O N E :T W E LV E
AUTUMN 2015 / ISSUE 011
O N E :T W E LV E Notes on Vernacular Issue 011 / Volume 006 Autumn 2015 One:Twelve is produced by a small group of Undergraduate and Graduate students at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University and is published bi-annually. For inquiries, please contact us at: www.onetwelvejournal.com 275 West Woodruff Avenue Columbus, OH 43210
EDITORS Curtis Roth FACULTY ADVISER
Jessica Sprankle GRADUATE MANAGING EDITOR
Ali Sandhu UNDERGRADUATE MANAGING EDITOR
Stephen Steckel PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR
Bethany Roman TREASURER
NOTES ON A DISCUSSION “What is vernacular architecture?” ----”...” “What is VERNACULAR?”
“Can something be ‘somewhat’ vernacular?” “People used to be LIMITED by geography.” “Information has deteriorated our limits.” “If the housing association can regulate appearance, can a vernacular be inscribed in a series of laws...?” “So what is allowed to be iconographic architecture?” “What do we WANT as iconographic IMAGES?” “We are CONSUMING vernacular.” “In this consumption, is there a loss of vernacular?” ---- “YES” -------- “...” “Is there validity in our anger?” “Should we be mad at starchitects?” “Are you mad?” “....” “Is the American suburban house a vernacular?” ---- “YES” -------- “NO” ------------ “...” “If Google is able to compile X number of digital models of things, is there a digital vernacular?” “What are the rights of an architecture?” “Does architecture have rights?” “What gets to be reappropriated?” “What gets to become iconic?” “What gets to be a STATUS symbol?” “What is a style?” “What is vernacular?” ----“...” --------“Why does any of this matter?”
Learning from Cerulean JESSICA SPRANKLE
The Three Vernaculars ANDREW MILLER
Anti-Fashion and the Internet Art of Instant Obsolescence CURTIS ROTH
Starchitect Vs. Globalization BOBBY HINTZ
Vapor Barrier JAKE PFAHL
Recreating Vernacular as a Status Symbol in SoCal KATIE LAU
Layered Fronts SEAN MERCHANT
An Aluminum Scale Hitting the Floor is the Loudest Sound I Know CLAIRE RONAN
Collect and Manage JESSICA SPRANKLE
“...you’re wearing a sweater that was S E L E C T E D F O R YO U
by the people in this room...”
"That sweater is not just BLUE. It's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually CERULEAN."
I T â€™ S FA B R I C !
Do we really have a choice?
The Architect has had a relationship with vernacular architecture for far longer than we have accepted the phrase. Even the most idealistic movements negotiate the un-pedigreed to gain a physical foothold in the city, the difference between Fra Carnavale’s The Ideal City and the built condition of Santa Maria della Pace in Rome tells us this much. Rudolfsky originally defined vernacular as “Architecture without Architects,” a lowbrow building built with purely pragmatic intentions in mind. His collection of examples casts a wide net across the world, collecting both fabric and the occasional “landmark” building. This idea of vernacular as an ignored architecture, mostly modest and domestic with the rare attempt at becoming something impressive seems incomplete at best. The given definition of vernacular is broad. Vernacular, originally, is the language of the common people – the difference shown in the writings of the Vatican versus the spoken language of the Roman people. Vernacular architecture shows the physical language of place and need, a pragmatic response to site and climate, but also to the culture of place. The Cotswolds of England and the valleys of Bavaria feature homes built from a similar stock of materials, yet they differ in response to the climate and in artistic expression of the community. Vernacular shows tradition, a passing down of technique from generation to generation, culture by the most basic definition of the word. When Rudolfsky defines vernacular as “Architecture without Architects” he is intentionally separating the architect from the culture of place and connecting him to a haughty Ars Gratia Artis movement, building only for self-satisfaction and not for the needs of the people. The issue with Rudolfsky’s statement then is that his bias limited the examples he could pull from. THE MAINSTREAM OF ARCHITECTURAL DISCOURSE FOCUSES ON THE GRAND SCALE, THE MONUMENTS, A N D T H E A R C H I T E C T A S G O D, D E F I N I N G A N D CONTROLLING THE MOVEMENTS OF A CITY WITH A R U L E R A N D C O M PA S S . Even when the domestic-scale theory becomes prominent – as it did when Rudolfsky’s exhibition was shown – it soon becomes background again to an architecture of excess, the short-lived Colin Rowe defined “townscapes” were immediately replaced by Deconstructivism. What Rudolfsky missed would have led him to a very different conclusion about what vernacular can and should be. Vernacular is fabric. V E R N AC U L A R I S T H E D E FAU LT A R C H I T E C T U R E O F P L AC E , W H E T H E R I T I N V O LV E S A N A R C H I T E C T
A vast majority of buildings are not landmark buildings – the architect’s refusal to create a background building not only removes him from a large portion of the market for his services but even cuts into his idea of himself as “city-builder.” Vernacular O R N O T I S I R R E L E VA N T.
is the datum from which the city is experienced. Rudolfsky limited himself and the field as a whole by saying this vernacular architecture is without “trained” hands. The architect has been in relationship to vernacular in three ways: 1 . I N F L U E N C I N G F U T U R E V E R N AC U L A R 2 . Q U O T I N G V E R N AC U L A R 3 . G I V I N G A G E N U I N E AT T E M P T T O U S E V E R N AC U L A R A S T H E I R L A N G UAG E
The first of three is an unintentional side effect of good design, A
C A P T U R I N G O F P L AC E
BY T H E A R C H I T E C T T H AT N O T O N LY R E S O N AT E S W I T H T H E O R I G I N A L
This effect on vernacular is far easier to observe at a city’s birth or just before a large building boom and as such the easiest C L I E N T B U T W I T H T H E E N T I R E R E G I O N ’ S C U LT U R E .
1 . C A L I F O R N I A N B U N G A LO W S
place to find examples of this would be in the Americas. On the East Coast, Andrew Jackson Downing and The New England School are responsible for the Stick and Shingle Styles respectively. Southern California, being very different in both climate and culture, has created two vernaculars of its’ own – one original to place and the other an existing style modified for climate. While attempts have been made to transport the East Coast styles to Los Angeles, the predominant vernaculars, as Banham points out, are influenced by three architects. Irving Gill and the Greene Brothers are responsible for the two most popular styles of LA vernacular, the bungalow and the Mission Revival. These turn-of-the-century designers, not 18
intending to create a style for the city, as shown in Gill’s later shift to a modified International Style, made the template for future “designer-less” builds. THE REASON THE TWO STYLES STUCK SO WELL I S T H E E X AC T S A M E R E A S O N W H Y V E R N AC U L A R BECOMES UNIFORM ANYWHERE, THE ARCHITECTS O F F E R E D A P R AG M AT I C , C L I M AT E - F R I E N D LY, A N D M O S T I M P O R TA N T LY, A N E A S I LY C O P I E D A N D MODIFIED STYLE FOR FUTURE BUILDERS. The ability of the architects to create an interchangeable template style is key to the success of it in the future, as is shown by the play of Richard Norman Shaw in the Queen-Anne Style. Greene and Greene’s work in Pasadena was for incredibly wealthy clients, but it created an
2 . B L AC K E R H O U S E
image: a utopic image of southern California with its’ sun, oranges, and lovely stick style homes. Gill’s Mission Revival did the same. I T C O - O P T E D A N A L R E A DY E X I S T I N G I M AG E O F W H AT T H E D E S E R T WA S L I K E A N D M A D E I T AC C E S S I B L E F O R T H E EVERYMAN.
