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Events

Architecture and the City Festival
September 1–30, 2014
The American Institute of Architects, San Francisco chapter (AIA San Francisco) and the Center for Architecture + Design announce the 11th annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival of its kind. Taking place in San Francisco every September, the month-long celebration features behind the scenes and walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. The 2014 Architecture and the City festival theme, Home: My San Francisco, will examine the shifting nature of home, the different elements that contribute to its definition, and its relation to the urban fabric. Over 40 festival programs will explore the cultural richness and diversity of our local architectural and design community as well as provide a platform for conversation about our changing landscape and its implications for a city in a time of rapidly intensifying housing needs.

Gearing Up for Better, Healthier, and More Efficient Homes
September 19, 2014
The USGBC will present, Gearing Up for Better, Healthier, and More Efficient Homes, at the upcoming AltCar Expo on Friday, September 19th at 9:30am.   Designed for building & design professionals, the lecture addresses the need to erect higher performing buildings and the push towards zero net energy buildings. Panelists include:  Tim Kohut, AIA Architect, Green Dinosaur; Lena Ashby Senior Sustainability Coordinator, Green Dinosaur; and Joel Cesare, Sustainable Building Advisor, City of Santa Monica.

10th Annual KAYAK and SUP Coastal Cleanup Day Event
September 20, 2014
On Saturday, September 20, from 8:15am–1:30pm, The Bay Foundation (TBF) will host its 10th Annual Marina del Rey Kayak Cleanup Day Event as part of the greater annual Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) which draws over 14,000 volunteers from across Los Angeles County to hundreds of events. As the longest-running kayak and SUP cleanup site, the TBF event is immensely popular each year and spaces fill up early.

San Francisco Living: Home Tours
September 20–21, 2014
AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design are excited to announce the 12th annual San Francisco Living: Home Tours, a two-day open house event featuring a select number of modern residences. The popular weekend showcases a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods and residences, including single-family homes, contemporary renovations and multi-family residences, and is the first tour series in the Bay Area to promote residential design from the architect's point of view. Throughout the weekend, tour participants can see some of the city's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover innovative design solutions that inspire unique San Francisco living.

Detroit Design Festival
September 23–28, 2014
Presented by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), and supported by the Knight Foundation, the fourth-annual Detroit Design Festival spans all design disciplines and brings together commerce, culture, education, and entertainment with a full, varied program of exhibitions, openings, installations, shows, talks, open studios, fashion shows, product previews, performances and workshops.

Archtoberfest San Diego 2014
October 1–30, 2014
Archtoberfest San Diego 2014 is a collaboratively-operated initiative aimed at establishing an annual, month-long program of public events and activities pertaining to architecture, design, planning and sustainability.

Westedge Design Fair
October 16–19, 2014
The curated fair features over 150 leading and emerging, domestic and international furnishings brands. Catering to both trade and consumers, the event offers a complete experience for attendees, including panel discussions and workshops, culinary activities, custom installations, and a series of special events.

4th Annual Found L.A.
October 19, 2014
On Sunday, October 19, 2014, the non-profit L.A. Commons (www.lacommons.org) will host its 4th annual Found L.A: Festival of Neighborhoods, and its first based on a mayoral theme, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Program. Angelenos will explore the main arteries of neighborhoods around the city, developed and not so, and meet the people in the center of activity there.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 2014
The primary goal of the New Urbanism Film Festival is to renew the dialogue about urban planning with a broader audience. The Festival brings in movies, short films, speakers, on the topics of architecture, public health, bicycle advocacy, urban design, public transit, inner-city gardens, to name a few. 

 

 

 

 

 

Competitions

Deadline: October 31
Show Us Your Baldwin
Baldwin

Deadlne: November 30
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship
Gensler

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

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Tuesday
Jun172014

Wayback Wednesday: The Mayne Idea

Architect Thom Mayne's career spans over 40 years, and FORM had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the man behind iconic projects such as the one at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. Image via Wikipedia.

