Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MY RANT ABOUT MODERN ARCHITECTURE

Where would you rather live? Here (above).........

















....or here (above)?












Which is easier on the eye? This (above)..........

















....or this (above)?


















Listen to my rant against modern architecture on the latest ASIFA Archive podcast, link below:



And on another subject.....















Holy Cow! It's time for The San Diego Comic Con!!!!!!! 


In a few hours all the LA cartoonists will have migrated to San Diego. Almost none of our ilk will be left in the city. The studios will be dark and empty. Computer screens will flicker aimlessly, and automatic urinals will flush needlessly. Here and there a lonely and unloved curmudgeon will do his miserable work in silence, believing that his absence down South is somehow making a statement.






















To everybody else: may you find what you're looking for in San Diego! Good hunting!


This blog will resume after the convention, on Sunday night, July 25th!



13 comments:

RooniMan said...

Have fun.

GW said...

I like the first example better than the second and the fourth better than the third. Personally, I really like modern architecture quite a bit. You'd have to be crazy to live in the second place simply because the deck is so low to the water that you're begging for a flood. The third place has nice foliage, but the architecture doesn't appeal to me very much. Too much snobbery inspired by Classical Greece.

I'll listen to that ASIFA podcast and hear a bit more of your point of view.

thomas said...

Have to say. I find it too general when you use the phrases Modern Architecture, or Minimalism. You say the two quite a bit, but it kind of seems you say them quite a bit, because you're searching.

Though, the examples of architecture you give, of what you don't like, aren't general. Like what happens when you start to get a group of "minimalist" boxes one after another, like Avenue of the Americas in NYC. And that the idea of a "modern" building in th middle of a group of faux Tudor houses can be interesting.

I live near a planned garden community that was built in the 1910's. It was modeled after 19c. Arts and Crafts English garden communities; Faux Tudor houses, winding streets, manicured lawns and shrubs, gently arching trees bending over the streets like protective guardians. One thing thats missing though, is people. I don't think that I've once seen someone even walk out of a house. The only thing I've come up with is, that the people like their houses so much, that they never come out. The houses are large enough, and the people who live in them probably have enough money, so that they don't have to. Either that or they're dead. Not much action at night, nary a light shining from a window.

My favorite architectural detail in this neighborhood is a satellite dish which is painted in a flagstone pattern to match the exterior of the house. It's practically invisible, which kind of seems like the real "theme" of this garden community.

Garden communities are seen as one of the alternatives to "modernism", but this place has all its worst problems, although they're all covered in ivy.

A modernist architect:
carloscarpa

LeCorbusier's favorite architect:
siredwinluytens

Kirk said...

et ergum fiascum

What I know of comic conventions is little, (I watch the bizarre new spectacle of the SD Con on Youtube- and I find it terrifying!) but my only outing to one is worth anecdote. Way back in the spring of 1991 I was ferried out to a Marriot on the outskirts of Denver to witness StarCon, with several fellow comicbook apostates to take in the weirdness. It was benign enuff on the convention floor, cool wares and such. But nothing prepared me for the coming of night, where all these folks had rooms and proceeded to drink themselves silly with a vengeance. Like 13 year olds brave for straight whiskey, they drank until vomiting. Clinging to each other in the door-jambs of their open rooms. And I saw something which will amuse me to the grave: a man in a wheelchair, longish hair and professorial with glasses, vomit desperately into a stand-up urinal.

Anonymous said...

That podcast was the first time I've ever heard your voice. No offense but I was expecting it to have a nasally "Wallace Shawn" quality to it, maybe just cause how you caricature yourself. You have a great voice! Like professional radio host good.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

GW: The second example is funny, I have to admit that. It's like something Jacques Tati would have thought of. I don't see how anything that resembles classical Greek is automatically snobbish. It's a style like anything else and it either feels good or it doesn't. Plants do look good in that courtyard, and that's no small thing. I wish more architects would build with foliage in mind.

Thomas: I know what you mean. I live near a community like that, too. It's all just too precious.