The examples in Southern California were not intended to create a regional style. They took their styles from what they knew, or existed nearby, and modified them to their specific needs. Once Rudolfsky identified vernacular in architecture it was something to 19
be studied. This coincided with Post-Modernism. The two are related, both revolts against Modernist ideals of architect as higher power. Rudolfsky’s work sits comfortably within the boundaries of Post-Modernism. Unfortunately, the tone of Rudolfsky’s exhibition has a condescension to it – placing him exactly in the elitist camp he wished to avoid. O N C E T H E C O N S C I O U S M E TA- N A R R AT I V E O F A R C H I T E C T U R E H A D A R R I V E D A N D R U D O L F S K Y O P E N E D T H E S T U DY O F “ P R I M I T I V E A R C H I T E C T U R E S ,” A B O O M O F R E F E R E N T I A L B U I L D I N G S H A D B E G U N . T H E “ Q U O TAT I O N ” O F E A R L I E R I N S TA N C E S O F A R C H I T E C T U R E S T O O D F R O N T A N D C E N T E R I N T H E D E S I G N
not that idea quotation hadn’t existed earlier. Schinkel’s Berlin/Potsdam were heavy with direct quotation or the co-opting of images in projects such as the Gardener’s House. Post-Modern quotations mostly deal with classical architecture, but a large amount tend to deal with domesticity as well – Venturi’s mother’s house and his Trubek-Wislocki Homes in Nantucket for example. The latter reside on a border between the second – OF BUILDINGS –
3 . VA N N A V E N T U R I H O U S E
quotation – and the third – genuine attempt - classification. The Vanna Venturi house is a much more obvious quotation – it makes no stylistic suggestions towards an existing tradition, instead opting to become a billboard of as many quotations as it can, with the inside being a detached essay about domesticity and scale. The Post-Modernists as a whole dwell in quotation but there are instances where lines blur and the quotation becomes a genuine portrayal. Whether we split projects up based on scale of project or not also becomes blurred. The Trubek-Wislocki houses exist within the stylistic limits of Shingle Style, but they also tend towards quotation and exaggeration. 20
V E N T U R I ’ S G A M E S S P R O U T I N G F R O M A S H I N G L E S T Y L E T E M P L AT E A R E T H E E X AC T K I N D O F I N T E L L I G E N T V E R N AC U L A R N E E D E D .
V E N T U R I A D V O C AT E D W O R K I N G W I T H I N T H E G I V E N C O N T E X T. While the Trubek-Wislocki houses need not directly confront existing fabric, they both create a familiar image and are an important addition to architectural discourse. The Trubek-Wislocki homes then fit into the third category - genuine vernacular - Venturi’s attempt at a true vernacular. Venturi was by no means the first to build fabric. Venturi and Scully’s definition of vernacular meets ours on all but one account; they believe that vernacular must be traditional and revivalist but as was proposed earlier, vernacular is fabric.
4 . T R U B E K- W I S LO C K I H O U S E S
The image of said fabric may be any degree of stylized but to be vernacular it must be the material of the city. This then brings us to the third idea of vernacular – conscious attempts at its creation. This category can then be further broken down by whether or not the vernacular being designed is following tradition or not. The former is a category full of examples – most dating from the first suburb boom, with the essentials being listed in Robert A.M. Stern’s “The Anglo-American Suburb.” These projects mostly start as separate neighborhoods – occasionally far from the city, or their own cities – and as such don’t connect to the existing fabric. On the other hand is the Fuggerei Housing project in Augsburg, a public 21
housing intervention. Built in the early 16th century as a gated community within the city, the Fuggerei presents its own modest fabric of homes – each with a distinct individualized doorknob to help tell them apart. Later developments spurred by the poor quality of air after the Industrial Revolution and Victorian philanthropy dotted England, which saw Nash and Shaw getting involved. The crown of these projects is the Hampstead Garden Suburb by Parker and Unwin with the town square by Lutyens. The Hampstead suburb was planned by Parker and Unwin, both influenced by William Morris and Ebenezer Howard, to be a mixed income community with views to the nearby heath. With a matron, Henrietta Barnett, providing the funds Parker and Unwin created a complete community using a familiar style of architecture. THIS PLANNING AND ARCHITECTURAL MASTERWORK FULFILLS ALL R E Q U I R E M E N T S O F I N T E L L I G E N T V E R N AC U L A R –
A C O M M O N I M AG E , A S T Y L I S T I C T E M P L AT E I N W H I C H I N F I N I T E VA R I AT I O N E X I S T S , A N D P R AG M AT I C , SENSITIVE CONSTRUCTION. America is also filled with examples from the same time period – Bruce Price at Tuxedo Park, Addison Mizner at Palm Beach, and Bertram Goodhue at Tyrone. On the other end of the spectrum are new towns or urban insertions by Modernists. T H E S E P R O J E C T S AT T E M P T T O C R E AT E A N E W V E R N AC U L A R W I T H N O R E G A R D F O R
Corbusier’s plans for Le Ville Radieuse are theoretical attempts at a new vernacular and while built projects like Chandigarh and Brasilia don’t create a new fabric themselves, a number of Post-war New Towns venture into a new vernacular. Britain’s Postwar town building gives most of these examples such as Milton-Keynes and Stevenage, while Sweden offers Vallingby and a few others. The quality of the new vernacular varies as it doesn’t have the lengthy tradition to fall on. Byker Wall and its’ nearby buildings in Newcastle provide us with one of the better examples of new vernacular. Designed by Ralph Erskine in the 1970’s, this project provides long apartment blocks and smaller buildings built in a modern style but giving the feel of a village. The complex doesn’t completely break from tradition in planning but in architectural language the project is vastly different. TRADITION.
The work of the New Urbanists make a fine addition to this third category and move us towards a final image of new vernacular. The work of Duany in Seaside, FL and particularly the current construction in Poundbury, Dorchester by Leon Krier show an interest in the architect as fabric maker. 22
T H E W O R K I N P O U N D B U R Y I S T H E E P I TO M E O F N E W V E R N AC U L A R . Here Leon Krier has addressed the issues facing the city today – and with complete control given by Prince Charles. The “urban extension,” as it has been labeled, is attached on to the edge of the existing city. The development – for lack of a better word – D O E S N O T R E B E L AG A I N S T T H E C U R R E N T C I T Y B U T I N S T E A D B U I L D S U P O N I T, C R E AT I N G B O T H B E T T E R A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D P L A N N I N G . The architecture matches the
Georgian tendencies of the nearby homes creating a continuous image between the two. The third relationship shows architects in the genuine creation of vernacular. It shows the recreation and new invention of types of fabric vernacular. It is easier to define the examples that follow a historicist tradition – especially since the addition of a single tradition work fits into the fabric far better than a new style. Compare what the Soane house façade does to a city house by Auguste Perret – both would pick up on the rhythms of the nearby fabric but the Soane fits into the language as well, creating a continuous image. The three relationships between architect and vernacular show that architects are involved in all three stages – beginning, middle, and end. Architects have created the vernacular of entire regions, added to it, and used their buildings as essay on it. Rudolfsky’s original observations show a closed minded idea of what vernacular can be, shown by his initial survey’s refusal on collecting Western examples past the Middle Ages. Whether the designer sticks to the existing image of the city, as Soane, or injects a new, yet sensitive, counterpoint, as Perret or Corbusier at Studio Ozenfant, is their own personal preference. T H E P O I N T H E R E I S TO E X P R E S S T H AT R U D O L F S K Y, I N H I S AT T E M P T TO R E V O LT F R O M T H E I N S T I T U T I O N , G AV E A N I N C O M P L E T E I M AG E O F W H AT V E R N AC U L A R I S . V E R N AC U L A R , W H E T H E R D E S I G N E D BY A N A R C H I T E C T O R N O T, IS CONSCIOUS DESIGN. No building is built independent of thought, and all rely on the tradition of construction. This is by no means a complete survey of true vernacular, just a glimpse into the wealth of 23
architectural projects that Rudolfsky missed. It attempts to widen the understanding of the current vernacular and to express the history of, and opportunity to engage in a widely ignored sector of the built environment. The continuous image is a widely ignored aspect of a successful city. Architects across the world go to study Venice and Prague but only leave with images of monuments like San Giorgio or St Vitus. To truly create a great city we must understand them as a whole. To create a truly artful city the architect must be involved in all aspects â€“ landmark and vernacular.
