26 January 2009

Back to School


Today the spring semester began. Here I am , back to school, and right back in the fray.

Pictured above is the Vanna Venturi house, designed by architect Robert Venturi for his mother in 1962. If you don't know Venturi, check hin out. He wrote a lot about the dichotomy of "complexity and contradiction". If you don't know what that means, think of a proud old Italian mom sitting in the doorway of her house, which just happens to be a masterpice of post-modernism.


Come next Monday, for my studio course, I am expected to have replicated, by hand, an entire set of scale drawings of this house. Good thing I bought a paraline ruler for my birthday.Here we go....!

I'm also taking a course in the history of modern architecture. Tonight, in her first lecture, the teacher made an extremely compelling argument for why 1750 was the beginning of modernism. Take my word for it, a compelling argument. This also promises to be a good class.

Oh yeah, I wore a pink oxford button down, grey flannel slacks, navy blazer and repp striped bow tie, finished with a paisley pocket square, black watch cap, tan cashmere coat and brown suede shoes. Quite stunning. Unfortunately, the batteries were dead in the camera, so you'll just have to imagine it.

Once upon a time, bow ties were actually an "architect-y" thing to wear: Le CorbusierMarcel BreuerFrank Lloyd WrightLouis Kahn
They teach us so much about these guys at my school, but no one ever mentions that they were all men of style. A slob in shorts with a three day beard could not have created what these men created. (smallest violin...)
I go into the subject someday when I have the gumption.

5 comments:

Matt said...

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Anonymous said...

Professors too were once men of style, whose manner of dressing reflected a reverence for tradition.

Anonymous said...

Apart from Venturi's use, "complexity and contradiction" sounds to me like what the world is all about: Far from being simple, the world is far more complex than we realize; far from being logical, the world is full of contradictions.

Sartre said...

When I was in college (Cornell '81), the architecture students were the best and most interestingly dressed.

Sartre said...

P.S. In Philly news, there is a Venturi house that is being moved from the Jersey Shore (Barnegat Bay, I believe) to Glen Cove, L.I. A quick Google search should locate the articles.