Rank #1: The Architecture of Happiness
Is it too much to ask of our buildings to aspire to that which we long for in our hearts? Many architects would answer, "Yes." Rather than see architecture as an aspiration of the best of what life can be, many see architecture as reflective of the worst of what life is.
If architects do not think that buildings affect society and can contribute to the happiness and well-being of those who use the buildings, then architects devalue their profession and are saying that their work has no importance. Yet if architects admit that their work can affect society and make a difference in a users life, and yet architects insist on designing buildings that are confrontational and conflicted, then architects are knowingly contributing to the decay and dysfunction of society.
In a world where we are constantly told how bad things are, architecture can give us hope about how things could be better. That’s an ancient idea whose time has come again.
The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton is published by Pantheon. www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/ And visit www.tedwells.com.
Oct 23 2006
Rank #2: Hangover House: An Obscure Modern Masterpiece
Mar 08 2007
Rank #3: Eating Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright and Gingerbread Architecture & Design
Nov 22 2005
Rank #4: Richard Neutra and the Clark House: Part 1 of 4: Architecture & Design
Oct 29 2005
Rank #5: Man Ray: Surrealist Meets Architect
Oct 29 2006
Rank #6: Antonin Raymond & George Nakashima: Soul Mates
At the Graham Foundation in Chicago until May 25, 2006, visit the exhibition about Antonin Raymond and George Nakashima's ashram dormitory building, Golconde: The Introduction of Modernism in India (www.grahamfoundation.org). The Sri Aurobindo Ashram allowed scholars access to the library and archives and all images and drawings were catalogued wih the Ashram's permission. The research team for Golconde comprised of Pankaj Vir Gupta, AIA and Christine Mueller, partners in the firm of vir.mueller architects (www.virmueller.com).
Mira Nakashima's book, "Nature Form & Spirit: The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima," is a tribute to her father, his architecture and furniture, and his reverence for nature. For information on the book and tours of the Nakashima Studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania, visit www.nakashimawoodworker.com.
And visit www.tedwells.com.
Apr 20 2006
Rank #7: So, Brad Pitt Wants to be an Architect?: Architecture & Design
And on the same day, I saw a study finding that architects have been voted the sexiest male professionals, in a survey of women's ideal partners. Coincidence? ...
The photo is of Brad Pitt intently using a glue gun on a design model as Frank Gehry beams at the camera.
Nov 09 2005
Rank #8: Spanish Modernism: Architecture of Loss and Hope
Through May 1, 2006, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York there is a new exhibit of modern Spanish architecture. For more information, visit www.moma.org. And visit www.tedwells.com.
Feb 22 2006
Rank #9: Charles Moore and the Burns House: Part 3 of 4: Architecture & Design
Oct 30 2005
Rank #10: Julius Shulman: Architectural Photographer of Modern Dreams: Architecture & Design
The Julius Shulman archive of 260,000 photographs has been acquired by the Getty Research Institute. The exhibit "Julius Shulman: Modernity and the Metropolis," is on display until January 22, 2006 at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. For more information visit www.getty.edu. Photo from the Getty Research Institute: Chuey Residence, Los Angeles, 1956. Richard Neutra, architect. www.tedwells.com
Nov 02 2005