Posts tagged with "Craig Hodgetts":

Fashion, infrastructure, and retrofuturism collide in new shows at L.A.’s A+D Museum

This weekend, the Architecture and Design Museum (A+D) in Los Angeles launched The Assembly, an event marking the opening of five simultaneous exhibitions at the museum that engage with a variety of architectural perspectives. The wide-ranging exhibitions deep-dive into the work of local architects and disciplinary concerns, like the relationships between plan, section, and elevation. See below for a breakdown of the various exhibitions now on view.   With Cycle & Pattern For With Cycle & Pattern, A+D has partnered with Otis College of Art and Design to create an exhibition of student work from the school's Fashion Design department focused on the "playful interaction between the elegance of the celestial and whimsy of the mortal and material." The horoscope-inspired works have been created by junior and senior students studying under Jose Fernandez of Ironhead Studio and costume designer Louise Mingenbach, two top Hollywood costume designers. The works are organized as four dioramas that can be experienced individually as well as in a group.   3-Ways Billed as A+D's inaugural Guest Curator Program exhibition, 3-Ways is organized by A+D Chief Curator Anthony Morey and Guest Curator Program members Ivan Bernal and Ryan Tyler Martinez, and aims to create a "platform for plan, section, and elevation to communicate with each other at a 1:1 scale." Organized as a "series of conversations," the exhibition pulls together work from over 30 architects, designers, and artists to explore the interrelationships between different viewing and drawing modes.   Sunset 2050 Sunset 2050, a collaboration between Craig Hodgetts's SUPRASTUDIO at the University of California, Los Angeles and students from the ArtCenter College of Design Transportation Design program, posits a master plan for L.A.'s Sunset Strip that fully embraces autonomous vehicle technologies. By championing the "innate charm" of the Strip, the collected research project interrogates the ever-escalating "congestion" of urban street life, a territory that now demands space for digital, geo-location, and soon, autonomous technologies. The exhibition is supported by the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Gensler, Matt Construction, and BuroHappold Engineering.   Dopplegänger Dopplegänger is a view into the inspirations that lie behind the "architectural mind" of Los Angeles-based Patrick Tighe Architecture. The exhibition presents a collection of recent work that has been reinterpreted through digital and physical collages that circle back to each project's original sources of inspiration in an effort to "retrospectively reinvigorate" the firm's work. By presenting each project with dueling collages and model assemblies, the firm seeks to "catalyze the intentions" behind these projects.   Back to Front StereoBot & Oasys are collaborating on Back to Front, an examination of advances in building technology, zoning, and city planning with regards to affordable housing in Los Angeles. The "urban activation" installation will create a 400-square-foot backyard unit at AplusD. The structure will be used as a community forum that will host a series of community workshops focused on recent trends in affordability innovation. The installation will be on view until September 30, 2018. See the A+D museum website for more information.

Craig Hodgetts reviews Sylvia Lavin’s “The Duck and the Document” exhibition at SCI-Arc