SOURCES Banham, Reyner. Los Angeles; the Architecture of Four Ecologies. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print. Creese, Walter L. The Search for Environment; the Garden City, before and After. New Haven: Yale U, 1966. Print. Krier, Leon. The Compact City / Galleries / The Compact City / Spring 2010 / The Berlage. 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. Rudofsky, Bernard. Architecture without Architects, an Introduction to Nonpedigreed Architecture. New York: Museum of
Modern Art; Distributed by Doubleday, Garden City, N.Y., 1964. Print.
Scully, Vincent. The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Richardson to the Origins of Wright. Rev. ed. New Haven: Yale UP, 1971. Print. Stern, Robert A. M. The Anglo American Suburb. London: Architectural Design ;, 1981. Print.
I M AG E S O U R C E S 1. Banham, Reyner. Los Angeles; the Architecture of Four Ecologies. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print. 2. Makinson, Randell L. Greene & Greene. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1977. Print. 3. Venturi, Robert, and Rauch Venturi. Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown. Tōkyō: Ē Ando Yū, 1981. Print. 4. Porphyrios, Demetri. Sources of Modern Eclecticism: Studies on Alvar Aalto. London: Academy Editions;, 1982. Print. 25
That even the most mediocre entrepreneur today practices the well-rehearsed revolutionary art of thinking differently, that the fevered polarization of left/right political discourse escalates even while the differences between its discursants becomes indistinguishable…and thus the cargo shorts. Either as a hallucinogenic inversion of our paranoid aversion to a now-extinct middle, or perhaps only a post-net Tralfamadorian’s dispassionate expression of resignation over the exhaustion of the very middle we’ve long been so desperate to avoid, as in: so it goes. The difference is everything and irrelevant. Thus was the climate, and cargo-shorts the catchphrase, through which the trend-forecasting group K-Hole released YOUTHMODE: A Report on Freedom, Normcore’s provisional pop-manifesto, in October 2013 in conjunction with Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 89plus Marathon. 1 Forty pages of perfect parts squishtheory, PowerPoint gradients and new-age informational pamphlet, YOUTHMODE presents itself less as a manual on more-fulfilling ways to dress, than through the ambiguous genre of a trend-forecast, a difficult to manage proto-theoretical medium which is unrelentingly visual even while negating its own aesthetic signifiers. Taken as a polemic rather than an edict on dressing, YOUTHMODE counters mass-culture’s maxing-out of difference through the rejection of difference as an increasingly scarce extrinsic commodity in favor of the intrinsic subjective quality of sameness. YOUTHMODE’s radicalism thus at first appears only to be the oldest radicalism in fashion’s book: TO C L E AV E VA LU E F R O M T H E E C O N O M I C D E M A N D S O F S C A R C I T Y T H R O U G H A T U R N T O WA R D S T H E P U R P O R T E D LY S U S TA I N A B L E S PAC E O F S U B J E C T I V E VA L UAT I O N .
In 1903 Adolf Loos would publicly perform the very same fashionable promise of subjective liberation through a two-run publication, tellingly entitled Das Andere or The Other. In a series of early sketches documenting Loos’ selection of the journal’s intentionally ambiguous title, Loos formulates a constellation of critical concepts including Das Aussere, Das Eigene, Der Same and Das Correcte.2 Loos’ search for an appropriately vague title suggests the obvious conundrum that naming a journal devoted to the intrinsic value of modern subjectivity ipso facto renders it an extrinsic commodity through the simple assignation of the definitive article. The Other should consequently not be read as a title but rather an anti-title, an attempt to undermine the word the by pairing it with an empty signifier in order to carve out a blank space through the the’s negation within which Loos hopes to deposit the uncommodified aesthetic corollaries of dressing correctly in modern times. Importantly, Loos’ selection of an anti-title suggests the degree to which the journal itself is not devoted to fashion, but rather truth itself in the form of anti-fashion.Increasingly in the 20th century, any fashion movement 27
1 . P R O C E S S S K E TC H D E P I C T I N G A D O L F LO O S ’ S T R U G G L E TO S E L E C T A N A P P R O P R I AT E LY VAG U E A N T I -T I T L E F O R H I S A N T I - FA S H I O N J O U R N A L .
must first paradoxically present itself as fashion’s antithesis, a nascent stage of development which elevates its promise of unmediated subjective expression to the status of a provisional truth by construing fashion itself as a form of violence enacted against the delicate subjectivity of the fashion victim in a conceptual gambit for substituting fashion for anti-fashion’s alwaysempty promises of subjective liberation through authentic self-expression.3 I T I S H E R E , O P E R AT I N G D I R E C T LY W I T H I N T H E S U P E R F I C I A L I R R AT I O N A L I T I E S O F T H E FA S H I O N S Y S T E M T H AT N O R M C O R E B E C O M E S G E N U I N E LY I N T E R E S T I N G , N OT T H AT I T S H A L F - H E A R T E D P R O M I S E O F P O S T-AU T H E N T I C L I B E R AT I O N P R O V E S A N Y M O R E D U R A B L E T H A N A C E N T U R Y O F FA L S E P R O M I S E S B E F O R E I T, B U T P R E C I S E LY I N T H E S I M P L E FAC T T H AT I T S FA L S E P R O M I S E S D O N OT P R E C E D E I T S B R A N D ’ S C O M M O D I F I C AT I O N , B U T E X I S T C O N T E M P O R A N E O U S LY TO I T. 28
On February 26th 2014, five months after YOUTHMODE’s public debut at the 89plus Marathon, New York Magazine’s fashion section ran a now-infamous story entitled Normcore: Fashion for Those Who Realize They’re One in 7 Billion. By March 4th, Elle Online ran a piece entitled Why the “Normcore” Phenomenon is a Fraud, by April, Normcore’s self-accelerating performance had appeared in the pages of the Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and countless others. Contingent in Normcore’s spring-time mediatic pandemonium was the general fashion press’ strange paranoia over missing the boat, even while they collectively wondered whether there was a boat to miss in the first place. In an increasingly bizarre succession of headlines including The Truth about Normcore, Normcore: Fashion Movement or Massive In-Joke?, The Real Meaning of Normcore, or perhaps just Normcore is Bullshit, what seemed at stake in this escalating performance was equal parts aesthetics and metaphysics. What is particularly bizarre about this brief moment in the Spring of 2014, in which Normcore’s metaphysical analysis took center stage, not only in E-Flux but in Elle, might be summed up by the simple question: S I N C E W H E N H A S A FA S H I O N M AG A Z I N E B E E N E X P E C T E D TO S O E X P L I C I T LY AC C O U N T F O R A N Y FA S H I O N MOVEMENT’S TRUTH?
