Illinois Institute of Technology (Max)

  • LECTURE: KENGO KUMA recent works

    By mccloskm
    Mar 24, '10 12:43 AM EST

    this afternoon was the Kuma lecture, one that i have been highly anticipating. The poor guy was fresh off the plane from tokyo, must have been completely exhausted. He is a very low key accessible guy...i think if you saw him walking down the street he would not strike you as someone significant; one would not realize that they just passed a brilliant artist.

    What struck me above all else was his incredibly unique vision of materiality. In a residence near the great wall (on the good rodney dangerfield would say) he utilizes only bamboo throughout. As structure, he fills the interior of the bamboo with concrete, and facets metal bracketing on the outside. In the lotus house, he was asked to design something in the spirit of the Barcelona he creates a checkerboard facade of thin travertine panels on the vertical planes. pretty incredible.

    Much of Kuma's inspiration seems to come from nature, and existing conditions...all very site specific though. This allows his projects to take on a wide range of aesthetic quality....refreshing in a global architectural environment of Hadid Libeskin, Gheary, Meier, Mayne ect... these STARchitects could design something on mars and its going to look the same. Whatever, it is what it is...all im saying is that Kuma looks at form in a unique and sensitive way. I argue that this has connections to the Japanese culture in general. A heightened sense of craftsmanship and detail. This is present in all aspects of the culture, and it is something that i value and respect.

    Much of the lecture was peppered with references to frank lloyd wright. Franky baby....he really made an impression over there on the other side of the globe. This clearly influenced Kuma greatly in his exploration of materiality.

    Lastly, if there could be an aesthetic lineage to Kuma's work i would say it is the "one big idea" concept. Establish a design move in your work and carry it throughout...dont get messy with too many design forces all acting against eachother. This is stressed in studio often, and it is hard for me to push myself, and really sensor my work. something to keep practicing for sure. My old project manager had a quote that he printed and posted all over the office; i think it might stick with me forever:

    "simplicity: complexity resolved."

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  • A LITTLE HELP PEOPLE...anyone know about laminating acrylic???

    By mccloskm
    Mar 22, '10 6:30 PM EST

    visual training: rest of the semester we will be laminating. it will be a material of our choice. i.e. they give us a long rope so we can hang ourselves with it. i want to get started off on the right foot with this one, and i am interested in acrylic. i have not done any extensive work with it... View full entry

  • wrap up midterms/switzerland/spain

    By mccloskm
    Mar 1, '10 6:03 PM EST

    My midterm review haphazardly came and went on friday. Still dont have much of a building...thursday night i took two steps backward, in order to save myself from going down a path that would have lead me towards a theoretical building that didn't deal with its mixed use program successfully. Its... View full entry

  • dynamic surfaces: chuck hoberman lecture

    By mccloskm
    Feb 25, '10 7:03 PM EST

    chuck hoberman, from hoberman associates]link was a guest lecturer at the college this evening. He is responsible most notably for the monitor system used for U2's last world tour. But a more interesting exploration he is invested in is his organization ABI... View full entry

  • maintaining clear principles in your design

    By mccloskm
    Feb 25, '10 1:32 AM EST

    our midterm project for studio: mixed-use residential in chicago. First mixed-use project i have experienced. It brings into play the role of development driven design. the idea that this model of urban dwelling really does follow a fairly specific formula. Bound by standard lot sizes, and the... View full entry

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