Burbank, CA | San Diego, CA
Opening: Saturday, February 4, 6:00 p.m
Woodbury School of Architecture and the Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery (WUHO) present the exhibition Freedomland by Keith Krumwiede. The show, a case of architectural satire attuned to the present realities of politics and economics, opens Saturday, February 4 at WUHO Gallery.
Freedomland is the latest in a long line of visionary plans for American living. It is an experiment in reconciling the seemingly incompatible needs and desires that define our current economic, environmental, and, most importantly, political climate. In one bold, absurdist move, Freedomland colonizes the super grid that blankets America, attempting in the process to solve every problem, please every citizen. Like the work of a benevolent (or perhaps delusional) dictator, it seeks to accommodate every wish, every desire, no matter how contradictory and to combine them in a master plan that sets out a beautiful, if seemingly naïve, vision for a better, more harmonious world.
Its logic is one of both/and: both Jefferson and Hamilton (founding fathers of our collective split personality); both open and closed; both centralized and decentralized; both individualistic and collectivist; both farm and market; both local and global; both village and villa, and, ultimately, both city and country. Freedomland is a of utopia of houses in which collective needs square up with individual desires. It is both perfectly rational and patently absurd. But in the absurdity lies a realm of opportunity.
In Freedomland then, the American Dream—battered by, even if ultimately responsible for, recent economic events—confronts the reality of increasingly scarce resources; Tea Party populism meets landscape urbanism; communism infiltrates capitalism; consumerist single-family houses construct communalist phalansteries; local produce feeds global markets; and Hamilton’s central authority reconciles with Jefferson’s citizen farmer.
Freedomland is a fiction, of course, a work of architectural satire with no pretense toward implementation. In as much as it is the bastard lovechild of Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier—think Broadacre City meets the Ville Contemporaine with a dash of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City thrown in for good measure—there is a key difference. Freedomland is problem seeking not problem solving, diagnostic not prescriptive. It builds its grand vision from the basic, eminently American unit of the single-family house, working up and out by uploading conflicting desires and visions to clarify the issues—socially, environmentally, and, ultimately architecturally—that confront us at this particular moment in time. As in the best satire, stones are thrown not with malice but with great affection and hope.
About Keith Krumwiede
Keith Krumwiede is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the Yale School of Architecture. He received a BA in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Prior to teaching at Yale, he taught at the Rice University School of Architecture, the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, and the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. He is currently working on the book, Freedomland: An Architectural Fiction and Its Histories, from which an excerpt was recently published in 306090: Making a Case. Other recent essays include, “The Bauhaus Tweets” in Log 22: The Absurd and “(A)Typical Plan(s)” in Perspecta 43: Taboo. He has published other research, projects, and writings in Cite, Constructs, Art Lies, Offramp, Competitions, Architecture California, Archithese, and Domus.
Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery (WUHO)
WUHO is Woodbury University’s center for experimental exhibitions and multi-disciplinary collaborations. The gallery is shared with the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. Located on the iconic Hollywood Walk-of-Fame, WUHO is a gallery, event space, and lecture venue.
6518 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Located between Wilcox Ave. and Schrader Blvd.
Hollywood & Highland nearest metro stop
Thursday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.