Yale School of Architecture (savanna)

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    Gehry and Goldberger

    By savanna
    Apr 9, '06 5:30 PM EST

    Paul Goldberger, former architecture critic for the New York Times, interviewed Frank Gehry last night in Hastings Hall. I was invited to the post-lecture dinner at Dean Stern's apartment, so I arrived dressed up (i.e., wearing heels). Post-lecture dinner invitations are more or less random (restricted to graduating students), although some students have been known to issue special requests to Dean Stern when an architect the student is dying to meet comes to town; others just crash.

    I got lucky and was invited the regular way, via email a month in advance. The lecture itself wasn't all that eventful. Goldberger started off by asking Gehry was he felt about the A&A building, which will be renovated in a year's time. Gehry knew Paul Rudolph, and it seems that Rudolph must have been to his era as Rem is to ours, or Jim Sterling was to his. Rudolph was the man, and everyone respected him. The conversation then turned towards recent projects, Bilbao and how Philip Johnson cried when he saw it (Gehry speculates the tears may have been faked), Gehry's new house, and the jewelry he's designed for Tiffany's.

    The topic of the new Santa Monica house (actually it's in Venice Beach, I think,) seemed to be a sore one. Gehry bemoaned having to start over after his first set of plans was published (without permission, it seems) by Nicolai Ouroussoff, another Times critic. Once the project was published Gehry no longer liked it. I thought that was fascinating. It's as though he's so famous, and so much in the public eye, that he couldn't bare the thought of every architect in the world knowing the layout of his own home””that was too personal. A line had to be drawn.

    Here's the image printed in the NYT

    The conversation about jewelry was really moving, perhaps because I'm fascinated by small things and by craft. I used to make a lot of my own jewelry and even clothing as a teenager. I have small hands so it's easy for me to achieve meticulous details. Gehry noted that the level of craftsmanship in the jewelry pieces is so much higher than it is for architecture, as it should be, he said.

    Some images lifted from Tiffany & Co.'s web site

    Here are some Gehry quotes I wrote down:
    “I read Proust a lot, almost like someone reads the bible... he captures fleeting glimpses of thoughts in all of us.”
    “Designing a chair is an exquisite experience. It's decoration, engineering and function all at once.”
    “Dreaming architecture.”

    Gehry is so different from our usual guests. He's unassuming, maybe because it doesn't have to pretend to be anything he's not. He's also getting pretty old and he was so tired. He kept telling Goldberger to stop the interview!

    The dinner was nice. I drank too much, however. That seems to happen a lot at Dean Stern's house. You have to at least have a drink in your hand at all times. I need to learn to sip more slowly. It was nice to chat with a few professors I never see. I talked to Phillip Bernstein about his recruitment expo's; Phil is trying single-handedly to put the “professional” in “professional school.” He wants to teach organizational theory and teamwork/ leadership skills. That would be so great, I think. I could use it. I didn't talk to Gehry or Goldberger so much””they were both surrounded and I felt a bit overwhelmed. Well, it was more that Gehry seemed so put-upon, I just didn't want to bother him. That was probably a mistake.

    In other news, studio is going wretchedly. I'm starting my design over for the 3rd time. Will (Bruder) just keeps finding huge holes in my ideas and he's right, for the most part. So I'm going back to a clear parti and working forward. I have 3 weeks until the final review. I should be okay. I have hope.



    • Hasselhoff

      Apr 9, 06 5:46 pm

      sounds fun...

      good luck on the project, keep us posted.

      have you enjoyed having Bruder?

      Apr 9, 06 5:50 pm
      vado retro

      not one young man has so far had the courage to say "we have nothing to say, because we find nothing to think about...marcel proust.

      Apr 9, 06 6:08 pm

      It's better off not talking to someone, if they probably didn't want to talk anyway. I know that if I were an old timer, I'd want to catch the early bird and hit the sack, so I'm sure he was tired. At least you didnt have to deal with the awkward pause where there is nothing to say, and he's falling asleep. Good luck on the project, the best always comes out with a little pressue. For some reason, I never tried to get to know will bruder's work. What is he like as a prof?

      Apr 10, 06 4:06 pm

      Wow. Such an experience and you wrote about it as I would tell a friend a goofy story from the weekend. Thanks for the anecdote. Gehry seems a little more human now....

      Good luck with your project!

      Apr 10, 06 7:26 pm
      Brandon J

      Hey hey missy.....its busy b from the west coast, thesis rocked my world. had lots of fun in the review yesterday and i am DONE! i can not wait to not go back to a school ever again. good to see you are kicking strong and we will talk soon.

      ps, i wrote you here because you dont ever check your email, this thing is updated more frequently.

      love ya tons!

      Apr 30, 06 6:19 pm

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