Okay, I promised myself I would leave this alone. But I can’t help myself, so pardon my sarcasm and generalization ahead. …keep reading
what would you like to hear about?
So as the discussion continues about magazines like Architectural Record and their Swimsuit Issue – Record Houses, I have had a few additional thoughts as I read the ongoing online debate. Again, I am not condemning the publishing of these particular houses outright. I am asking questions of relevance, appropriateness and net results of bringing value to the profession. My recent pondering came from a discussion with my mother in law (not an architect) who likened the portrayal of unusual houses to the frequent shock effect of the fashion industry. We have all seen the runway models strut their starved long-legged selves down the runway with the most shocking (and awfully uncomfortable) latest fashion lines. Although creative and oddly “cool”, we all know no one will ever wear these clothes, but these artistic expressions will be simplified into some one-off dress that a wealthy person will wear once before sending it to auction. The rest of us will shop online, at the mall or sadly, Wal-Mart.
I agree that the house can be a laboratory for design for most architects. It is a place for experimentation and a chance to move the profession of architecture forward. I feel mine is just that in its infancy. That’s not the debate. What is appropriate for a major architectural journal to publish as “good” design is a question I’ve been pondering. Have you seen the latest copy of Architectural Record, April 2011, the Record Houses issue? As with each annual issue, it is full of exciting, unique and mostly unlivable houses as it has faithfully published for many years. I must admit my visceral reaction was resistive to the unrealistic houses built for some rich person willing to let their architect do something weird.