on behalf of Olaf Design Ninja

interviews with random thoughts and assemblies of experiences

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    Interview: June 9, 2013, 2:30pm

    By Olaf Design Ninja_
    Mar 9, '14 12:27 AM EST

    Interview: June 9, 2013, 2:30pm

    Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA

     “Olaf, your guest is here.” – Nurse

    “Ach, a guest.  Why?” – Olaf

    “Olaf, it’s Chris Teeter, I believe Beth your daughter notified you that I was coming to visit.  I went to school with your son Thomas at Kansas -” – Chris

    Olaf cuts me off - “I have no son, but yes Beth notified me.  Why are you here?”

    “Uh…Ok…When I was at Kansas I heard a lot of great stories about your career as an architect. It sounds like you knew and worked for every architect that ever mattered in the last fifty years.  I figured maybe if you wanted I could ask you about the stories and report about them?” – Chris

    “Report? New York Times? Not for the Monacelli press!”– Olaf

    “The Internet?” – Chris

    “Ach, no one cares about that place.  It’s an assembly of eye candy garbage and self-proclaimed expressions to no one.  Everyone’s talking, no one is listening.” – Olaf

    “So you email right? That might be useful if I need clarification.   I have this digital audio recorder and will transcribe our conversations – “ – Chris

    Olaf cuts me off again  - “What do you want?” – Olaf

    “Yes, ok.  Before I start, just wanted to apologize…  I understood through varying sources you were no longer around so I borrowed your nickname Olaf Design Ninja and posted a few things on the internet under that name.” – Chris

    “Ja, those were the times.” – Olaf

    43 second pause.

    “Perhaps we could start with those times?” – Chris

    “The arrow of time moves in one direction, forward.  If we start there, we will start at the end of the beginning and the end of the end and arrive here.  I don’t want to be here.” - Olaf

    “This place isn’t too bad.  It’s not exactly Jack Nicholson in one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, right? Why did you end up here?” – Chris

    Retirement!  You have two obvious choices in this country if you want to quit contributing to the GDP: you die or you are incarcerated.  I chose the lesser known third option: insanity.  If I deny the three fictions of western civilization: representation, reason, and history - they will declare me insane.” – Olaf

    “Speaking of incarceration, did you ever read Rem Koolhaas’ Study for the Renovation of a Panopticon Prison? I was at this job site on Madison Ave in Manhattan for a high-end London based fashion retailer store and to my surprise the architect wearing a $10k watch was discussing the US Post Office building next to Penn station; explained the post office operated just like the Panopticon.  I looked the guy up and it appears he might of married rich, but was surprised with this architect’s understanding of something beyond purely capitalistic architecture.  Not sure if that was a question.” – Chris

    “Never heard of Rem or this essay.  Doesn’t really sound too interesting.  Architects should be wearing $10k watches.  The door is over there, open it, take three steps towards the hall, close it and return to your motor vehicle, please...sir.” – Olaf

    “I’ll bring you that essay next week if you like, I would like your opinion given your current residency.” – Chris

    “When I was younger words meant what they expressed, but it appears my statements are merely representations of movies you have seen in your under educated existence.  You are not old enough to even be properly educated.  I would like you to leave! This is what I was saying!  Form follows function! The phrase – get out =  means = leave!!!” – Olaf

    “Dude, I’m sorry man!?!  I was just trying to get a conversation going.  I will leave and never return if you like! Just thought we could get a dialogue going man, about architecture.  I kind of hate my profession and poor life decision in choosing architecture as a career and everything Thomas said made me feel like there was a guy out there I could respect who understood this Myth of Sisyphus shit!  Look man, I had been unemployed for a few months in NYC and as I warmed up in Barnes and Nobles on Union Square for the interview with a business savvy architect, I read this intro to a Norman Foster book and everything about him made me respect him - Norman Foster.  The guy came from a working class family and did what he did and then some.  I saw this documentary about Sir Foster and further confirmed my admiration for him, guys who work hard will win eventually right?!?!   Thomas’ stories of your past are half the reason I haven’t bailed and become a contractor or a half-brain developer.  I figured your chip on your shoulder was larger than mine and you could keep me interested in this life draining black hole existence known as architecture!” – Chris

    “Functionality is an abstraction.” – Olaf

    “You truly are an insane man.  By the way this isn’t a public mental facility, someone actually cares about you.” – Chris



    (based on true stories)


    Key Bibliography/Links

    "The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End" Peter Eisenman, Perspecta 21 (1984)

    "Study of the Renovation of a Panopticon Prison Arnhem, Netherlands 1979-1981" Rem Koolhaas, from "S, M, X, XL", p 235

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About this Blog

The following blogs are Interviews performed in the years of 13/14 with a man full of random thoughts and legendary type of architectural experiences. Olaf is his real first name. I knew his son Tom from my studies at University of Kansas and randomly ran into Tom in 2012 in NYC. We reminisced about all the great stories Tom had told me about his immigrant architect father. Given my boredom with the profession I requested an interview with this now insane man. Archifiction.

Authored by:

  • Olaf Design Ninja_

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