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SMALL, BIG, FOG and LEONG LEONG

May 18 '11 27 Last Comment
Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
May 18, 11 10:52 pm

“Three Glen Small related projects unknowingly and independently conceived by others 25-30 years later” was going to be the title of my short prose but these days I am trying to write less and let the images and statements do the talking.

During the composition of this I thought of these:
Being highly innovative is a relative term.
I enjoyed the uncanniness of the similarities and valued the differences.
It was entertaining

My friend Glen Small is a brilliant architect

At the end, there are countless number of 'alike' things but each fingerprint is unique, would you say so?


Project One


Turf Town
Designed by Glen Small, 1983
Unbuilt
Statement:

“WHEN I WAS DESIGNING IN 1969 AND 1970 FOR DEVELOPERS, I WOULD FIGURE OUT THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF VOLUME AND UNITS THAT I COULD GET ONTO THE PROPERTY AND HOW THE BEDROOMS COULD BE BROKEN AWAY TO MAKE MORE UNITS.. THE LAND WAS EXPENSIVE AND THE DEVELOPER WANTED ALL HE COULD GET. I FELT THE UNITS WERE INTERESTING AND CONTROLLED BY TYPE FIVE WOOD CONSTRUCTION THAT WAS LIMITED TO TWO STORIES. I WAS TOLD THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT KEPT A MODEL OF WHAT MY TWO STORY CONSISTED OF. IN REALITY IT WAS FIVE STORIES HIGH, THE LAW ALLOWED TO BUILD UP GRADE ON THE SIDE YARDS, TO BURY THE PARKING ON GRADE AND HAVE MEZZANINE LEVELS THAT WERE 1/3 THE FLOOR AREA OF THE ROOM THAT THEY WERE OPEN TO AND ACCESS TO A SPLIT LEVEL ROOF. I COULD JUST AS WELL HAVE BEEN DESIGNING WITHIN A SET OF CRITERIA THAT PRODUCED ROOF GARDENS, RECYCLING OF WATER AND GARBAGE, SOLAR ENVELOPS, FOLIAGE GREEN WALLS ETC.
THE SITE, THE OLYMPIC PARK AREA WAS AN AREA OF LOS ANGELES THAT WAS A TYPICAL GRID IRON STREET PATTERN THAT IS FOUND THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. IT WAS SELECTED FOR ITS LACK OF CHARACTER AND UNIMPORTANT CONTEXTUAL BUILDINGS ON THE SITE. ALSO IT OFFERED A CHANCE TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN OTHER PARTS OF THE CITY AND OTHER CITIES.
I HAD A GROUP OF EIGHT STUDENTS TO WORK WITH. I BANGED OUT THE CONCEPT INSTANTLY I PICKED THE FUNCTIONS AND THE PATTERNS OF VISUAL GAME FOR EACH BLOCK. THE STUDENTS WERE INVOLVED AS DEVELOPERS WORKING WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE ZONING THAT I SET UP. THE SITE WAS FOUR BLOCKS , THAT CREATED ONE LARGE RECTANGLE GROUPING.
MY CONCEPT WAS TO CREATE A SOLAR ZONING ENVELOPE FOR HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT THAT INCLUDED ECOLOGICAL AND MOVEMENT SYSTEMS. ALL HERE AND NOW STUFF THAT COULD BE BUILT. RALPH KNOWLES A PROFESSOR AT USC HAD DONE ELABORATE STUDIES OF SOLAR ENVELOPES THAT THE SOUTHWEST INDIANS HAD INCORPORATED INTO THEY’RE BUILDING GROUPINGS. HE USED THIS AS INSPIRATION TO DEVELOP PRESENT DAY COMPLEX SOLAR ENVELOPE PROPOSALS. I IN CONTRAST WANTED A SIMPLE SOLAR ZONING CODE THAT DEVELOPERS AND PLAN CHECKERS COULD UNDERSTAND AND WORK

WITH.”

