The 77-year-old Montreal architect and artist Mel Charney died on September 17th in his home. Trained at McGill University and Yale as an architect, he was better known as a sculptor, architectural thinker, and academic. Charney represented Canada at the Venice Biennale twice—once for art in 1986 and once for architecture in 2000, created large-scale installations in Montreal including A Chicago Construction (1982) and Skyscraper, Waterfall, Brooks—A Construction at Place Émilie-Gamelin. Finally, he famously designed a block-long montage of photographs of buildings along Montreal's Sherbrooke Street that had been destroyed to make way for development, which in turn was also destroyed by the city. The next print edition of AN will feature a full obituary and appreciation of Charney by David Grahame Shane.
Posts tagged with "Obituary":
"Few people think about it or are aware of it. But there is nothing made by human beings that does not involve a design decision somewhere." -Bill MoggridgeBill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and an outspoken advocate for the value of design in everyday life, died September 8th, 2012, following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Designer of the first laptop computer and co-founder of the renowned innovation and design firm, IDEO, Bill pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware. Bill was a Royal Designer for Industry, a 2010 winner of the Prince Philip Designers Prize, and a 2009 winner of Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. He described his career as having three phases: first, as a designer; second, as a leader of design teams and; third, as a communicator. “All of us at the Smithsonian mourn the loss of a great friend, leader and design mind,” said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. “In his two short years as director of Cooper-Hewitt, Bill transformed the museum into the Smithsonian’s design lens on the world, and we are forever grateful for his extraordinary leadership and contributions.” In those two years Cooper-Hewitt saw record exhibition attendance, an increase in digital access to the collection and new efforts to bring design education to K-12 classrooms. He worked with Diller Scofidio + Renfro to reimagine the museum visit as a participatory experience with an innovative interactive design component and led the museum's $54 million expansion and restoration program. Bill's legacy lives on in "his innovative vision for the future of the museum [that] will be realized upon reopening," said Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture. "His foresight will impact museum visitors and design thinkers of tomorrow. He will be greatly missed.” Learn more about Bill and his life's work at the Cooper-Hewitt website.
Young Jee, the land artist who carved his work into earth of Inwood Hill has died, DNAinfo reports. Far from the galleries flanking the High Line, Jee's quiet compositions served as an anecdote to high concept, in keeping with the park which is the largest natural tract of land in Manhattan. (Photo: Tom Stoelker / AN)
Coincidentally, this video of legendary art critic Robert Hughes's 1980s television series The Shock of the New was passed around the AN offices yesterday morning. We were saddened to hear of Hughes death at the age of 74 later that day. This television series and his role as chief art critic for Time magazine made him a fixture of the cultural world, and his opinionated, sometimes combative, no holds barred attitudes on art and architecture made him a lively and engaging writer and commentator. In describing Damien Hirst's The Virgin Mother then on display at the Lever House in Manhattan, Hughes said, "Isn't it a miracle what so much money and so little ability can produce. Just extraordinary." And there you have it.
Walter Pichler, the far sighted visionary architect, died last week at his home in Burgenland, Austria at the wage of 76. Though he does not seem to have an English Wikipedia page devoted to his work, Pichler was unquestionably one of the most influential artist/architects working in post-war Europe. Like Austrians Hans Hollien, Raimund Abraham, the groups Haus Rucker and Coop Himmelb(l)au, he created a powerful and evocative utopian world out of a hybrid of sculpture and drawing but always with an architectural idea at the core of the work. Many of his works were sited in an around his Bergenland home and he rarely left the estate to exhibit or appear at discussions of his work. But in 1967, Mr. Pichler was included in a show at MoMA called Visionary Architecture, along with Hans Hollein and Raimund Abraham. He represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 1982 and appeared in the fourth Documenta, in 1968. Lebbeus Woods will be writing an extended obituary in the next print edition of AN.
Yoshiko Sato, an architect and educator who was committed to repairing the world through design, died on Sunday in New York City after a battle with cancer. Sato was born in Tokyo to parents who studied engineering and design, which sparked her interest in science and the arts. Following a tour of Europe to study art and design, the Tokyo native settled in New York in the early 1980s and continued her education at Parsons School of Design. Her professors Billie Tsien, Robert MacAnulty, and Laurie Hawkinson quickly recognized her talent and encouraged Sato to move toward architecture. She transferred to the Cooper Union where she continued her studies under John Hejduk, Toshiko Mori, Tod Williams, and Peter Eisenman, graduating in 1989. In 1996, she received a Masters in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she explored architecture and urban design under Raphael Moneo and received honors for her thesis on rebuilding Kobe, Japan after a devastating earthquake in 1995. Sato's professional career in New York bridged architecture, art, and design across a broad range of scales. She operated the Morris Sato Studio with her husband and design partner Michael Morris, exploring the ethereal nature of design as represented in the award-winning retrospective exhibit Shiro Kuramata, 1934-1991 and in her installation LightShowers. She won further accolades for her personal and comprehensive exploration in a pair of houses recently completed on Shelter Island. Returning to education, Sato was appointed to Columbia's GSAPP in 1999 where she directed the Japan Lab in Architecture. Her passion for both sustainability and exploration into outer space were clear in her work, including a collaboration with GSAPP and NASA to create Space Habitation Modules. Sato is survived by her husband, mother, and sister Noriko Oguri of Yokohama, Japan. The staff at The Architect’s Newspaper sends our condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues. Those who wish to honor the memory of Yoshiko Sato may donate to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Condolences may be sent to Morris Sato Studio, 219 East 12th Street, 1st Fl., New York, New York 10003 or email@example.com.
