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1999.11.28
(in) reality
1. "no design ever proved something (anything?)"
2. Charlotte Geldof's "sacred and profane" tour.
3. depth - archaeology, underground street, crypt, sinking.
4. German (-American) artists and architects.
5. NeTHCA @ quondam?
6. immediately meeting two Elenis.
7. auto-eroticism - "Where did that orchestra come from?"
8. credentials: a PhD in reŽnactment from the Institutes of Ottopia.
9. Tom Avermaete - look at the promenade architecturale and "letter to/from India"
10. an instant click with Bernard Kormoss.
11. finding Romulus and Remus in Brussels
12. Eleni Kostika asks: "What is schizophrenia + architectures about?" - part of it is about breaking rules and rules already broken.
13. the extremes of Taipei - Li Mei Tsien.
14. digital cameras may put people in architecture.
15. David Vanderburgh is an American.
16. joining NeTHCA?
17. meeting Elia Zenghelis - the Greek island villas.
18. breakfast with Winka Dubbeldam.
19. new capitals: once Philadelphia, now Brussels.
20. dinner conversation with Annemie.
21. a brief chat with Eric - virtual infrastructures.
22. driving with Hilde Heynen and Mark Wigley.
23. Jackson Pollock's paintings relative to Piranesi's Campo Marzio - Olivier Mathieu.
24. redemption via the group symposium.
25. Martine drives a Mercedes!?!
26. lunch conversation with Mark Wigley.
27. Oskar rolls me a cigarette and we then discuss the virtual nature of Quondam.
28. "How does one gauge young?"
29. Joe: the devil in Orlando cracks the whip?
30. Pollock spontaneity
31. atomized dinner.
32. doing it to ourselves.
33. "Tafuri didn't translate Piranesi's Latin text."
34. walking home with Leslie.
35. Sarah Whiting: "Who are you?"
36. the Andy Warhol fame police
37. the Pollock museum.
38. breakfast with Leslie, and then Winka too.
39. there is no laughing in the VSBA office.
40. Peter Nys visited Quondam.
41. no camera - "using your own lenses."
42. Peter Zellner - Christian inversion of Rome
43. out of the virtual.
44. saw that (many times) before
45. my presentation.
46. getting it or not getting it.
47. thanks, thanks, reenactment, thanks (dinners)
48. Hitler's/Speer's Triumphal Arch.
49. fight on the street.
50. the SOM building detail - like at Ferko.


Louis I. Kahn     Ahavath Israel Synagogue   Philadelphia   1937     image 1998.10.29





2002.08.16 13:49
Re: 1000 Kunstler

Interesting how Denise Scott Brown mentions "A small church or synagogue, set within a row of town houses or surrounded by office buildings, holds its own with dignity" in her editorial/op-ed piece on development of Lower Manhattan in today's NYTimes.

1999.12.30 12:18
face to face
Mark wrote:
BTW, I really enjoyed your posts on your trip to Brussells! Especially the epiphany of dealing with flesh and blood humans face to face!

Steve replies:
Mark, you only mention part of the 'epiphany' in that what overwhelmed me the most was not the meeting of Charlotte Geldof, although Charlotte certainly is one of the best people I've yet to meet, but that Charlotte poignantly confirmed that my virtual friendship with Anand Bhatt was something real. I told Charlotte that I 'see' Anand as a very intense person, but also a very sensative person. I told Charlotte that in one of the very first exchanges between Anand and myself, I asked him if he would consider the piece of writing he sent as "Indian". I asked this because the passage somewhat mysteriously evoked a distinct image of a place in India in my mind. To my surprise, Anand wrote back that he has a real difficulty with understanding what is meant by "Indian", and then he kind of apologized because the "Indian" issue is a particularly sensative subject for him. For me that episode was a true instance of really being so close yet really being so far.

The truth for me here is that I am very happy to now know Anand, and I would of course greatly enjoy meeting him in person, especially in India, but I cannot ignore that it was indeed the virtual realm of cyberspace that brought us together. And for that matter, Mark, I occassionally think of you too, because of our exchanges here within design-l. You are the person that introduced me to Native American mound sites of the Midwest, and that's why I recently purchased (at eBay) William N. Morgan's Prehistoric Architecture in the Eastern United States (MIT Press, 1980).



2003.08.16 14:25
Re: iron curtain
And perhaps the greatest fallout of ideological PR is that basic realities become ignored.

For example, how else would one explain an architecture professor asking if the "Iron Curtain" actually existed in physical terms. This is not to single out MK, for, in all likelihood, there are many American architecture professors that would/could ask the same question. Yet there it was, an "Iron Curtain" physically dividing Europe, a very real structure on par with the Great Wall of China and equally worth being in architectural/built environment history books. Who knew?

As some of the analysis linked further from an online link shows, both side (of Germany) were equally guilty of pretending the other side didn't exist.

Related to this, I recall saying much the same about basic realities being ignored in reference to the factories of Philadelphia's Northern Liberties now being recognized as (some of) Louis Kahn's architectural inspiration because that is where Kahn grew up--

What really bothers me though is the notion that Kahn's architecture being inspired by his youthful surroundings is now seen as some new insight. The truth of the matter is that North Philadelphia was jam packed with an incredible collection of 19th century industrial architecture. Sadly, a lot of it is now gone, and virtually none of it was ever appreciated. For me, it was riding the old Reading train line into town through North Philadelphia that provided one of Philadelphia's best architectural tours. [This train route is now called the R8, and it still runs regularly, but many, many of the old factories are gone.] I guess what I'm trying to say is that apparently there were and still are great buildings in North Philadelphia (like Exeter Library, no less), but because they are not designed by someone famous, they are not noticed. Why isn't this architectural greatness recognized all along? Is it perhaps architectural education itself that somehow makes us less observant? Or has it always been that nothing is worth it until some article or book says it is? -- from a design-l post

And from here Dia:Beacon is the latest example of how heretofore unrecognized factory architecture is now deemed "great architecture." (Ah, the power of PR!)

Yes, architectural education via ideological PR has made architects increasingly unobservant, hence the ongoing joke about tree-blind mice (see how they run into trees that are visibly not there).

Another lesson that needs to be learned is that ignoring is no different than ignorance.

ps from a design-l post 2002.08.12: I am now reminded of an anecdote RE told me the day after I took R and SB to see Ahavath Israel some Saturday morning October 2000 (I think). After our visit to the Kahn building, R and S went to have lunch with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. The guys told the famous architects about having just seen Kahn's first building. Venturi apparently acted in some kind of disbelief, as if the building didn't even exist. He said something like, "But it's not even in the catalogue!" I assume Venturi was referring the Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture. R told Bob and Denise to look up the (then) webpages at www.quondam.com that displayed images of the building.

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