 



Mountain Dwellings
Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) 2006   
Built
Statement/Quote from a Dezeen article by Marcus Fairs :

“How do you combine the splendours of the suburban backyard with the social intensity of urban density? The Mountain Dwellings are the 2nd generation of the VM Houses – same client, same size and same street. The program, however, is 2/3 parking and 1/3 living. What if the parking area became the base upon which to place terraced housing – like a concrete hillside covered by a thin layer of housing, cascading from the 11th floor to the street edge? Rather than doing two separate buildings next to each other – a parking and a housing block – we decided to merge the two functions into a symbiotic relationship. The parking area needs to be connected to the street, and the homes require sunlight, fresh air and views, thus all apartments have roof gardens facing the sun, amazing views and parking on the 10th floor. The Mountain Dwellings appear as a suburban neighbourhood of garden homes flowing over a 10-storey building – suburban living with urban density.
The roof gardens consist of a terrace and a garden with plants changing character according to the changing seasons. The building has a huge watering system which maintains the roof gardens. The only thing that separates the apartment and the garden is a glass façade with sliding doors to provide light and fresh air.”


Project Two



 

Copy Cat Skyscrapers (see. a+u 09:86 featuring Glen Small for more student work, p.53-60)
Studio Glen Small, 4 th. year, Sci Arc student project by Uri Sally, Fall 1985
Unbuilt
Statement from Glen Small on “Copy Cat Skyscrapers” studio:

“THE COPY CAT SKYSCAREPERS EMERGED QUITE UNEXPECTEDLY FROM A SEMESTER OF TRADITIONAL SKYSCRAPER DESIGN. THE STUDENTS RESEARCHED HIGHRISES IN NATURE, HISTORICAL, PRIMITIVE AND CONTEMPORARY HIGHRISES, AND THE COMPONENTS OF HIGHRISERS. THE CLASS VISITED HIGHRISES UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL OFFFICES THAT SPECIALIZE IN HIGHRISE.
THE CLASS WAS UNEVENTFUL, DOWNRIGHT BORING, UNTIL BY CHANCE I SHOWED THEM A XEROX SYSTEM I WAS EXPERIMENTING WITH TO PRODUCE “FIERO TOWER,” A HIGHRISE OF XEROXED CARS. THAT DID IT. THE CLASS CAME ALIVE WITH IDEAS. WITHIN FIVE WEEKS, THEY PRODUCED UNIQUE IMAGERY OF HIGHRISES. THE MORE THEY USED THE XEROX SYSTEM THE BETTER THEIR IMAGES BECAME. THE XEROX WAS THE DESIGN TOOL FOR THE PLANS, ELEVATIONS AND SECTIONS. AVERAGE STUDENTS BECAME EXCELLENT STUDENTS BECAUSE THEY NO LONGER HAD TO RELY ON DRAFTING SKILLS. STUDENTS LOOKED AT OBJECTS IN PERIODICALS FOR INSPIRATION. THEIR EYES OPENED, AND THEY CAUGHT THE SPARK THAT PROPELLED THEM BEYOND FASHION AND HISTORISM INTO SIGNIFICANT EXPLORATION.”

 

 

Beekman Tower
Designed by Frank O. Gehry
Built, 2011
An excerpt from New York Times article by Nicoloi Ouroussoff titled,
“Downtown Skyscraper for the Digital Age”

“The power of the design only deepens when it is looked at in relation to Gilbert’s Woolworth building. A steel frame building clad in neo-Gothic terra-cotta panels, Gilbert’s masterpiece is a triumphant marriage between the technological innovations that gave rise to the skyscraper and the handcrafted ethos of an earlier era.
Mr. Gehry’s design is about bringing that same sensibility — the focus on refined textures, the cultivation of a sense that something has been shaped by a human hand — to the digital age. The building’s exterior is made up of 10,500 individual steel panels, almost all of them different shapes, so that as you move around it, its shape is constantly changing. And by using the same kind of computer modeling that he used for his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, more than a decade ago, he was able to achieve this quality at a close to negligible increase in cost.
But Mr. Gehry is also making a statement. The building’s endlessly shifting surfaces are an attack against the kind of corporate standardization so evident in the buildings to the south and the conformity that it embodied. He aims, as he has throughout his career, to replace the anonymity of the assembly line with an architecture that can convey the infinite variety of urban life. The computer, in his mind, is just a tool for reasserting that variety.”