Thanks for the links. I'd like to walk through the Carpa buildings. I forgot to look up the Corbu-approved guy. I'll go back and give it a try. Corbu himself was a horrible influence on architecture.

Kirk: Haw! That brings back painfull memories!

Anon: Wallace Shawn!!!??? The My Dinner with Andre guy? Haw! I always think of myself as Connery's James Bond, the way he was in From Russia with Love. I'm deceiving myself I know, but you need a little self deception to get through the day.

Rooni: Actually I didn't go. I haven't the money this year.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Thomas: Thanks for the Luytens link. I hate to say it, but it he's not to my taste. Too arid and steril.

thomas said...

when you have a chance I'd give Luytens another try. Maybe look at the interiors of the buildings. He does new things with a classical lexicon. and architecture doesn't quite translate through photgraphy. Wright had high praise for Luytens also, and he was not one to give out praise to anyone... but himself.

Glad you liked Scarpa. there are probably better links oout there.

Allen said...

Well good luck at ComicCon. I always seem to hit a financial pothole when its time to buy the tickets and by the time I can afford it, its sold out. Anyways I'm just wondering, would it be worth it to go to the con just to see some of my favorite artists? (Though honestly not that popular as far as I know.) I could pay a whole lot of money to get me down there, get a place to stay, and to get in. Then I would have to wonder through the masses of crazy con people to maaaybe be able to see someone I came to see for a minute or two.
I think I'll just stay with saying hi to you for free on your blog.
Hi Eddie! I hope you have fun!

Roberto Severino said...

Comic-Con seems to be becoming more expensive and crowded every year from what I've heard and its quality has been declining along with it allegedly. How much does it usually cost to go and everything, not counting the hotel and food expenses? I've never been to California before, and I'm still underaged, but I've always have been curious about that event and have had a yearning to go myself when I'm about 17 or 18. Kali Fontecchio told me it's super expensive out west and that there's always smog in LA.

I'd rather live in the first area, rather than the latter. It's way more pleasant and simply a more beautiful setting for me. I love organic architecture and art in general, so that would be my personal preference. As for the second set of photos, I'd also pick the first house for that type of pleasure on my eye. The colors are more heartfelt and inviting to me than the cold design of the latter piece.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

DOODLES SAID: I just came across your picture of Ed Dodd's Living room. I went to school there. It later became "The New School" the main house mainly the library and offices, however, I did attend summer school in the main house. He had a cabin down from the main house, and that is where I had most of my highschool classes. Sadly it has burned down. The school has changed names to Mill Springs Academy and is now Located in Alpharetta, GA.

Doodles: Thanks for the info! I printed it here as well as in the original post.

Thomas: A typo: "sterile" not "steril" My bad!

Allen, Roberto: I don't know if it's worth a really long trip just to go to the con, but if you're serious about about being in the animation industry you should definitely move to one of the big animation centers somewhere down the line.

Roberto, I'm amazed that you're so young! Geez, you're twice as savy as I was when I was your age.

randolph said...

1. In architecture there is what looks good in pictures and then there is what is good to be in, and these aren't always the same. Modernist Alvar Aalto famously remarked on the difference between architecture & sculpture, saying that "You can't make love to a beautiful woman in a sculpture," that he had tried in the Statue of Liberty. I don't know if the woman was his wife.

2. Part of the rationale for the plainness of some modernist architecture has to do with acting as a quiet frame for the life within. The Eames studio and home (yes, Eames of Powers of Ten) is a very plain steel structure, but pictures of the occupied home show a richly decorated, colorful interior.

3. Modernist design in the USA and Europe (or for that matter Mexico, Central, and South America) are very different things.

4. What do you make of Frank Gehry?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Randolph: Thanks for the interesting comments! Gehry did a few interesting buildings and an awful lot of bad ones. He seems to have repudiated his old buildings, which were sterile, flat concrete wind traps, in favor of a newer style which favors sterile TWISTED concrete wind traps.

Part of the appeal of the Eames house is the interior decoration. I like him better as an decorator than as an architect.