Three months before K-Hole released YOUTHMODE in October 2013, a Facebook fan page was established by media artists Mike Grabarek, Chris Cantino and Jeremy Scott devoted to the strategically cryptic subject of Health Goth. T H AT N O B O DY K N E W W H AT H E A LT H G O T H WA S W O U L D P R O V E I R R E L E VA N T. Three months later Health Goth had appeared in the style section of the New York Times, Vice, Esquire, GQ and others, quickly becoming the second most-Googled fashion trend of 2014 behind Normcore itself. 4 Health Goth was an open-source exercise in collective obsolescence. The artists themselves were ambivalent towards its aesthetic appearance, asking participants to, “simply pick and choose which elements they like.”5 By the time the collective experiment extinguished itself in the summer of 2014 it had already proliferated into a chain of Goth health clubs and transmogrified into an explosion of half-serious brand name corollaries in the form of Corporate Goth, Slob Goth, Nature Goth, Truth Goth and etc., each with their own requisite fashion micro-cultures. Four years earlier it was Vaporwave, before that Seapunk and Witchhouse, after that Health Goth and Normcore, shortly followed by Flutedrop, Aquakrunk, Pastelgrunge and Softgrunge ad infinitum. Each of these pre-commoditized post-internet trends prefigures its own aesthetic signifiers, appearing as a ready-made style-product that abandons any pretenses towards truth in an instantly consumable performance of the pure pleasure of exhaustion, collapsing both a 29
canonized conception of fashion proper, and the iconoclastic posturing of anti-fashion into a hyper-fashionable simultaneity. THE ENIGMA OF NORMCORE’S 2014 PUBLIC P E R F O R M A N C E WA S T H AT I T WA S B OT H TO O A E S T H E T I C A L LY A M B I G U O U S TO B E A FA S H I O N O N E F E LT C O M P E L L E D TO B U Y, A N D TO O E X T R I N S I C A L LY S C A R C E TO B E A N A N T I - FA S H I O N O N E F E LT C O M P E L L E D TO B E L I E V E , A N D Y E T I T S E X I S T E N C E I N T H E P U B L I C I M AG I N A R Y WA S I M P O S S I B L E TO D E N Y. These practices are not the obsolescence of design, but rather, design’s radical refinement, reduced to its most fundamental logistic as the pure transportation of content as the engine of the modern fashion system’s eternal return is replaced with the search-engine, accelerating culture, not to escape scarcity through the promise of authenticity, but rather to escape value itself through the repeated recombination of pre-existing search terms into already obsolete truths awaiting only their own eradication. By March 10th, 2014, just six short days after Normcore first appeared in the mainstream fashion press, Vogue magazine was already running with the piece, What Comes After Normcore? It is here that one might be easily tempted to conclude such a position on design by replacing thus the cargo shorts with thus utopia. We might here recall that in any depiction of utopia, from the Garden of Eden to Thomas More, fashion, as a system for assigning value to designed objects, is distinctly absent. I F FA S H I O N H A S T R A D I T I O N A L LY B E E N U N D E R S TO O D A S A N T I - U T O P I A N , G I V E N I T S P E R P E T UA L I D E A L I Z AT I O N O F T H E N E X T A N D I T S G E N E R A L AV E R S I O N TO A N Y F O R M O F S TA B I L I T Y, P O S T- I N T E R N E T FA S H I O N F I N D S A P E R V E R S E F O R M O F P E R M A N E N C E I N T H E AC C E L E R AT I O N
Time stops at the speed of light (or so I’ve been told). But such a conclusion might be altogether too liberating and too productive, such productive forms of liberation being too status quo for a hyper-fashion gambit such as this. Instead, it might make more sense to replace thus the cargo shorts simply with thus nihilism. As if there was no longer any hope that an aesthetic might someday extricate itself from the irrational tyrannies of fashion, and was instead left only to forever design its own perpetual demise. But this argument fits far too comfortably within fashion’s status quo, for which a constant recourse to the tyranny of fashion itself is merely a repeated ploy for fashion’s perpetual regeneration. At stake in both inadequate conclusions
O F FA S H I O N ’ S P R O C E S S E S O F P R O D U C T I O N A N D O B S O L E S C E N C E .
however is the observation that these types of particularly unmanageable post-internet practices render time itself an impossibly scarce commodity, whether in foreclosing the infinitude required by design to consolidate its own interior transcendental myths, or in the infinite contraction of time as the instantaneous reenactment of fashion’s boom and bust economy. P E R H A P S I N T H E E N D, H Y P E R - FA S H I O N O F F E R S D E S I G N E D O B J E C T S O N LY A F O R M O F U S E L E S S N E S S P OT E N T E N O U G H TO S U R V I V E S U C H P U R P O R T E D LY A P O C A LY P T I C E N D T I M E S .
Then again, perhaps not, but so it goes.
N OT E S K-HOLE is a trend forecasting group based in New York. It was founded by Greg Fong, Sean Monahan, Chris
Sherron, Emily Segal and Dena Yago. Mahall, Mona and Serbest, Asli. How Architecture Learned to Speculate. Stuttgart: Gerd de Bruyn. 2009. Print.
Svendsen, Lars. Fashion: A Philosophy. London: Reaktion Books Ltd. 2006. Print.
Google: A Year in Search. (2014): Web. 06 Sept. 2015. http://www.google.com/trends/2014/
“What Health Goth Actually Means.” Fader. (2015): Web. 06 Sept. 2015. http://www.thefader.com/2015/02/16/
The grand tour of architectural wonders has been a right of passage to many students of the discipline - walking the streets of Rome, London, Paris, Berlin, or New York and experiencing the urban fabric and experiencing this journey through architecture. Viewing design and the multitude of scaled effects has become integral moments in one’s education. However, these places have been carved and crafted from a collective of great architects that perspire for better architecture and the effects those buildings have on cities. Architects such as Otto Wagner with the Vienna secession. Wagner is just one singular small example of an architect with a larger agenda to design in one space, one town, or in one platz, and by doing so reestablish a city’s manifestation. I worry and wonder if that motivation and influence is being lost. A R C H I T E C T S O F P O W E R TO DAY S P R E A D T H E I R W O R K FA R A N D W I D E . W I T H M U C H O F T H E W O R K S P R E A D I N G TO C H I N A , A N D OT H E R C O U N T R I E S GOING THROUGH AN ECONOMIC BOOM, THERE IS L I T T L E TO N O C O M M I T M E N T TO “ F I N I S H T H E J O B ” I N O N E G E O G R A P H I C A L LO C AT I O N . Architectural commissions are being viewed as pieces of art rather than essential infrastructure that gives to the community. A R C H I T E C T U R E I S LO S I N G I T S SIGNIFICANCE IN THE REALM WHERE IT HOLDS THE MOST SIGNIFICANCE -
Architecture is going through a consumerist phase with little regard to the collateral damage acquired along the way. And the S TA R C H I T E C T S in power are at the forefront of this colonization responsible for killing the soul of cities. PROVIDING FOR THE PUBLIC.
1. GALAXY SOHO 33
I B E L I E V E T H E R E I S A Q U E S T I O N O F E T H I C S AT P L AY W I T H R E G A R D T O
I doubt Zaha Hadid questions the ethical ramifications of her curvy blob buildings. Nor does Holl with his ying yang building. Nor does Koolhaas with his stacked bars. Interesting that all of these projects are being designed for China. China has gone through a serious clean up of its culture, architecture, and identity. Due to the cultural revolution of 1966, historical landmarks are few and far between with little interest in restoration or preservation. This blank slate of a country could become something new, a new type of uniformity that the world has never seen. However, the actual realization is far from the potential. Urban sprawl without identity runs rampant, and the G LO B A L I Z E D A R C H I T E C T U R E .