Project Three

 

JungleTheater, 1984
Designed by Glen Small, 1984
Statement from Glen Small,

“IN THE SPRING OF 1984 AN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION WAS ANNOUNCED FOR TIMES SQUARE THEATRICAL AREA. PHILIP JOHNSON (THE LATE PROMINENT EVER CHANGING COMMERCIAL ARCHITECT AND ARCHITECTURAL BROKER) HAD UPSET NEW YORK WITH A LARGE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR THE WORLD FAMOUS TIMES SQUARE AREA. THUS, A COMPETITION WAS PUT TOGETHER TO SHOW ALTERNATIVES TO DEVELOPING THE AREA. THE PROGRAM STATED THAT PROPOSALS WOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR THE AREA IN GENERAL, THAT THE TIMES SQUARE BUILDING COULD BE TORN DOWN, AND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS WERE BEING SOUGHT. FOR ME THESE WORDS WERE FRESH MEAT IN FRONT OF A TIGER. I PUT TOGETHER MY SCI-ARC SECOND YEAR STUDENTS AND WE KNOCKED OUT A PRESENTATION IN THREE DAYS. A REAL SHAME, BECAUSE THE CONCEPTUAL IDEAS DESERVED MORE.
THE BIG OVERRIDING IDEA WAS TO CONNECT OLD AND NEW BUILDINGS TOGETHER UNDER A TENSION STRUCTURE ROOF, CREATING A GIGANTIC GREEN HOUSE. GREEN HOUSES HAVE ALWAYS HAD A SPECIAL APPEAL TO ME. THE IDEA OF FEELING LIKE YOU ARE OUTSIDE, BECAUSE OF THE LIGHT AND AIRINESS, BUT ALSO PROTECTED FROM THE ELEMENTS IS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. THE CRYSTAL PALACE WAS THE ULTIMATE BUILDING FOR MY TASTE. IT HAD THE COMBINATION OF NATURAL LIGHT, AIR, PLANTS AND PEOPLE. THE NATURALLY LIGHT INTERIORS OF THE AVERAGE SHOPPING CENTER HAS VALIDATED THIS APPEAL. TO MY AMAZEMENT, BECAUSE I AM NAIVE ENOUGH TO THINK THAT OTHER PEOPLE WILL LIKE THE SAME THINGS I DO, SOME PEOPLE ARE OPPOSED TO THE BIG GREENHOUSE INTERIOR SPACE THAT REPLACES THE STREET. IF YOU LIKE TO HUDDLE IN WINTER CLOTHING SIPPING COFFEE IN FREEZING WEATHER YOU DEFINITELY WOULD BE OPPOSED. OR BECAUSE WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD OPEN STREETS THAT ARE EXPOSED TO THE ELEMENTS IS REASON ENOUGH TO KEEP IT THAT WAY. EVEN IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE ALL SORTS OF VARIED WEATHER OCCURS, TO ENCLOSE SPACE IS QUESTIONED BY MANY. DO YOU FIND PEOPLE DRIVING AROUND IN WINTER WITH THEIR CONVERTIBLE TOPS DOWN? RARELY AT NIGHT, WHEN IT IS RAINING, COLD OR WINDY? ”

Below a poem written by Glen Small on the project, Jungle Theater

THE COLD WIND CHILLS OUR BONES AND THE ICY PAVEMENT IS TREACHEROUS.
WE GINGERLY DART DOWN THE SUBWAY STEPS, AND ENTER THE GRAFFITI DRAGONS.
AS WE JOLT TO A STOP AT TIMES SQUARE, WE THAW IN A TROPIC HEAT.
THE ROAR OF WATERFALLS IS HEARD OVERHEAD AS WE ASCEND UP CASCADING STAIRS TO A MINIATURE ELECTRONIC YOSEMITE VALLEY.
CARS SURROUND US, BUT WE CLIMB TO THE ELEVATED PEDESTRIAN WALK.
SLOWLY WE HIKE UP THE PATH ON THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING, STOPPING TO GAZE AT THEATERS AND SHOPS, OR VIEW THE MULTIPLE ACTIVITIES WHICH SURROUND US.
ALWAYS COGNIZANT OF THE EXTERIOR WEATHER PROJECTED ON THE BIG SCREEN,
WE ARE SUSPENDED IN TIME AND SPACE IN A KINETIC MOVEMENT WITHIN THIS GIANT CENTER STAGE.