Very sad news in the LA architecture world. AC Martin associate Patrick Martin has died at the age of 35, after a battle with cancer. The fourth generation architect (AC Martin was founded by his grandfather over 100 years ago) had worked at the firm for 11 years. Martin is survived by his wife Danielle and their children, Thomas and William.
The world learned last night of the untimely death of Apple mastermind Steve Jobs, who succumbed to a rare cancer he had been fighting for some time. Jobs' architect, Norman Foster, was slow to acknowledge the commission of Apple's new Cupertino, CA headquarters, but he was appropriately quick to offer his condolences. Below, read Foster's tribute to the innovator who helped push the boundaries of both technology and industrial design.
With my colleagues I would like to pay tribute to Steve Jobs. Like so many millions our lives have been profoundly and positively influenced by the innovations pioneered by Steve and Apple, names which are inseparable. We were greatly privileged to know Steve as a person, as a friend and in every way so much more than a client. Steve was an inspiration and a role model. He encouraged us to develop new ways of looking at design to reflect his unique ability to weave backwards and forwards between brand strategy and the minutiae of the tiniest of internal fittings. For him no detail was small in its significance and he would be simultaneously questioning the headlines of our project together whilst he delved into its fine print. He was the ultimate perfectionist and demanded of himself as he demanded of others. We are better as individuals and certainly wiser as architects through the experience of the last two years and more of working for him. His participation was so intense and creative that our memory will be that of working with one of the truly great designers and mentors. Norman Foster Architect Chairman + Founder of Foster + Partners
We're still reeling from the tragic death of Stephen Kanner, and now we have learned that two more of LA's brightest lights, Elaine Jones and John Chase, have also died. Jones was A. Quincy Jones' widow, and Chase was the urban designer for the City of West Hollywood. Both were valuable advocates for architecture and good friends. We're still gathering information and will get it to you as soon as we can.
Word spread yesterday that Dresden-born, Deconstructivist-inspiring architect Günter Behnisch had died. His son's firm, which had taken on much of his work, sent around the following announcement today. There will be a memorial service tomorrow in Stuttgart, Behnisch's long-time home.
Professor Günter Behnisch passed away in the early morning hours of July 12th at the age of 88. A good three years ago he retreated from professional life. Since then he has lived, weakened by several strokes, in his home in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, where his family cared for him. His practice in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, which he founded in 1952 (from 1966 onwards called Behnisch & Partner with partners Fritz Auer, Winfried Büxel, Erhard Tränkner and Carlo Weber; later with Winfried Büxel, Manfred Sabatke and Erhard Tränkner) existed until 2008. In the last years of the practice he worked with Manfred Sabatke in the Sillenbuch office. Günter Behnisch stood for the architectural expression of Germany’s transformation into a democratic, freer, and more social society. As an architect active in the years of Germany’s reconstruction he shaped the appearance of schools and universities. Architectural critics described his buildings and facilities for the 20th Olympic Games in Munich, as well as his buildings for the German Parliament in Bonn, as symbols of the “open democracy” of the “Bonner Republik,” and these buildings found widespread international recognition. As an educator Günter Behnisch had a decisive influence on several generations of architects. Through their work and their daily practices his teachings will no doubt, in the years ahead, continue to manifest themselves in a decidedly freer approach to architecture. Through a permanent questioning of the architectural uniformity of the, as he once put it, “self-opinionated” Berlin Republic and its particular definition of architecture, he eventually realized, after a time and energy-consuming planning process, his last project, the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, in 2005. Acknowledging that he would be unable to complete his last successful competition winning entries, Günter Behnisch entrusted his son Stefan with a number of projects—the “Haus im Haus” for Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce and the Ozeaneum in Stralsund. […Stefan has his own firm, Behnisch Architekten, which had been working in concert with Behnisch & Partner for a number of years. …] During the years of collaboration projects such as the St. Benno Gymnasium in Dresden, the “Museum der Phantasie” for the Buchheim collection in Bernried, the State Insurance Agency Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck, the service center for the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart and the office and exhibition building for VS in Tauberbischofsheim were realised. Today many of the staff employed by Behnisch Architekten were previously either students of Günter Behnisch in Darmstadt, where he was a professor, or they worked with him as interns in his office in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch. Günter Behnisch’s approach to architecture, in particular with respect to his ‘idea of man,’ continue to influence our daily activities.
Charles Gwathmey passed away on Monday, but he was fondly remembered by his many colleagues, including Robert Siegel, Richard Meier, Michael Graves, and Peter Eisenman, in our obituary. We invite readers to share their own memories of this "fighter for modernism" in the comments section below. But please, be erudite, as Gwathmey would have had it no other way.
As you may have learned by now, renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman died Wednesday night at age 98. (You can read our obituary here.) We encourage you to share memories, thoughts, and impressions of one of the most influential figures to ever engage with the built environment. Just leave a comment below. To start things off, we've posted the trailer to the forthcoming documentary about the great photographer, Visual Acoustics, by Eric Bricker. It was moving to watch even before this sad news, but now it really puts into perspective--almost as well as his own photos--the sheer genius that was Julius Shulman. You can watch it after the jump.