SHOWTIME! H-e-e-e-e-e-r-r-r-r-s-s-Sylvia! Armed with the good stuff. Pirouetting with John Soane, Peter Eisenman, and even Charles Moore. Connecting the dots with intellect, passion, and forensic precision, and trotting out never-before-seen docs blown up to the size of garage doors. Demonstrating not simply with words—which were choice, USDA prime—but with a full-blown demonstration of why what those words were about should matter. And what were they about? Some soon to be forgotten parametric wonder? Some arcane theoretical contest? Or a newly discovered manifesto that intends to change the course of everything? Not at all. They are a reality check, a course correction—maybe, even a scold (though that was never her tone)—that brought many in the room to a thudding encounter with reality. With those words—and the images that accompanied them—Lavin plays Lazarus to a fault, raising tired old post-modern architecture from the dead, breathing new life into what might have been warmed-over pizza and breathing new life into the age-old contest between meaning and symbolism. In the exhibition and lecture “The Duck and the Document: True Stories of Postmodern Procedures” at Southern California Institute of Architecture’s (SCI-Arc) Keck auditorium, Sylvia Lavin unearths implicit links between architecture as diverse as James Wines’s and Robert Venturi’s work for Best products, Eisenman’s handrail phobia, and Moore’s yearning to be “free”—to weave a tale of architecture’s gradual loss of autonomy as mechanization takes command*. Increasing regulation, nearly insurmountable hurdles in the supply chain of—for instance, colorants—drove architects to adopt a myriad of ruses and “workarounds” to achieve the effects they envisioned then, and one must admit, apply even more in today’s supplier-dependent world. Lavin’s message to students and aspiring architects is plain. By displaying well-chosen documents and correspondence which underscore the increasing frustration of the post-modern era’s most celebrated architects, she has been able to reveal the minutia behind their efforts, the tests of authorship, and the ultimate outcomes of conceptual and intellectual battles those architects (mostly) lost. With some surprise we learn that MLTW—Moore’s firm with Bill Turnbull, Richard Whitaker, and Donlyn Lyndon (symmetry: His father was a well-known architect)—is “long overdue” on an invoice for $24.53 from Knoll. In another example, we discover an invoice for a single half hour of Moore’s time, billed at $15.00. Pantone paint chips appended to a specification from Venturi’s office attest to his resignation in a battle over color with porcelain panel manufacturer Ervite and the scrutiny of focus groups is revealed in voluminous correspondence about the Sea Ranch project, MLTW’s celebrated Northern California retreat. In the gallery one is treated to an array of trophies from that era – a twisted handrail from Eisenman’s House I, in which the curator describes the architect wrestling with code requirements which conflicted with his aesthetic vision—a pair of porcelain-enameled Warholesque panels from Venturi’s florid Best products showroom and a quartet of columns from the Deborah Sussman- and Jon Jerde-designed Los Angeles 1984 Olympics signage—all poignant reminders of a time when the decorated shed reigned supreme. One might ask “what is the purpose of such a show at this time”? Is it to be a counterweight to the pervasive grip of digital design? A plea to restore the autonomy of architecture? Or a simple reminder that as bad as it gets, it’s nothing like the travails endured by our predecessors? My guess is that it is all of the above and more. A provocative and thoughtful peek behind the masks of those masters tells us a lot about ourselves and, at the very least, helps us navigate today’s even rougher waters of regulations, stakeholders, and committees. *Yes, that is Gideon’s phrase. Craig Hodgetts is founding principal and creative director at Los Angeles-based architecture firm Hodgetts + Fung. The Duck and the Document, curated by Sylvia Lavin, with associate curator Sarah Hearne and exhibition design by Besler & Sons, is on view at the Southern California Institute of Architecture gallery through May 28, 2017. See the SCI-Arc website for more information.

This pleated concrete theater in Culver City is getting a 21st century boost from Hodgetts & Fung

AN has been covering Hodgetts + Fung's efforts to update Los Angeles' Norms Diner for the 21st century, but another of the firm's projects will rigorously update a less known—and perhaps more impressive—modernist structure nearby: Culver City High School's Frost Memorial Auditorium in Culver City. Originally designed by local architects Flewelling & Moody, the building has one of the most ambitious structural concrete domes in the city. Each rib was cast in place on a sculpted mound of earth, lifted into position, then joined to other ribs via another concrete pour. Hodgetts & Fung is expanding the building's cramped back-of-house spaces, installing new air conditioning, lighting, and electrical systems, providing handicap access, and adding a new steel-plated proscenium arch to better facilitate theatrical programs.  They're also installing a new black box theater in back of the space. “It was never designed to be a production theater, it was designed to be an auditorium," said Craig Hodgetts. "While it was a great building, the shell inhibited them from doing the things that would have made it more useful... It had really good bones, but from a functional standpoint it was really lame," Hodgetts added. The new project will be complete by early next year.

Developer and architect Hodgetts+Fung share ideas about Los Angeles’ iconic Norms site