 



the Audi Urban Future: Project New York
Designed by LEONG LEONG, 2011
Statement from architects
:
“Our proposal for the Audi Urban Future: Project New York exhibition on the future of urban mobility, on based on Standard Architecture's previous proposal for a metropolis "reclaimed by nature," imagines a city with new and unpredictable relationships with nature. While mobility is an essential part of contemporary life for human beings, it is also a basic necessity for maintaining bio-diverse ecologies in urban settings like Manhattan. As weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable and environmental conditions more dire, increasing biodiversity will maximize the resilience of the city while minimizing disaster risk and aid recovery efforts. In order to capitalize on biodiversity, Manhattan will have to relinquish a certain degree of control. By introducing a new zoning and organizational system that mobilizes ecologies and animal species, the city will benefit from a nature that is not artificial, controlled, or well-behaved. This new development will offer a resilient form of growth for the future of the city by prioritizing the mobility of ecologies as much as human beings.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

will gallowaywill galloway
May 19, 11 6:03 am

interesting. nothing new under the sun

 

i am beginning to get the idea that glen never was able to build much but ripped out a lot of projects.  he seems like the russian constructivists but without the retro-respect of oma or zaha to validate his parking.

May 19, 11 10:44 am

Brillant architect? or brillant seer?  Good question, yo!

A WA W
May 19, 11 12:53 pm

Your friend Glen is really good! Thanks for sharing.

Tim DoTim Do
May 19, 11 4:29 pm

Not to diminish Glen Small's vision (no pun intended), but within the conceptual realm, it's evident Glen pulled from Claude Parent and Kenzo Tange, which I think adds to your point that design does not exist within a vacuum.

 

I think it's an interesting question you raise though regarding how much ownership an architect should take in whether or not a vision is realized. It's clear Copy Cat Scraper is not be possible without Gehry's technological innovation and Turf Town is not possible in an American, developer-driven environment. 

 

Is it up to the architect to invent the means?

Quondam
May 19, 11 4:54 pm

 

 

 

 

 

forensic reenactments?

 

"of course i don't want to post this in the discussion where good resources are condemned by stupid people and then your research, experience, appropriations are used by lurkers without due credit."

--from the last email I received from guess who

 

here come the judge?

 

 

Coincidently, I just finished and uploaded a reinstatement of seeking precedents... ...finding inspiration -- Quondam's inaugural exhibition. And now I'm about to embark on creating wqc/o[therwise], an imitation and somewhat reenactment of archinect's quondam forum.

 

 

hey Orhan, are you familiar with the best art 20 years from now?

 

 


 

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
May 19, 11 6:59 pm

Here is what Glen Small says about LEONG LEONG project;

 

"AFTER GOING OVER LEONG LEONG PROJECT THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS


IT HAS SIMILARITIES TO MY PROJECT BUT NOT THE SAME


1)  THERE IS A SUPER STUDIO LOOK ABOUT IT,  NOT DEALING WITH THE EXISTING BUT SUPERIMPOSING A GRID OF GREEN OVER THE CITY BLOCK SYSTEM


2)  NO SENSE OF 3 D TRANSPORTATIONS


3}  A FEW PEOPLE SPRINKLED ABOUT, BUT NO CONNECTIONS TO ALL THE PEOPLE STUFF


4) NOT A REMODEL.  WHERE IS THE EXISTING?


5)  NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE FLEXIBLE NATURE OF TENSION STRUCTURES


6)  ECOLOGICAL STERILE

 

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT IS THE GROWTH IS EVER PRESENT AND THE REVERSE OPEN AIR PARTS.  REMINDS ME OF SAVANNA GEORGIA WHERE IT WAS DESIGNED WHERE EVERY OTHER  BLOCK IS A PARK.  IMPOSSIBLE IN NEW YORK,  IT COULD BE  THAT ALL THE PARKING LOTS CONVERTED TO PARKS.  THAT WOULD BE RANDOM PATTERNING WHICH LEONG  SCHEME NEEDS."

 

Here what he says about "Gehry / Beekman Tower" and  "Copy Cat Skyscrapers" pairing;

 

"FROM WHAT I CAN GATHER ABOUT THE GEHRY HIGH RISE IN NEW YORK,  THE INTERIOR APARTMENTS ARE BORING AND NOT EXPRESSIVE.  NOT LIKE GAUDI, THE WHOLE SYSTEM IN CONCERT

CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG.