2 . T I A N J I N E C O LO G Y A N D P L A N N I N G M U S E U M S
starchitect’s responsibilities to the culture in question are ignored. Architecture today is viewed as an object with no surroundings, with little to no interest in a larger conversation with not just the surrounding context but rather the world around. The buildings become one trick ponies with no foreseeable desire of a sustainable involvement. Where is the ethical “jiminy cricket” to nudge architects into doing what is best for the people? A R C H I T E C T U R E F O R A R C H I T E C T U R E ’ S S A K E I S S E T T I N G U P T H E D O M I N O E S T O FA L L , A N D T O
I would love to see what would happen if any starchitects were to specifically design for one town. Work hard on the surrounding content, provide an architecture that blends in and stands out at the same time, set up arguments to be addressed later by others, and do more than add to the resume of “places I have worked”. I predict a new Pruitt Igoe is on the rise - an architectural bubble ready to pop. FA L L H A R D .
J U S T A S T H E B A BY B O O M E R S LO O K TO T H E M I L L E N N I A L S TO F I X T H E P R O B L E M S T H E Y C R E AT E D, T H E C U R R E N T G E N E R AT I O N O F A R C H I T E C T S W I L L T U R N TO F U T U R E A R C H I T E C T S A N D D E M A N D P R O B L E M - S O LV I N G . This globalization of architecture is preventing other discussions from occurring, and when did this start to happen? When did architects start making their projects LO N E O B J E C T S ?
3 . T H E I N T E R L AC E
The best (and sometimes the most arrogant) have worked in tight spaces with less than perfect circumstances. Le Corbusierâ€™s Salvation Army is on a terrible sight, but leave the master to his work and brilliance results. Working in Venice, Scarpa still adheres to the game that the city and its canals sets up. Otto Wagner shines so greatly that his way becomes the norm, but in the scope of the city. He plays the game and adds new rules while mis-reading a few. There is a richness to this ethos of design - timelessness that transcends style, or historical periods. Materials and technology will come and go, but how design interacts with the surrounding vernacular is all that we have to contribute to. But does anyone else see this? Am I alone in this thinking? Or are we all just gorging ourselves on the next image coming out of ArchDaily and Architectural Record. Is that the 35
new movement sweeping the practice, “Be the next big thing!” Or is the issue too big? Does it have too much momentum, or is there a lack of community in today’s que of Architects and students of Architecture? W H E R E D I D T H E A R C H I T E C T U R E G O ? Who else has looked at the work of today and thought, “This isn’t good enough.” I may not be at the level of skill to do better, but I know what I’m seeing isn’t going anywhere. I feel there is too much architectural N O I S E in the air, and no one can listen to the potential S Y M P H O N Y playing in the background. I compare much of what architecture does to music, but this is not straight apples to apples. There is a certain soul or groove to each city. They have their own style, their own swagger. Architects play in the groove to improve and enhance the public (or private) world. There is an audience listening to our part in this global jam session, and we will echo beyond our garage band studios. W E N E E D TO L I S T E N TO T H E A R C H I T E C T U R E C U R R E N T LY AT P L AY, A N D L I S T E N F O R O U R PA R T. I F E V E R YO N E I S T R Y I N G TO H AV E A S O LO AT T H E S A M E T I M E , T H E N YO U J U S T H AV E ARCHITECTURAL NOISE. And you need to stick to an area, or audience, that will benefit from your skill. And we all have skill, but we should never settle for where we currently stand. We need to push ourselves, critique ourselves, and question those who critique us. I question the path those who came before me have laid, and where that path leads. I see social, environmental, and economical problems and wonder if architecture could be a solution. Not thee solution, but one that could contribute. The modern movement made promises. Promises that architecture could, and would, save the world. I doubt that these promises were made with naivety, but with an ideal that could do some good for the world. I Q U E S T I O N T H E E S TA B L I S H E D Q U O .
L E C O R B U S I E R S TAT E D I N T H R E E S I M P L E W O R D S ,
“A R C H I T E C T U R E O R R E V O LU T I O N .” I D O N O T F E E L T H AT W E H AV E T H E T I M E TO CHOOSE SIDES ANYMORE.
With looming threats such as global warming and other avalanches rolling down the hill. I feel the time to discuss and evaluate is over. I wish to revise and reuse this statement, “Revolution 36
with Architecture.” Let’s buckle down, roll up our sleeves, claim an area, and work hard on making it great. A place where the groove and swagger is felt on the streets, knowing that you put it there. A stop to globalizing one’s fingerprint into every city, but make a city one’s own.
3 . P R U I T T- I G O E
I M AG E S O U R C E S 1. DB, Jayme. "Zaha Hadid: Galaxy SOHO (chaoyangmen SOHO) Now under Construction." Designboom. N.p.,
23 May 2011. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
2. Hudson, Danny. "Steven Holl: Tianjin Ecocity Ecology and Planning Museums." Designboom. N.p., 16 Jan. 2013.
Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
3. Inside Different Geographies. "The Interlace: Singapore's New Postcard." Inside Different Geographies.
CapitaLand, Aug. 2010. Web. 12 Dec. 2015.
4. Volner, Ian. "New Documentary 'The Pruitt-Igoe Myth' Tells of the Rise and Fall of America's Most Infamous
Housing Project." New Documentary 'The Pruitt-Igoe Myth' Tells of the Rise and Fall of America's
Most Infamous Housing Project. N.p., 04 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. 37
They could go up. A grand connection to space. A tower dissected by vapor creating an invisible counterpart to those on opposing sides. It is an escape from the world. A lost idea of an earthly presence. One that moves those above the vapor barrier to question the benefit of returning to the world below. There are new perspectives. There are new challenges. The sun hits the new ground differently here. Brighter, more colorfully. Some return to their homes. Some stay. And after time, none return to their homes. All of those above the vapor barrier forget what used to be and again it is too crowded to move.
They could go out. An expansion of a new world. A bar of possibilities sequestered by new territories belonging to a new type of world; a new type of Western Expansion. An exploration of what seems like infinite space. Children are born. They grow up to wave at each other, and question those waving back to the blue mass that spins below. There is no life on other planets. They do not all look alike - the new inhabitants and the new territories. Currency is adopted and power is established. Greed is a product that pushes further expansion. The new inhabitants think of the blue mass less often now. Some live too far to know itâ€™s there. Some hear stories. Some create stories. There is new food and new music. New religion. The stories change. Territories fight. Territories separate until they find that they have finally connected at the other side. Until they have gone around as far as possible.
So they stay above the blue mass. Hierarchy rules in certain territories. Others adopt a socialist system. Some are happy. Some are sad. There are things above the vapor barrier that those below want. There are things below the vapor barrier that those above need. Talks between bring up questions of who is who. They trade wants for needs. Politeness turns to animosity. Supply and demand cannot keep up. There are threats of destruction to the opposition. Immigration occurs. Policies are adopted. Some are happy. Some are sad. Illegal actions increase. Deaths occur. But new life continues to flourish. Children still wave to each other and still never back to the blue mass below. It is almost the end of the sun. But a new atmosphere is here. Anchors to the old world are destroyed. The new inhabitants watch the solar system burn out from a far enough distance. Soon it is too crowded to move.
Throughout the fourteenth century, the first waves of Spanish colonialists traveled to present day Mexico and the Southwestern United States and established New Spain. Conquistadors brought friars and friars brought religious campaigns and religious architecture.1 Missions were constructed in New Spain until their secularization by the Mexican government in the 19th century. Bits of native architecture survive the colonists’ destruction and mix with imported Spanish architecture, forming the Mexican vernacular that was encountered by Americans moving to Southern California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Anglos moving to the Southwest encountered styles associated with ranchos, domestic adobes, and religious missions. C A L I F O R N I A N A R C H I T E C T U R E H Y P E R B O L I C A L LY U S U R P E D T H I S V E R N AC U L A R , A P P R O P R I AT I N G A N E X I S T I N G V E R N AC U L A R A N D C O N V E R T I N G I T I N T O A N I M AG E O F FA N TA S Y, PA R A D I S E , A N D S TAT U S .
physical landscape was laid hold of to create an imaginary landscape.
