White House Redux

October 20, 2008

Storefront for Art and Architecture asks: What if the White House, the ultimate architectural symbol of political power, were to be designed today? In 1792, a competition was held to design the President’s residence (thanks Prof. Brownlee!) and on the eve a the election for the 44th President, Storefront challenged modern-day designers to create a new presidential residence. Much to their surprise, of the 450 entries, only a few of them were actual architectural drawings…most explored the question in a conceptual and abstract way.

The 1st place winner, Revenge of the Lawn, was 12 scripts made to act like “snapshots of an Architectural Album”. 12 Cautionary Tales for a New World Order was 2nd place, and is an homage to the architecture firm Superstudio.  Within the book are 12 different visions of what the White House could be, given a multitude of cultural/economic/environmental shifts.

Those winners were chosen by a jury, but there’s an online popular vote winner too. Under Projects on their website is a list of projects that were shortlisted by the Jury. You can vote for any project that you think addresses the Call for Ideas, and on November 3rd, 2008 the winner will get the prize money raised from the site. Democratic process at it’s best!

Frank Lloyd Wright was a Maverick

October 3, 2008

(sorry, after the VP debates last night everything seems “maverick” to me today)

This has been written about on a few different design blogs lately, and I finally had time to sit down and watch the 1957 Frank Lloyd Wright interview with Mike Wallace. In the two-part interview, America’s Most Famous Architect talks about “religion, war, mercy killing, art, critics, his mile-high skyscraper, America’s youth, sex, morality, politics, nature, and death.” Watch for veteran reporter Mike Wallace as a young man grapple with Wright’s eccectric mannerisms and devil-may-care approach to his perception by the public.  Sometimes I forget just how badass FLW really was. “America’s foremost social rebel” indeed!