I SAW THE GEHRY THING ON TV TODAY,  AND I THOUGT WHAT A WASTE.  FACADE PLAY FOR WHAT?  WALLPAPER IN THE SKY. 

 

BY NOW THEY SHOULD AT LEAST BE DOING JUNGLE THEATER. 

THANKS FOR INCLUDING THE COPY CAT HIGH RISE,  IT LOOKS GREAT IN COMPARISON TO WHAT IS BEING BUILT.  IT HAD A WONDERFUL INTERIOR SPACE LIKE A BURNED OUT TRUNK OF A SEQUOIA TREE."

will gallowaywill galloway
May 19, 11 8:52 pm

don't take this the wrong way but that commentary strays into "per" territory.

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
May 19, 11 9:48 pm

jump and tim, i know this much.

glen is not at all upset about any of this. he simply looks at the other architects' pieces as different than his. not the same. similarities, yes but same no. i know him for decades. he has never accused anybody copying him or shown a great interest or passion to discuss who "pulled" what. he often goes about his own business of doing his own thing.

he never hides who influenced him either. tange, fuller, otto and many others he mentions and have stories about and knows their work profoundly and intuitively.

he had plenty of recognition and acknowledgment and was widely published and known before the internet.

he comments on others' work like many other architects would. he has colorful words and doesn't like everything he sees. sounds familiar? he is an aia architect .;.)

there is no copyright issue here. he has built work and produced widely published projects. one of his visionary projects, green machine, was almost built but ronald reagan elections downgraded the almost approved municipal funding to impossible overnight. i think green machine can still be built and still would be an amazing project even as a symbolic political banner at first. it has all the engineering calculations, part lists and working details. and guess what.., it is affordable. glen often calls himself a "systems man."

will gallowaywill galloway
May 20, 11 2:04 am

its not the credit thing that is "per"-ish, but that idea that no one else has done it right, because it ain't the way glen small would do it.  

 

 

J. James R.J. James R.
May 20, 11 7:08 am

I would probably read glen small's work if he didn't write in all caps.

 

May 20, 11 10:18 am

"WALLPAPER IN THE SKY. "

...that's pretty profound idea, no?

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
May 20, 11 12:19 pm

"an accidental genealogy of virtual museums of architecture

March, 1997, revised November, 1998

Quondam's inaugural exhibit investigates fifteen examples taken from architectural history that unwittingly set a precedent for either virtual architecture, museums of architecture, virtual museums of architecture, or all of the above. Along with calling out the precedents, the exhibit also demonstrates how each example inspires further architectural manifestations that have a place in both the real and virtual realm.

This accidental genealogy of virtualness in architecture has many patriarchs and an ancestry that goes back almost 1900 years. The lineage varies in ethnicity, but it is all contained in Western heritage. The elders are either Roman or Italian, culminating with Piranesi as the consummate master of the virtual realm. By the 19th century, the patriarchs move first to France, and eventually throughout Europe and on to America.

All genealogies, even accidental ones, are not possible without matriarchs, however. So where are the "mothers" of architectural virtualness? The answer lies precisely in the element that is most consistent throughout architecture's virtual family tree, namely, the community of buildings and space. Although occasionally only a collection of buildings, the matriarch is most often a city, a villa, or even a convent. It is within these domains that the gestation of architectural virtualness occurs."

 

emergency exit wound,

the last paragraph is quite powerful..

if i may add to that a question (throwing the ball back at you.;.), how about the history that is written  'now' and told to students?

and yes, i am somewhat familiar with conceptual art more than the average... in fact,  most of my architecture education at the school was from a conceptual artist and i just interviewed john baldessari last month for a catalog i am writing. talked about some history and matriarchal issues...

snook_dude
May 20, 11 6:41 pm

Orhan,

 

I think you could do the same thing with Bruce Goff....

knowing full well Glenn knew Bruce....

two wild ass birds  fluttering around in a big ass cage.

Quondam
May 21, 11 7:49 am

 

 

 

 

Orhan,

What we have 'now' (as you've provided evidence to above) is that Mountain Dwellings by BIG and Beekman Tower by FOG and Audi Urban Future by Leong Leong all have a past, a history if you will, that extends back beyond their own existence. Whether wittingly or not, the BIG, FOG and Leong Leong designs all relate (genealogy) back to respective Glen Small designs. (Just as John Stezaker's more recent collage work has a past that relates to some of my collage work from over 25 years ago.)

