are talking today
, not entirely sure what about, so I decided to take notes and call it a LIVE BLOG.
Watch it LIVE: http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/events/webcasts/
Discuss and add your comments below.
10:00- Finished dinner with Wes and GSD faculty Mariana Ibanez, Scott Cohen, Michael Meredith, Jonathan Levi, Kostas Terzidis, and 4 students including me. The discussions turned from presidential politics back to branding, composition in architecture, and the connection between digital technologies and the technology Wes uses. A conversation among friends. Throughout the conversation, I think that they missed an opportunity to talk about the political value of Wes' work in light of the current economic system.
Also, someone pointed out that Wes answered every question using 'we'. It could be that Wes is talking about his office, but it really seemed like he was channeling an entire movement. And that may be his ultimate project: to be part (maybe leader?) of a group of architects working without a signature, working with similar ideas and concerns of how to humanize our overtly technological world.
8:02- Now we are into an interesting but rather conventional conversation about craft. Are shipping containers more of a technology than wavy buildings?
We are getting off subject, square vs. wavy is not the question. I think that is what I like the most about Wes' work is that it is about function, about mobility, in general about interactivity. When Wes talks about chisels and showing human hand it has to do a little bit about craft, but that is not the point. It is showing humanity through interactivity, architecture as media, the designer as political figure.
7:55- Authorlessness? coming back to the idea of mid-tec, and Wes goes on the attack of high-tec. It seems to be about allowing technology to let us see the human again. He is arguing about using technology to bring back the human hand, signs of living.
7:50- Question- How do you define Technology? It really does not to seem as part of a 'sustainable' project, it is not about saving resources it is about playful technologies for new uses/programs.
7:45- I think a punch may have just been landed, Wes' theater as a giant mechanical box with a theater inside.
7:37- Scott is talking about scale and context, apparently in CCTV the mechanical vents are close to the windows and scale that building immediately, flattening it and creating deadly 'shrinkage'.
7:36-LAST ROUND - I am not sure too many punches connected in the last one...
7:33- I don't know why architects always talk so much about color. In this case Scott is making the case that no one uses Wes' color palate in architecture today, I can think of at least 3-4 architects that do. I think that the idea of branding in Wes' pro-con project is the real issue, talking about color and its 'cartoon' quality is talking about the tree not the forest. Why are certain architects (80's trained, autonomy obsessed one's specifically) obsessed with color?
7:28- Scott on Wes' other interest: Branding as an extension of Wes' 'cartoon' aesthetic. Cartoons, colors, representation, as a sign of mobility in an ephemeral way. But in a way it is a disconnection with Wes' work that rejects branding and signature.
7:21- Wes Jones' primitive hut as a projection. Creating a techno-utopian collage to project a new world, something that could exist and a new way to use architecture.via shedworking
7:20- There are rounds!! we are going into round 2 and Scott promises blows.
7:15- Wes Jones' seemd to just claim that his work (and the technologies it uses) is nation-specific - American, the John Deere of architecture.
7:12- Domesticity and the 'alien' - challenging it with things that at first seem from outside itself, scales (materials, koolhaas' elevator), typologies (lofts to the suburb).
7:10- Wes' work as a 'vernacular for a community that has not found itself yet'
7:03- Scott seems to think that Wes is overtly infested in a very specific, limited, and personal view of technology, allegedly rejecting others (digital?). Wes keeps repeating something about middle-tec, arguing, I think, that it is not so much about a personal or specific technology, but rather technology mediating a space for a person. Technology as mediator to create 'affect' and full of 'meaning'.
6:59- Scott relentlessly asks and tries to codofy what architecture is, and claiming that Wes' work NEEDS to go outside the discipline to fulfill his ultimate project. Wes has a refined answer comparing a fascination to a Home Depot lift, to Corb's streamliners, eyes which do not see, etc... it is about bringing in things and MAKING them architecture. A long history of architects doing this.
6:58- Wes said something interesting, are our clients are no longer 'inhabitants', but 'users'.
6:55- Is Wes Jones' work really closer to 'industrial design' and thus not really (A)rchitecture as Scott charges?
6:51- If architecture is about capturing the highest ideals in our world today, what world do we capture?
How does that world come to us? TECHNOLOGY
6:49- Did anyone catch what PCAT means? - will update later.
10/15/08 UPDATE: it was PCAD (thanks joseph in the comments)- Parametrically Controlled Author-less Design. He uses it while criticizing digital design. Although I have to say that his 'authorless' way of working and love of technology seem to me closer to digital technology than he would care to admit. I think his biggest problem with current digital work is more experiential, it feels un-human. His work and the way he uses technology is about making the human aware of her space and place in the current world, the digital sanatizes spaces erasing the human hand.
6:45- Wes seems to reject the notion of a more linear view of architecture (central to the 'nostalgia' argument) and instead espouses a 'buffet' view to architectural knowledge.
6:40- Scott: Wes fights quotidian architecture by rejecting the more art-based architectural practices (Ghery, H&dM) and moves into work that is functional via technofilia. Is it nostalgic?
6:38- This is the first of a series of conversations, that should be fun.
6:36- While they start I will make a quick comment on atmospherics. They finally got some decent chairs for Piper, comfortable and black (as opposed to the ugly brown ones they brought in late last year). They set up the auditorium to half capacity, though I am not sure why, it feels pretty cramped.
6:26- I guess I'll begin by sharing that I was selected by random lottery to go to the post-lecture dinner tonight. This is something new that Scott is doing, choosing a few students every week to attend dinner and sit there awkwardly with senior faculty and invited guests. It should be fun.