1 . T H E M I S S I O N P L AY
This romanticized landscape was created as the result of several influences aside from California’s ideal, just-add-water tropical climate. In 1912, John McGroarty produced a play entitled “The Mission Play”, which told the “history” of Southern California through the founding of the California missions and was popular for several decades. 47
The play presents the faith and diligence of the founder of the California missions, Junipero Serra, as he faces California’s brutal wilderness and founds a successful, fruitful mission—a small paradise shown in renderings of San Juan Capistrano. Serra is depicted as a patronizing father figure to the indigenous people, who have been saved by Christianity. I N T H E L A S T AC T O F T H E P L AY, W H E N T H E M I S S I O N S A R E S E C U L A R I Z E D , T H E C H A R AC T E R S L A M E N T T H E LO S S O F T H E M I S S I O N B U I L D I N G S A N D P R A I S I N G T H E P O S S I B I L I T Y O F T H E A M E R I C A N S “ W H O A R E S O G R E AT A N D S T R O N G ” R E S TO R I N G T H E M I S S I O N S :
“ W H E N T H E A M E R I C A N S A R E B U I L D I N G T H E I R G R E AT CITIES, AND THEIR TIRELESS HANDS ARE MAKING C A L I F O R N I A A W O N D E R O F T H E W O R L D, S O W I L L T H E Y T H I N K O F T H E S E H O LY P L AC E S W H E R E T H E PA D R E S TO I L E D A N D B U I L D E D TO O.” 3
2 . M I S S I O N S A N J UA N C A P I S T R A N O
3 . PA S A D E N A S H O P P I N G C E N T E R
Through this play, Californians were essentially giving themselves not just permission, but a duty to carry on the mission vernacular as their own. The truthful history of the missions, and the mission-style and its relationship to Mexican vernacular is covered with a fantasy that is propagated in California’s “fetishizing” architecture.4 H I S TO R Y I S , I N A S E N S E , R E W R I T T E N T O B E C O M E D I G E S T I B L E A N D TO G I V E A M E R I C A N S O W N E R S H I P O V E R I T.
Cook and Skinner discuss California’s sense of ownership over Mission and 48
Spanish Colonial style vernacular, mentioning Santa Barbara’s preference for describing their development projects as “ C A L I F O R N I A A R C H I T E C T U R E ”, not “ S PA N I S H A R C H I T E C T U R E ”, and praising California’s charming renaissance of the adobe style and how it recalls a historical and pastoral America.5 Focusing on the ways that California changed the vernacular plays a part in erasing the vernacular’s history. The fantasy associated with Spanish Revival architecture and Mexican culture was also solidified in 1894 through the founding of La Fiesta de Los Angeles, which the LA Times and the Jewish Museum of the American West describe as a celebration of the city’s history and multiculturalism. The festival displayed Southern California’s history as an exciting image through parades, dances, etc. E V E N TO DAY, T H E C U LT U R A L E X P LO I TAT I O N AND CENSORSHIP INHERENT IN THESE EVENTS IS DESCRIBED UNDER THE E U P H E M I S M O F “ M U LT I C U LT U R A L I S M ”.
4. MISSION INN
Both The Mission Play and La Fiesta de Los Angeles “connected with a narrow regional perception of that past.”6 In “City of Quartz”, Davis discusses some of Los Angeles original image-makers, including Charles Lummis. The creation of the fantasy image, which made Los Angeles marketable, included dissecting Southern California’s racial history, and tossing out bits about racial49
hate crimes and mission forced labor systems. “ T H E
M I S S I O N S A R E , N E X T TO
O U R C L I M AT E A N D I T S C O N S E Q U E N C E S , T H E B E S T C A P I TA L S O U T H E R N
Los Angeles became the biggest city in the West almost overnight due to its real-estate capitalism. The city has always been for sale, and products for sale must be advertised. The “mission myth”, with its architectural representation, was a huge part of this sales pitch to the Midwest.8 C A L I F O R N I A H A S .”
I T I S O N E T H I N G TO S T E A L A V E R N AC U L A R ; C O P Y I N G M U S T H AV E A LWAY S B E E N A N AT U R A L PA R T O F C U LT U R A L E V O LU T I O N , B U T I T I S A N OT H E R T H I N G TO C O V E R U P T H E A B U S E O F A P O P U L AT I O N O N LY TO M A R K E T A N D S E L L T H E I M AG E O F T H AT A B U S E .
5. MISSION INN
The exotic image of Spanish colonial vernacular began in advertisements to promote Californian produce and travel. Advertisements throughout the 19th and into the mid 20th century displayed ranchos and missions nestled in paradise, exporting an image along with agriculture. The built environment reflected these fantasies through luxury homes, hotels and resorts, and shopping malls. These buildings were meant to evoke a sense of an exotic new world.9 Somehow this Spanish Colonial Revival vernacular exoticised its own 50
location, creating a hyper-representation of place. Southern California existed as an elevated representation of its own time, place, and history. Maybury designed shopping malls in cities like Pasadena create small worlds in interior courtyards (Cook, Skinner 12). The quality of the space is exotic and transports customers into a city fabric that is very unlike Southern California. This romantic image embedded itself in Hollywood and the luxurious lifestyles of everyone involved: “Americans across the continent eagerly purusing pictures of the “Spanish-style” homes lived in by the likes of many…top celebrities.”10 Missions were dramatically represented in hotels and resorts such as the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Furnace Creek Inn, and the Riverside Mission Inn. Built to look ancient, as if rediscovered fantastical worlds, the resorts infuse Mission Style with theatrical Baroque elements such as Churrigueresque decoration and domed steeples, which elevate them to
6 . PA S A D E N A S H O P P I N G C E N T E R
status of Spanish Colonial cathedrals and grand civic buildings, the likes of which are seen in Mexico City. E V E R Y T H I N G I S PA R T O F T H E I M AG E , S O E V E R Y T H I N G I S G R A N D. S T Y L I S T I C G R A N D E U R WA S U N I V E R S A L I N H O U S E S , S H O P S , H OT E L S , A N D C H U R C H E S , C R E AT I N G A L A N D S C A P E O F FA N TA S Y AC R O S S LO S A N G E L E S . 51
â€œ M O S T S T Y L E S I N LO S A N G E L E S H AV E B E E N I M P O R T E D, E X P LO I T E D, A N D R U I N E D W I T H L I V I N G M E M O R Y.â€? 1 1 Californian architecture is not just a copy of Spanish Colonial. Revival is an essential descriptor of the transformation of a style to its symbolic representation, but California
7. O R A N G E C R AT E A R T
vernacular is even more than a representation, as it has infused its image with a truly Californian sense of status and fantasy. California living, established in the decades following the industrial revolution, offered elevated experiences of health, sunshine, and nature. This step above normality ties into the building block of Californiaâ€™s exoticism. This cheapens and whitewashes the architecture and lived experiences of an oppressed people.
California has developed a permanent image of luxurious paradise, and even contemporary architecture that appears unrelated to California’s history of Spanish Colonial Revival is still apart of the legacy created by this invented fantastical vernacular. C A L I F O R N I A R E M A I N S A H U B O F I N N O VAT I O N A N D I M AG I N AT I O N , W H I C H H A S G E N E R AT E D I M P O R TA N T WORKS OF ARCHITECTURE AND NEW FORMS OF C A L I F O R N I A N V E R N AC U L A R , B U T T H E C R E AT I O N O F C A L I F O R N I A’ S O R I G I N A L S E X Y I M AG E WA S N ’ T R E A L LY A L L T H AT I N N O VAT I V E , I M AG I N AT I V E O R S E X Y.
