Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.
Lewis Mumford (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer.
It’s a postcard-perfect day on Suomenlinna Island, in Helsinki’s South Harbor. Warm for the first week of June, day trippers mix with Russian, Dutch, and Chinese tourists sporting sun shades and carrying cones of pink ice cream.
“Is this the prison?” asks a 40-something American woman wearing cargo pants and a floral sleeveless blouse.
Today the world has lost one of its great minds. Paolo Soleri, architect, builder, artist, writer, theorist, husband, father, born on Summer Solstice, June 21, 1919, has died at age 93.
Soleri spent a lifetime investigating how architecture, specifically the architecture of the city, could support the countless possibilities of human aspiration. The urban project he founded, Arcosanti , 65 miles north of Phoenix, was described by NEWSWEEK magazine as “…the most important urban experiment undertaken in our lifetimes.”
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Paolo Soleri used to host Italian night, where he cooked for a few hundred people at Arcosanti. We will miss him and his dinners greatly. We all bought his bells and enjoyed taking visitors to Cosanti or Arcosanti.
“My position is not reductionist; my position is minimalist. Nothing is or becomes outside the big bang. Each organism is the big bang in action.” Paolo Soleri
“In nature, as an organism evolves it increases in complexity and it also becomes a more compact or miniaturized system. Similarly a city should function as a living system. Arcology, architecture and ecology as one integral process, is capable of demonstrating positive response to the many problems of urban civilization, population, pollution, energy and natural resource depletion, food scarcity and quality of life. Arcology recognizes the necessity of the radical reorganization of the sprawling urban landscape into dense, integrated, three-dimensional cities in order to support the complex activities that sustain human culture. The city is the necessary instrument for the evolution of humankind.” —Paolo Soleri
This set by acclaimed designer Isamu Noguchi, used in Martha Graham’s ‘Embattled Garden,’ was damaged when basement storage of the Martha Graham Dance Company, located in the West Village, flooded in late October 2012. The company said it is still assessing the extent of the damage.
See Isamu Noguchi design from The Appalachian Spring..
Lebbeus Woods died this morning at the age of 72. Woods was
an anomaly in the contemporary architecture scene, producing
work almost exclusively in the form of architectural
drawings (in great volume) and sustaining a distinctive
reputation as a visionary who, by inhabiting the lofty
theoretical stratosphere of imagining over constructing
buildings– a space so distanced from the vitiating
constraints of capital — remained something of an
uncorrupted, almost sanctified presence in the field. -Alan Sondheim (via netbehaviour)
Architecture and war are not incompatible. Architecture is war. War is architecture. I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms. I am one of millions who do not fit in, who have no home, no family, no doctrine, no firm place to call my own, no known beginning or end, no “sacred and primordial site.” I declare war on all icons and finalities, on all histories that would chain me with my own falseness, my own pitiful fears. I know only moments, and lifetimes that are as moments, and forms that appear with infinite strength, then “melt into air.” I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, a sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, a silhouette against the darkening sky. I cannot know your name. Nor you can know mine. Tomorrow, we begin together the construction of a city.
Gaudi not only had a profound impact on Teshigahara’s work, but it was Gaudi who planted the seed of a cross-disciplinary approach to the arts. “Gaudi worked beyond the borders of various arts,” said Teshigahara, “and made me feel that the world in which I was living still left a great many possibilities.”
Nature and landscape were of central importance to Hiroshi Teshigahara, even as a young boy. He was born in Tokyo, son of Sofu Teshigahara, founder and grand master of the Sogetsu School of ikebana. Sofu championed the idea of ikebana as an art form rather than a decorative craft, and he bucked tradition by including materials besides flowers in his work.
As Dore Ashton explains in an excellent essay on the Criterion website, when Hiroshi Teshigahara was a schoolboy, Japan’s cities were firebombed during the Second World War. He “returned to a landscape of bleak ruins.” Teshigahara’s generation “was charged with building a way to exist in the desperate circumstances they had inherited,” says Ashton. “Prominent survivors of the prewar avant-garde, who had spent all their youth in Paris, exhorted young artists to build a totally new culture, expunging all memory of the militaristic milieu of their childhood.”
“If any film could be described as an architectural symphony, it is Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 1984 movie ANTONIO GAUDI. Much of the imagery in GAUDI is nothing less than astounding in its beauty and boldness, and the blending of a neo-Gothic mysticism and grandeur with an Art Nouveau line and a surreal apprehension of the power of nature. The erotic connotations of much of the work are so blunt as to be almost shocking.”– Stephen Holden, The New York Times
This fast-moving spoof of Bond-type movies features striking location photography of Rio de Janeiro, Oscar Niemeyer’s nascent Brasília and Paris of the time. In 1964 the film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.
Birthday of George Delerue who did soundtrack for the Man from Rio. Born March 12 1925, Delerue was a great composer of film scores. Previous post -George Deleerue Youtube La Tendresse (4 clips from The Contempt, Two English Girls, Jules et Jim & Hiroshima Mon Amour linked)
The Tokyo native who later moved to New York began her convention-defying career in Japanese advertising but eventually expanded it to include design work for Broadway, the movies and Cirque du Soleil.
石岡 瑛子, Ishioka Eiko, July 12, 1939, Tokyo – January 21, 2012, Tokyo
In a career marked by great versatility, Ishioka won a Grammy Award in 1986 for best album package as art director for Miles Davis’ “Tutu.”
Her sets and costumes for David Henry Hwang’s Broadway play “M. Butterfly” earned her two Tony Award nominations in 1988.
Dec 15 Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (December 15, 1832 – December 27, 1923)- another architect was born on the same day as Oscar Niemeyer
See a clip on Eiffel Tower from Paris Je T’aime.. (remix with Yves Montand singing La Vie en Rose) – the original film is here.