahn and Kahn's Beaux Arts education and Roman-ness (wrapped together via Piranesi's plan of the Campo Marzio).
It seems worth noting that the two most significant architects to come out of the 'Strada Novissima' are Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas/OMA.

2009.11.16 09:55
The current state of Architectural Theory
"The ability of the computer to locate every point on a carved surface does away with the need for rational comprehension on the part of the designer in conceiving, or the observer in perceiving, a building. Thanks to the computer, pure empiricism has no longer any practical need for the mediating grasp of the intellect. The maximum of an empirical nominalism coexists with the maximum of abstraction. The space between nominalism and abstraction is left void. The mind no longer needs to understand itself. After a long evolutionary detour, human thought returns to its primitive instinctual roots."
Colquhoun (2005)
"...I was entranced by the work of James Gamble Rogers, the architect who designed most of Yale's Gothic and Georgian architecture in the 1920s and 1930s. Roger's determinedly nonideological stance, his avoidance of theory in favor of what can only be called intuitive design, was liberating. It was alright for architecture to be about feeling good, I suddenly realized; stage sets were not immoral. It was the perfect epiphany for a twenty-year-old who was just beginning to learn about empirical experience and only starting to trust his eye."
Goldberger (2009)

2009.11.17 11:42
The current state of Architectural Theory
Alan Colquhoun, Collected Essays in Architectural Criticism (2009), p. 342. Within the lecture "Changing Museum" (2005).
The passage relates specifically to Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao, and was included here because it somewhat relates to my 'opinion' as expressed 2008.08.22 22:05.

2009.11.17 16:17
The current state of Architectural Theory
I like my raspberry bushes because they bear fruit twice a year, mid-spring and mid-autumn (like right now). And although still seasonal in their development, there's also this kind of double-helix thing about it.
Architecture theory structured as DNA?
Colquhoun's passage isn't really about how modeling systems work, rather how digital (modeling) data can be manufactured. It's about the voiding of the mediating grasp within the design/execution process. (Not too dissmilar from the voiding of the mediating grasp within the design/execution of self-publising, eg, blogging.)

2009.11.17 16:27
The current state of Architectural Theory
"i thought he was saying that you can like a form because it's sexy without needing to know anything else about it - or even needing to know why. eye to pleasure centers directly - do not pass through intellect. will have to think a little more about the implications of this hypothesis, whether for good or bad."
Steven Ward

2009.11.17 16:48
The current state of Architectural Theory
Steven, that's closer to what Goldberger said. It looks like you're interpolating from both quotations, which, for the most part, is fine, because there is, as you just unwittingly demonstrated, something about the the two quotations intertwined that could well be the germinating point of a[n architectural] value system.

2009.11.17 17:42
The current state of Architectural Theory
Perhaps the struggle today is more with the dual reality of "anything goes" and "whatever works".

2009.11.18 11:31
The current state of Architectural Theory
oe, it's not that "there really isnt meant to be any real thought there" but that "intellectual rigor" really isn't necessary to design architecture. In fact, it could well be asked: Does it really behoove us to mask our lack of depth and our inability to achieve real, effective, incisive strength in our work with intellectual nonsense? A lack of depth and an inability to achieve real, effective, incisive strength are not fixed with intellectual rigor, rather they are fixed via design rigor. The architectures of Zumthor, Predock and Chipperfield (for example) do not stand out because of their intellectual rigor, but because of their design rigor.
Yet design rigor isn't always necessary to create architecture either. Gehry's architecture exhibits a very high-grade design facileness, and maybe that is indeed something rare.
As for the "computer people", the various/sometimes architectures of Hadid and UnStudio (again for example) well demonstrate being beyond "figuring it out", and they're even doing it rigorously.
I'm not here trying to express my opinion, as much as I'm experimenting with establishing some kind of baseline for architectural theory to build upon. I am of the opinion, however, that honesty, or at least objective observations and assessments of present conditions, is a fair place to start

2009.11.27 12:10
The current state of Architectural Theory
an (experimental inclined toward intuitive) architectural theory:
architectural design falls into three types:
intuitive architectural design
theoretical architectural design
experimental architectural design
with the three types forming a triade, thus each type can incline towards one or the other.
the architecture of Frank Gehry -- intuitive architectural design inclined toward experimental architectural design
the architecture of Peter Eisenman -- experimental architectural design oscillating between theoretical and intuitive architectural design
the architecture of Le Corbusier -- theoretical architectural design oscillating between experimental and intuitive architectural design
Gothic architecture -- experimental architectural design inclined toward intuitive architectural design
Beaux Arts architecture -- theoretical architectural design oscillating slightly between experimental and intuitive architectural design
the architecture of Louis I. Kahn -- started as theoretical architectural design and ended as experimental architectural design inclined toward intuitive architectural design
the architecture of H&dM -- experimental architectural design inclined toward intuitive architectural design
the architecture of UNStudio -- theoretical architectural design inclined toward experimental architectural design
[to be continued]



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