N OT E S Early, James. The Colonial Architecture of Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1994. Print. pg.11
Deverell, William Francis. Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican past.
Berkeley: University of California, 2004. Print. pg. 251 Van Dyke, Henry. “John Steven McGroarty: THE MISSION PLAY.” John Steven McGroarty: THE MISSION
PLAY. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2015. Deverell, William Francis. Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican past.
Berkeley: University of California, 2004. Print. pg. 251 ibid. pg. 5-6
ibid. pd. 241
Davis, Mike. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. London: Verso, 1990. Print. pg. 24
ibid. pg. 25-26
Cook, S. F., and Tina Skinner. Spanish Revival Architecture. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2005. Print. pg. 12
ibid. pg. 4
Banham, Reyner. Los Angeles; the Architecture of Four Ecologies. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print. pg. 21
8 . O R A N G E C R AT E A R T
T H E Q U E S T I O N I S - H O W S T R I N G E N T LY S H O U L D W E H O L D AG A I N S T C A L I F O R N I A N V E R N AC U L A R I T S R O OT S I N C U LT U R A L A P P R O P R I AT I O N ? D O FA N TA S Y, S TAT U S , A N D I M AG E C H E A P E N A V E R N AC U L A R ? D O T H E S E Q UA L I T I E S , W H I C H R E S U LT F R O M H I JAC K I N G A N E X I S T I N G V E R N AC U L A R M A K E T H E N E W V E R N AC U L A R L E S S AU T H E N T I C ? O R I S T H I S H I JAC K I N G A N O R M I N C U LT U R A L E V O LU T I O N , W H I C H O N LY B E C O M E S S O A P PA R E N T W I T H I N T H E SCOPE OF CALIFORNIAN ROMANTICISM AND THE R E G I O N S R E L AT I V E LY R E C E N T H I S TO R Y ?
I M AG E S O U R C E S 1. Cook, S. F., and Tina Skinner. Spanish Revival Architecture. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2005. Print. 2. Buss, Tim. Mission San Juan Capistrano. 2012. Flickr. Web. 18 Dec. 2015. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/timbuss/8214857339>. 3. ibid. 4. Don Graham. Mission Inn Lights.Flickr. 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. 5. JodyC. “1908: 7th Street Arches, Mission Inn, Riverside, CA.” Chandler Museum Archives. N.p., n.d. Web.
08 Dec. 2015.
6. Cook, S. F., and Tina Skinner. Spanish Revival Architecture. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2005. Print. 7. Korner, Matt. “Chapman’s Old Mission Brand.” Flickr. 10 Jan. 2008. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. 8.”Kaweah River Belle.” Antique Label Company. 2003. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. 55
There are areas of this country that have a clear view of the horizon. Dotted along that horizon are points of visual interruption that take the form of basic geometric structures. Farms with their variety of structures along with the arrangement of these structures in space create unique compositions of shape and volume. These forms, these shapes, though often imbued with a certain tinge of temporality and nostalgia, can offer information about a multitude of subjects that are not limited to but include land and material use, climate, geography, ethnography and even gender. ARCHETYPES OF RURAL AMERICAN A R C H I T E C T U R E M AY H O L D D E E P I N S I G H T S I N TO T H E C U LT U R A L L A N D S C A P E O F T H E PA S T, P R E S E N T, A N D F U T U R E . 58
These points along the horizon can become meditations on what the ”landscape” may contain, what of the landscape is contained in them, and expand our definitions of the term. With the piece “Layered Fronts”, and the work related to it, my aim is less about representation as it is about extracting primary material and visual details of vernacular rural architecture, and compiling them in a way in which the information offered is combined, compared and reexamined. Here the investigation into material and form, along with the method of cataloguing, has lead to visual/spacial abstraction of cumulative experience that may offer unanticipated conclusions. Cedar, latex paint, copper embossed and kiln fired float glass 12”w x 12”h x 8”d 2015 59
I am cold and I am confusing. from the start small step slaps bounce back burrow in brains an
echo echo voice echo sun echo
concrete clean cut cold
silk sun crawls in crevices, prisms splinter pigment on pillow print stone sit here watchâ€” pyramid people watch pedestrian paths watch spy students sitting, steal looks over laptops who know in and out look up and down never let steps scale stairs. 61
“Newness, and its superficial quality of well-being, is a very perishable commodity.”1
Jane Jacobs asserts many things, but T H I S - this is it. The instability of new is an inescapable conundrum. This is the philosophy that is driving the technological anxiety of teenagers, car insurance companies - any insurance company really, the ladies and gents that work at the reurn desk at local retailers, people who buy used books on Amazon, people who sell used books on Amazon, women who park in parking spots designated for “New Mothers Only,” the foolhardy underground technicians who feel that NEW and REFURBISHED are synonomous... The list goes on. I am 23 years old. There are a lot of facets (and responsibilities) that go along with being 23 years old in 2015. I still get to enjoy the title of “young adult,” I pay my own bills, have been so eloquently tagged with “Millennial” and “Generation Y,” and have grown up with and without technology. I check the news every day on my iPhone, read the New Yorker when I have an extra minute, and try my hardest to find gems amongst the excess at second-hand and thrift stores. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and I recently saw a completely renovated 4300 square-foot historic home go on the market for $190,000 - a whopping $43 per square foot. I want to teach. I want to write. I want to read. Somewhere in there, I want to be an architect, too, I suppose. Like I said, I’m from Youngstown, so one can surely imagine the origins of the argument I am about to make. 64
When I say “architecture” to my dad, he understands it as a noun, as a verb, and as an adjective. The old mills become architecture, the lead-in windows on Fifth Avenue, the incredibly oversized text that labels Youngstown State’s new business school… There are no boundaries as to what can be categorized as “architecture.” If there is any attempt whatsoever to make an aesthetic gesture or ornament a façade, it becomes “architectural.” Now, this is a problem. I’ve been learning what architecture “IS” for almost five consecutive years, and everything that my dad finds to be architecture, I have been taught to believe otherwise, to question, to categorize, to define.. “That is not architecture; that is O R N A M E N T .” “That is not architecture; that is the G L A Z I N G S Y S T E M .” These things are C O M P O N E N T S . They are the pawns that architects manage on a board offering an exponential number of combinations, FOREGO the formal kings and queens of the game!!
For about the past year I have really struggled with mitigating my dad’s suburban recognition of architecture and the academic definitions I have been sipping like a hot soup in a snow storm. It is NOT troubling to know that there are multiple understandings of “architecture,” that is expected, BUT it is troubling for me that many of the examples my parents understand to be architectural are just old buildings…buildings from a time when quality came before quantity, facilities became architecturally significant in the creation and evolution of the factory typology in industrial production…buildings that are vacant and just sitting empty because they’re no longer needed. They’re SCARS…reminders to those who drive through of the jobs their grandparents and even parents once held, the importance their city once had in the economic chain… ... their presence stagnant in a time LO N G 65
We have too much shit. We buy too much shit. We make too much shit.