In January AN reported that developer Jason Illouilian (who owns development company Faring Capital) had bought legendary Los Angeles diner Norms, and was considering what to do next with the property. Last week LA Magazine reported that Illouilian plans to build "a community of shops" where the Armet & Davis-designed restaurant's parking lot now stands. He's looking for upscale tenants, like those at the Brentwood Country Mart. (Those include retailers like James Perse and Jenny Kayne and a mix of high-brow and low-brow restaurants and stands.) The developer added that while he hopes to keep the building a 24-hour diner, he noted that it could be "Norms or Somebody else." Culver City–based Hodgetts + Fung are preparing plans for the site. Firm principal Craig Hodgetts confirmed to AN that the firm is considering a two-story development with underground parking next to the original building. "It will certainly not emulate the original building," Hodgetts told AN. The National Trust is very clear about delineating what was original and what is a later addition. "It’s very much a background to Norms. It makes Norms a showpiece." The site has a 1.5 FAR and a 45-foot height limit, he said. He wants to maintain view lines to Norms from La Cienega. "That's pretty darn important," he said. Views from smaller streets might be altered. Hodgetts + Fung will also be renovating Norms, "bringing back its vitality" by bringing back its original paint, tiles, glass, and colors," said Hodgetts. As for whether Norms would be staying, Hodgetts replied: "It's unclear who the operator will be. Given the climate on La Cienega and the parking situation it’s not likely to be a roadside type of service… It's not our decision about the operator. I love Norms. I've had many many chocolate milkshakes there. But the model of a drive in restaurant is not a viable model in a high density urban environment." While Norm's has received a temporary landmark status, LA's Cultural Heritage Commission will vote on March 19 on whether it will receive permanent status. Even with landmark status Illoulian could change the building's owners or use, but he could not tear it down. Hodgetts said that he and Illoulian were being very conscientious about having a dialogue with the community. "We want to go step by step with great care with the conservancy and people who are concerned about the building. We’ll be having conversations with them about our plans before we really have a scheme defined," he noted.

On View> Chicago’s Graham Foundation Presents “Everything Loose Will Land”

Everything Loose Will Land Graham Foundation 4 West Burton Place, Chicago Through July 26 Everything Loose Will Land explores the intersection of art and architecture in Los Angeles during the 1970s. The show’s title refers to a Frank Lloyd Wright quote that if you “tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” This freeness alludes to the fact that this dislodging did not lead to chaos but rather a multidisciplinary artistic community that redefined LA. The exhibition features one hundred and twenty drawings, photographs, media works, sculptures, prototypes, models, and ephemera. The presentations function as a kind of archive of architectural ideas that connect a variety of disciplines. Projects by Carl Andre, Ed Moses, Peter Alexander, Michael Asher, James Turrell, Maria Nordman, Robert Irwin, Frank Gehry, Richard Serra, Coy Howard, Craig Ellwood, Peter Pearce, Morphosis, Bruce Nauman, Craig Hodgetts, Jeff Raskin, Ed Ruscha, Noah Purifoy, Paolo Soleri, Ray Kappe, Denise Scott Brown, Archigram, L.A. Fine Arts Squad, Bernard Tschumi, Eleanor Antin, Peter Kamnitzer, Cesar Pelli, Andrew Holmes, Elizabeth Orr, and others are explored. Curated by Sylvia Lavin, Director of Critical Studies in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, the show began its journey at the MAK Center for Architecture and then traveled to the Yale School of Architecture before arriving at the Graham Foundation.

Hodgetts + Fung’s Mini Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl got a miniature version of itself last Friday. Hodgetts + Fung, the architects of the Bowl’s latest 2003 renovation, helped students from LA's Gardner Elementary School build a Polystyrene and PVC pipe replica of the curving amphitheater in honor of the school’s 100th birthday. Partners Craig Hodgetts and Ming Fung, with the help of school teachers, assisted the students build not only a mini-Bowl on the school's asphalt playground, but a mini-museum displaying historic photos of the school. Proceeds from the day's activities—which included food, entertainment and games in addition to bandshell building— will support the school's MusicQ Program, which helps students learn to read, play music, and compose music. (Gardner has a rich arts history. It's Michael Jackson's alma mater, for instance) The school's 100th birthday comes on the coattails of The Hollywood Bowl’s 90th season, which kicked-off earlier this month. Hodgetts + Fung are among several architects to have conceived designs for the Bowl's shell, now in its fifth iteration.  These include Allied Architects; Frank Lloyd Wright's eldest son Lloyd Wright; the engineering firm Elliott, Bowen and Walz and Frank Gehry. And now, of course, fifth graders.

Venice 2010> The Black Shirts are Coming!