 

Conversely, what we also have 'now' (as you've provided evidence to above) is that Turf Town and Copy Cat Skyscrapers and Jungle Theater all have a future beyond their own existence. In this case completely unwittingly, the Glen Small designs all relate (is progeny the converse of genealogy?) forward to respective BIG, FOG and Leong Leong designs. (Just as some of my collage work from over 25 years ago relates forward to John Stezaker's more recent collage work.)

 

[Coincidentally, the movie I saw last night, The Double Hour, very much plays with the intermingling of a shared past and future, and, in the movie's case at least, the chaos that may well then ensue.]

 

It is quite common for designs to have a past that extends back beyond their own existence. And, conversely, it is more rare for designs to have a future that extends forward beyond their own existence. I'm not sure how much attention current architectural history pays explicitly to designs that have a future beyond themselves.

 

What's the best art 20 years from now? OR What's Glen Small designing these days?

 

[Does seeking precedents... ...finding inspiration play with the intermingling of a shared past and future?]

 

 

 

 

swimgoggles
May 21, 11 7:58 am

Thanks for sharing

 

will gallowaywill galloway
May 21, 11 10:23 am

would be interesting to find out if its convergent evolution or direct descent. 

 

 

Quondam
May 21, 11 2:21 pm

 

 

 

 

I'd say you need evidence first, before drawing any conclusions.

 

Given that the examples here span a mere 25 years, I doubt the convergent evolution metaphor could actually apply. As broad as modern and contemporary architecture is, it's still pretty much a finite set.

 

Is that a piano up on the roof?

 

 

 

 

 

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
May 21, 11 3:17 pm

"I AM GOING TO DO A BLOG ON THE BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE SOON, I AM WAITING FOR THE DIGITIZED IMAGES TO HAPPEN FROM MY SLIDES, THAT IS IN THE PROCESS.

I AM WORKING ON AN UPDATED VERSION FOR A MAJOR CITY IN THE USA THAT IS REALISTIC TO WHAT EXISTS NOW.

THE ONE THING ABOUT ARCHITECTURAL VISIONS IS THEY GET WHACKED BY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS. CORBU IN PARIS WITH PLANES LANDING ON ROOFTOPS, WRIGHT IN BROAD ACRE WITH HUMMINGBIRD WINGS ON SAUCER SHAPES, FULLER 3 D CAR COVERT TO BOAT AND PLANE. I WITH MY INFLATABLE BALL CAPSULE MODULAR SYSTEM. NOT A SAFE THING TO PROJECT, IT ALL CHANGES QUICKLY. THAT IS THE WONDERFUL THING ABOUT MOVIES. CAPTURING THE TIME PERIOD THEY ARE DEPICTED IN. SO, A DIRECTION CAN BE SUGGESTED THAT IS PRACTICAL IN THE FUTURE, BUT WHO KNOWS WHAT WILL REALLY HAPPEN? QUE SERA, QUE SERA, WHAT EVER WILL BE WILL BE."

Glen Small 5/16, 2011

OBO Olaf Design Ninja
May 28, 11 12:07 am

orhan - i do enjoy glenn smalls blog...but just so you know regarding this post...

great architects just don't develop concepts, that's college (concepts)...they get the credit or the concept built, and that's just a combination of luck, more luck, personality, friends, timing, etc....a lot of stuff architectural education has nothing to do with.

 

 

eric chavkin
May 31, 11 9:57 pm

From what i have seen, Glen Small has about 50 built projects to his credit and more than 300 plus un-built projects.  I would say that he tries to put his theories into practice and does it when he can.

 

eric chavkin

 

 

FarmDesignGroup
May 31, 11 10:05 pm

interesting discussion here indeed.

jmanganelli
May 31, 11 11:02 pm

great discussion

 

hope these two comments are not disruptive.  again, great discussion.  some thoughts...here goes...

