knock knock, who's there?

20 September

2014.09.20 09:46

Villa Parkour

Pretty sure I used an Olfa knife.

Anyone else here remember seeing Guernica at MoMA?

There's definitely something Hejduk about this first image of Lequeu's Architecture Civile.

2013: "It really didn't matter whether construction was decorated or decoration was constructed, and it still doesn't matter. Architects can design in any way (or style) they want."

2001: "It might now not be prudent to make a case based on artificial versus authentic, because that distinction is completely blurred anymore."

Julian Abele and James Stirling
As an undergraduate, he had to confront a racial cruelty so remarkable in university discourse that one may cite it without risking the self-righteousness of most rebukes to the past. In the tradition of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, young architecture students at the University of Pennsylvania were expected to perform a number of routine tasks for the elder students--redoing a drawing in a larger scale, laying out mechanical work, inking in pencil drawings, and so on. The quid pro quo was that the older students would lead the apprentice-newcomers to the architectural documents they needed to complete assignments, help them with their renderings, and tutor them in other practical ways.
Under this system the younger students were called "niggers" and their services "niggering." After long use, the terms were formalized in the university's textbook on architectural design, chapters of which were published as early as 1921. Abele and Louis Magaziner, a white classmate who was to become Abele's closest friend and confidant, were thus both called "niggers," without discrimination one might add. The danger of our absurdities, one might further add, is that they sometimes seize us by the throat.
--James T. Maher, The Twilight of Splendor: Chronicles of the Age of American Palaces, p. 372.
I realize that I am the product of a latter-day Beaux-Arts training received at Liverpool School of Architecture in the late 1940s. Renderings were executed on stretched Wattman paper, flood-washes were used and graded shadows were normal. In first year we did full color compositions of the classical orders. The final year thesis was the ultimate test and it was customary to get help from junior students--the 'atelier' system. This system was referred to in those days--is it still now at Liverpool, I wonder?--as 'niggering': ie "Who have you got niggering for you?" "Who is your nigger?" Colin Rowe and I have fantasised quite often on the making of a conversation along these lines at the rarefied revues at Yale or Harvard. Would we dare ask a bad project student, "Couldn't you get any niggers to help you?"
--James Stirling, "Beaux-Arts Reflections" in Architectural Design (1978, vol. 48, nos. 10-11), p. 88.
James Stirling was born 22 April 1926.
Julian Abele died 23 April 1950.

"Perhaps you can write a thesis on The Racism of Beaux-Arts Architectural Training."
"Yes, but a better title might be Modern Architectural Training is Good for Something After All."




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