Los Angeles, CA
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Jones, Partners: Architecture is a small, California-based architectural practice dedicated to the rapprochement of the human and the machine. J,P:A designs technologically engaging environments that emphasize the continuing importance of the meat reality underlying the digital fantasy.
This is technology as a serious everyday reality, not the exclusive purview of the haute tech. It demands the architect work in a language that allows the hospitality of the work’s usefulness to shine through its critical intentions. Legibility is important even in an environment skewed towards performance if the performer is to understand her possibilities for engagement.
A key element of this practice is the eschewing of personal, “signature” design in favor of a more generous authorial anonymity. Though it is said you can tell a J,P:A project a mile away, this is not due to any personal invention or stylistic emblem. Since the language is as open as a constantly evolving technological appreciation (rendered with an expert sympathy) demands, and because the driving spirit is programmatic intentionality (with its ever unique conditions and constantly surprising opportunities) rather than some designer’s whim, the work remains free of any of the gimmickry or pretension that typically characterize the work of design personalities.
As a result, J,P:A considers each project prototypical and takes very seriously the corresponding responsibility for it to be exemplary. Consequently, advances are not made through forced innovation, but through honest analysis of the specific project requirements and pragmatic implementation of the indicated “solution.” To this end, J,P:A maintains a continuing program of research, both in the academy and in the field, to provide itself with the widest range of inspiration and the surest ability to judge its results. The sense of coherence that marks the resulting variety of designs, which might describe a “style” for those who think that way, is as much a consequence of the confidence and optimism in this research as of any formal similarity in its products.
The respect for the tradition of modernism this seems to imply is no coincidence. J,P:A believes strongly in the hopeful, open-minded attitude of that tradition. To be modern is to seek improvement and expect progress. While some may see the Modern as a historical period that ended in the sixties—and any allegiance as mere historicism—J,P:A considers the possibility that modernism is ongoing and inescapable to be more rewarding. To see such an attitude as constraining is to misunderstand the opportunity it presents for providing a necessary framework for the establishment of value and common appraisal. Indeed, as each Next Big Thing comes along to overturn modernism, it finds instead that its momentum is absorbed by an oceanic Mo’, incorporating the best aspects of the new thing and graciously forgetting the worst as its novelty is transformed into some more enduring worth.
In order to maintain the highest level of commitment, J,P:A has resisted the temptations to grow or dilute its project mix with work that offers less than an even chance to be exemplary. Each project is treated as if it were the next big thing, and each new employee is assumed to be a future partner. There is no bread and butter, nor any mere draftsmen to pump it out. Despite a range of completed work typical for a much larger, profit-driven office, J,P:A continues to act like a small, obsessive design practice intent on changing the world by demonstrating the way things should really be.
800 McGarry St.
Los Angeles, CA, US , 90021