 

how can our experience of time be simultaneously periodic, cyclic and linear?  that is, how can the single concept of time, the dimension of time have all of these characteristics...it is a one and many question...an answer is that our experience of time, let's say in a philosophical and a historical sense, is actually spirolinear, and as we move through time, we are variably aware of phenomena from one of the perspectives we are afforded.  namely, if we look far ahead or far behind, a certain abstract lens by dint of distance, we see the cyclic.  if we catch a glimpse or a feeling of the up and down nature of phenomena, we sense the periodic.  as we progress along one dimension, we are aware of the linear.  I raise this observation in response to EEW's point about how to characterize the relationship between the work of FOG, etc, to that of small.  when thinking of progression along the trajectory of architectural history as spirolinear, it is easy to see how concepts may appear to come back around again, though never in quite the same way.  in the cyclic sense, you may be at the same spot again, though you are in a different place in the trajectory, which changes things.  in the periodic sense, there is an ebb and flow to perspectives beyond our control and perspectives are likely to recur over and over, though never in quite the same way.  if you indulge the idea this far, then there are two further caveats to add.  first, imagine that the spiral is large, so that you cannot actually see the full extent of the ring your are on with your peripheral vision, but you can see in the distance what is in front of you.  This situation would lead to a sense of where you are, a clear perspective on certain points fore and aft, but not a clear idea of what is immediately over the horizon... that is, how you will get there....second, if the spiral itself spirals gently, sort of a second order spiral, if you will, then all the more reason why some aspect of the future and some aspect of the past will always be clearly in view though how exactly we got here, or we get there, and what exactly our relationships are to the here and there will never quite be discernible.  ------------------------ this spatial, formal, flowing concept of how the work of the former may relate to the work of the latter is how i kind of see it

jmanganelli
May 31, 11 11:13 pm

the second point I'd like to add also relates to EEW's comment.  another way i view the situation centers on a term i learned a long time ago --- hypostasis --- i wrote an essay on architecture some years ago in which i figured architecture to be an interpretive technology of civilization.  but what is the fodder for this function?  hypostasis is a real word.  in appropriating it for use in characterizing architectural design, I came to think of it as a dynamic range of potentialities, a pervasive yet ephemeral non-entity --- what is on the tip of the tongue, at the periphery of the senses, yet just beyond formal recognition, though key to fomenting and perceiving real phenomena and achieving real societal and technological advance.  with this concept of the hypostasis, i see the link between the work of the former and the latter as truly connected through that to which they are responding, perhaps sharing some same keenness of sense, having their respective fingers on the same pulses, if you will, but not actually requiring a formal connection for the uncanny similarity of respective interpretations to be quite real and legitimate

jmanganelli
May 31, 11 11:37 pm

oh richard, i'm just having a little bit of fun...i almost never get to discuss things like this with anyone...ignore me if you don't like it...

 

eric chavkin
May 31, 11 11:40 pm

Glen Small's futurist ideas and architectural concepts are in fashion again not because of some sort of phenomenology or geometries of thought  but because the future has finally caught up.

 

eric chavkin

OBO Olaf Design Ninja
Jun 4, 11 1:29 am

jman....it takes 6 fine summer river horse ales, some seroius paisino in a Duvel sculpted wine glass to answer all your questions...typical pre-req..

and oh, wait i'm feeling ivy intelligent this evening - some good luciano berio stuff...was that an angry violin or a bwasooon?

memory and cultural perception of movement of social memory.

guys that move ahead like Glenn Small and say Bucky move into their own ideas first, I'd argue, then bring them back to social understanding and then pursue their ideas again based on social norms.  cyclic like a palm reader or that jamaican psychic....whatever mad'am's name was...

the problem always is timing...the genius then competes with oppurtunists, often educated in the same field and dumbfounded by the same genius' ideas, the predatory scavenger replicates the genius ideas in full form, as if sketches on a napkin last night! 

i'd say glenn small's ideas have attracted many parasites..and someone said BIG...oh come 'on if they aren'te architectural Kardashian's, i don't know what is.  Bjarke whatever is a funny guy and making fun of all of us.

anyway, off into my angry ivy league musical, luciano just hit me on the head with an oboe or was it a clarinet....it's a clarinet right?

 

 

 

jmanganelli
Jun 4, 11 7:50 am

Suf, you have made an indelible impression. I will probably now evermore see the design world as composed of geniuses and kardashians. Great comment! But I see your point, too. Ale and wine does make those kind of discussions more fun. That is a bit out there. But it was also just logic play, a form of sketching. I do think that you can trace similar concerns for several of that generation, including Alexander, price, archigram, McDonough, and others with ther being some common threads conceptually though different formal responses.

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