Every Sunday, Four Seasons flea market opens in Warren, Ohio at 8:00. There is one large building for indoor vendors, plus thousands of spots for vendors outside during peak summer months. When every spot is full, my family parks across the street and wanders over to peruse what each of those thousand + vendors are selling. Lamps, spray paint, children’s clothing, socks “PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA,” used work jumpsuits that have Carl’s name still sewn on the chest, broken washing machines, DVD’s, VHS’s, dogs, cats, new makeup, old makeup, groceries, fresh fruits, worn shoes, old coins, broken records, obsolete T H I N G S , cell phone cases, NOKIA cell phones to go in those cases, crystal giftware, roses by the bundle, creased books that smell like cigarettes, home-ground coffee, iron feet without a bathtub, ripped jeans, old instruments…. B U T N O B O DY N E E D S A N Y O F I T. It is being S O L D , subsequently B O U G H T , to be S O L D again at the next spring’s garage sale, and there is someone who will, without fail, B U Y it again. I make an effort to read the news every day. I collect stories on my iPhone from a pool of media outlets I have selected. I read politics, sports, gossip, academic news, local news, medical news, the Sunday comics, retail magazines, I try to keep up with “architecture” – whatever the hell that means..point being, I’m not biased when it comes to consuming NEWS or MEDIA. 68
So much shit happens every day that it is actually impossible to keep up. Thousands of newspapers are printed every day, each full of DIFFERENT SHIT – variations of national news headlines, some similar bits on regional news, and pages of local news and new pasta recipes that get skimmed at BEST and never make it to the stove top. My parents paid for a printed newspaper up until the beginning of 2015. For at least the length of my 23 year-long life, a Youngstown Vindicator sat in a bright orange mailbox waiting for my mom or dad to pick it up with the mail every single day after work. A billing mistake led my parents to cancel their subscription, and life hasn’t really changed. Out of all that a daily newspaper offers, my dad misses doing the crossword the most. 8 , 3 9 5 N E W S PA P E R S
L AT E R , A N D M Y DA D M I S S E S T H E DA M N C R O S S W O R D.
As a DIGITAL media consumer, my perception of news is much different than that of my parents’. Their awareness and cares usually end at the 8:00 news and the front pages of each section. I, on the other hand, have a feed of news stories that I can update by the MINUTE, organize by TYPE, and filter by COUNTRY. I have a flea market in my hand every time I sit to read the news. All thousand + spots are vying for me to buy in. It’s all just a bunch of lateral moves... I refresh and get something “new” that includes a 2-line update on a story from 6 hours before. BUYING, SELLING, BUYING, SELLING….
Nothing is new. And what is “NEW,” becomes USED the very second the idea of it is conceived. 69
We H AV E
too much shit. We BUY
too much shit. We MAKE
too much shit.
G o d DA M N i t .
how d id
There is so much STUFF in the world that has just accumulated. Newspapers, jars, old S O C K S , old H O U S E S , ripped jeans, crystal giftware, old cars, used tires, iPhone 3’s, pencils, battery cartridges, broken watches, watches that still work... There is JUST too much. We need to stop producing and start reusing, and this is NOT an attestation to the green, eco-friendly, LEED-thumping, climate-change authoritarians who parade the images of polar bears standing on their square-foot blocks of ice that continue to melt as we LOOK at the images. Don’t misunderstand – there is merit in that work, but at the moment I am not ATTESTING to their ARGUMENTS FOR CHANGE. Mine is simply an OBSERVATION. Look around YOU. Look at all YOUR S T U F F . I’m not arguing that we need to abandon ownership, but rather I am arguing that we abandon ACCUMULATION. I feel like I am drowning in a concoction of McDonald’s toys from 1994, plastic bottles and used pens and their chewed caps. It is absolutely DEBILITATING. As a part of the profession that I have chosen to pursue - “architecture” - it is absolutely painstaking to watch the piles grow. P I L E S of drawings, models, materials, D U M P S T E R S FULL of couches, coffee cups, failed concrete pours, 1/2 used concrete bags, broken desk chairs.... We are so heartily CONTRIBUTING to the EVER-GROWING piles of shit we ~ as in humans ~MAKE and OWN. 74
As an aspiring architect, it is very difficult for me to swallow the pill containing my contribution to the P I L E S . So, I propose that we stop making new. I propose that, in the age of digital news and media, MY (as in me literally but more importantly, my CONTEMPORARIES’) consumption is leading to an epidemic of S U P E R F I C I A L I T Y A N D D I S P O S A B I L I T Y, A N D TO A N I N S U F F E R A B L E N E E D F O R N E W N E S S . Who hasn’t experienced it – Google ANYTHING for the minute it is needed, forget it a minute later to make room for whatever story has ballooned to the top of the feed...KEURIG cups.....Dear god this and every other PERIODIC is built on the foundation of continuous revision!
What is new in this issue? It is an EPIDEMIC. I’m exhausted.
I N T H E AG E O F S U P E R F I C I A L I T Y A N D I N S TA N TA N E I T Y W E D E S P E R AT E LY N E E D TO
C O L L E C T A N D M A N AG E R AT H E R T H A N
C R E AT E A N D A D D. At this point the reader may be wondering what all of this shit has to do with “VERNACULAR”... I do not blame them. To this point, all I can manage to argue is that we need to stop and look around. To look at each and every city, each and every town, and respect the location, the climate, the history, the existing buildings, quaintness, quirkiness, and disposition before adding to a continuously growing number of vacant and dilapidated buildings for the N E U R OT I C desire to have new.
N OT E S 1
Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage, 1992. Print. pg. 193 75
AU T H O R ’ S N O T E S
Bobby Hintz Bobby Hintz strongly believes that funk music is back on the rise. Some of Bobby’s other thoughts include: "Where did the architecture go?" "I didnt order this....." In Bobby's free time, he enjoys impersonating faculty members - inquire in person. Katie Lau Katie is finishing her fourth year at the Knowlton School. She has started wearing less and going out more. Sean Merchant Sean R. Merchant was born and raised in Northwestern Illinois, and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Illinois State University with an emphasis in painting. From 2007-2014, Merchant was the lead artist for one of Illinois’s foremost architectural art glass firms. Sean is currently a candidate for Master of Fine Art (‘17), with an emphasis in glass, at The Ohio State University. 76
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller is a fourth year architecture student who thinks writing about himself is very hard. Jake Pfahl Jake Pfahl is a third year architecture currently studying at the Ohio State University. He spends most of his free time on Buzzfeed quizzes. He spends the rest of his free time telling people which fake person Buzzfeed thinks he is. Curtis Roth Curtis Roth is an Assistant Professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture and a resident fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. He investigates architectureâ€™s processes of valuation post-internet through media productions including movies, video games, texts and irl stuff. Claire Ronan Claire Ronan is a fourth year in the architecture program at the Knowlton School. After all the hours she has spent in Knowlton Hall, it will never cease to amaze her how this one building can still teach so much. (Itâ€™s a shame many students never climb higher than the second floor.) Jessica Sprankle Jessica Sprankle is a second year Architecture graduate student at the Knowlton School. She appreciates patina and laughter, and this issue shows the 5th cover she has designed for One:Twelve. 77
CALL FOR ENTRIES
If you would like to submit your work to be included in a future publication of One:Twelve, send it our way! firstname.lastname@example.org
AC K N O W L E D G E M E N T S One:Twelve would like to thank The Knowlton School and its Director, Michael Cadwell, for their enthusiasm and steadfast support of this publication. Special thanks to Curtis Roth and Rob Livesey who have shown a special care for the journal and who without, this would have been impossible. Thanks to the students, faculty, alumni, and friends, who helped bring this issue together in a surprisingly short amount of time. Without your passion we would not be able to maintain our mission: T O P R O V I D E A V E N U E F O R S T U D E N T S TO E N G AG E I N I N D E P E N D E N T C R I T I C A L D I S C O U R S E A N D TO B R I N G TO G E T H E R T H E C O L L E C T I V E V O I C E S O F T H E K N O W LTO N C O M M U N I T Y.
We hope you enjoy our production.
THE ISSUE IMAG E
I M AG E C O U R T E S Y O F S T E P H E N T U R K
LISA TILDER T H A N K YO U
for your dedication and devotion to your students, your quirkiness and friendship, for your laughter, joy, and willingness to chat at any hour, and for loving teaching as much as you loved cats.