No, not the Fascists—that was 2008, when the Northern League held its national rally at the entrance gates of the biennale giardini. I mean the architects! They have arrived in droves, and it’s easy to spot them walking along the Grand Canal absorbing the searing heat and humidity of August in Venice. The second day of reading press releases, walking the giardini, and visiting collateral exhibitions reaffirms my sense that there is more art in the 2010 biennale than architecture. This is, of course, not necessarily a bad thing, and many of these installations do consider architectural questions. But it makes one wonder why national pavilions make the decisions they do about the architectural conditions in their country. Still, there is architecture to be seen in the giardini if one looks carefully. The Austrian pavilion, despite its thin premise, has wonderful architectural models and a fascinating central space designed by curator Eric Owen Moss. Elsewhere, the British pavilion has a beautiful-looking installation (glimpsed through a crack in the door) by MUF that looks like a 19th-century teaching hospital; the Germans seem to be showing a long line of architectural drawings on the wall; the Czech Republic is presenting an exciting wooden wonderland of form; and the Japanese pavilion, curated by SANAA partner Ryue Nishizawa, looks to have an installation on metropolitan Tokyo. Finally, the U.S. pavilion’s Workshopping project promises to be one of the few purely architectural shows in the biennale. The challenge for the Venice architecture biennale in general is that just showing buildings in an exhibition space can be a deadly bore. The real problem for architecture exhibitors is how to occupy the space between architecture and exhibitions—and the fact that what architects should be doing is designing for unique conditions. I’ll have more on that note from the biennale tomorrow.

The Alfa Architect is Back!

Alfa Romeos Giulietta Spider.Alfa Romeo's Giulietta Spider.
Buried deep in a New York Times article on Fiat’s proposed alliance with sad old Chrysler is a detail that will make many architects happy. As part of the deal, Chrysler will build small cars for the American market, like the Cinquecento-styled Fiat 500. But more to the design point, Chrysler will also start building Alfa Romeos for the domestic market. As it has long been the favorite of architects—from the Italian Futurists to Craig Hodgetts—let’s hope the design of the new Alfas remains in Italy with Bertone and Pininfarina. And not in Detroit.

Green ’70s Flashback with Smiles and Shades of Blue

A recent New York Times article piqued not only a literary memory of the cult classic Ecotopia, but also a visual memory from an early work by the exemplary West Coast practitioner Craig Hodgetts.

Writing from what used to be called “Berserkley,” California, Scott Timberg begins his article with these observations:

"Sometimes a book, or an idea, can be obscure and widely influential at the same time. That’s the case with Ecotopia, a 1970s cult novel, originally self-published by its author, Ernest Callenbach, that has seeped into the American groundwater without becoming well known. The novel, now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present: in the flush of a financial crisis, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the United States, and its citizens establish a sustainable economy….

"White bicycles sit in public places, to be borrowed at will. A creek runs down Market Street in San Francisco. Strange receptacles called ‘recycle bins’ sit on trains, along with ‘hanging ferns and small plants.’ A female president, more Hillary Clinton than Sarah Palin, rules this nation, from Northern California up through Oregon and Washington.”

What the article doesn’t say is that in 1978 the architect Hodgetts produced a wondrous set of drawings for a Hollywood movie adaptation of the pulp classic. With plenty of savvy and pop-culture sensibility, the script was translated into awe-inspiring architectonic visuals. The drawings were exhibited and published, but alas, the project never made it to the silver screen.

We got in touch with Hodgetts to get his take on the reopening of this late-’70s time capsule. He responded via email (and supplied captions to these marvelous renderings) with wry amusement:

“Ernest Callenbach and I had distinctly different approaches. I was interested in making a popular movie with an appeal to 12-year-olds, complete with aftermarket consumables! And Ernest, with a pure, almost religious zeal, was preaching ecology. In fact, if the movie had been made—the producers had optioned the novel some years earlier—we were going to retitle it and make up our own story."

“Seems the right time for this rediscovery," Hodgetts added. "It was just 30 years too early, and yours truly could never get the film off the ground. Architects and publishers at the time were seriously not interested in the subject.”

Indeed a cultural re-examination of eco-science fiction would be a welcome development in architectural circles and beyond, since it seems we’ve been living within the dark cold-war schizoid-paranoia of sci-fi madman Philip K. Dick for far too long. And while we’re at it, why not—with a smile—revive the ecology flag from 1969, whose graphic design by Ron Cobb was proudly placed within the public domain and embraced by the environmental movement?

Maybe now is the time for a holiday blockbuster movie adaptation of Ecotopia, with lots of spin-off eco-toys for the kids (under a renewable tree, of course). And also for an alternative approach to our everyday life. Callenbach is quoted at the end of the Times article with a fitting call to action for the architect-visionaries among us: “It is so hard to imagine anything fundamentally different from what we have now,” he said. “But without these alternate visions, we get stuck on dead center.”

“And we’d better get ready,” he added. “We need to know where we’d like to go.”