Over FORM's 15-year history, we've had the privelege and honor of speaking to some of the most compelling and accomplished architects and designers working. For this month's installment of our Wayback Wednesday series, which highlights some of our favorite articles from the last decade and a half, we're delighted to share an interview our publisher, Ann Gray, FAIA, conducted with Thom Mayne. As we pointed out in the original feeature, which appeared in our January/February 2011 issue, "Thom Mayne is producing work that is more relevant than ever." We're thrilled to be able to share what makes him tick.

Do you have an overarching source of inspiration or does each project have its own inspiration?

I think inspiration starts with some sort of a desire to change things. My sense is it’s in your DNA. Certain people look at the world and are more or less in agreement with the way things are. other people look at the world and say, “I see problems.” That sets up desires, and all action begins with desire. I can remember being an architecture student when somewhere it became understood that my role was to define my generation and somehow advance things.

So you actually perceived a generational shift with your schooling?

Oh, huge! It was the ‘60s. A series of things were happening that were just amazingly powerful. I was in the Vietnam generation. Civil rights, Kennedy—it was a time of huge optimism in terms of the potential of change, which came from inspiration. You can still listen to Martin Luther King’s famous speech and have it bring tears to your eyes. Within architecture itself there was an exhausting of the modern project, so there was already a discussion of what was going to take place next. Outside of architecture, there was film. I grew up with Truffaut and Fellini and Godard, an amazing group, which probably had as much affect on me as stuff within the discipline.

So an overarching social component inspired creativity?

The world was changing and we, the public, could make that change. And we, the students at the university, could affect that. But going back to inspiration, I think it comes from observing the world. It becomes the material of your ideas.

So it’s assimilating the input, be it creative or experiential.

Architecture is so broad; it deals with everything. So it could be reading Seeing is Forgetting, by Robert Irwin. It could come from the art world itself. It could be through observation of a particular work, like Heizer’s Double Negative, or visiting a work that completely alters the way you think you know architecture. It’s your visual literacy.

Over time, you’re assimilating things that you might have experienced not just last week but also 30 years ago. Have you seen a change in your inspiration over time?

The time framework is quite complicated. It doesn’t quite matter if it was seen an instant ago or twenty years ago. Ideas, the gestation, take many, many years, sometimes decades. You also accumulate baggage, and I think that’s a problem. As you get older, you yourself produce work and that work becomes a source for future work. It’s a problem because now your own experience, your own knowledge base, is potentially hazardous territory, and it’s going to drag you down. It’s going to impede the type of creativity that looks at something from a much more naïve position where anything is possible.

Is the baggage a tendency to repeat something that worked before? Or is it a tendency to work toward expectations that have been laid down over the years?

Both. We’re all habitual creatures. You become comfortable with certain things. It comes out of a success that you’ve been rewarded for being successful in certain aspects of your work. It’s definitely something to be cautious about.

You have to remember that what got you to that level of success is not necessarily the buildings, but the way you approached every single project.

Exactly. In professional terms, inspiration connected to a particular endeavor—architecture— requires an understanding of an operational strategy. Meaning you understand the nature of your own creations and the procedures that got you there.

How do you keep your approach fresh now?

I’ve got some paintings that I started doing after fifteen years of producing architectureand kind of stopping the “secondary” stuff. It’s absolutely about wanting to rethink and rechallenge basic principals of what I’m involved in.

Is painting something you’ve just taken up?

Up until about 1995 I’d always produced a lot of drawings, artifacts, objects, furniture, etc. As I got really busy in the mid-‘90s I kind of stopped doing that. Architecture is so pragmatic, and you get involved with all of the day-to-day. I thought it was time to start freeing myself from the constraints and start looking at the conceptual directions. What was I doing twenty years ago that was useful? That was it. It was incredibly important, and it actually defined the office. The studio was known as a place that dealt in ideas and wasn’t limited by the huge contingent factor of architecture.

Frequently, architects like to draw for fun, but even their non-architectural drawings become very literally translated into their architectural work. What conceptual level are you operating on?

I’m interested in organizational structure, which is leading to ideas that will definitely have to do with architecture, but not in any literal way. If you look at them, they are not architectural works. They’re within the realm of sculpture, painting, whatever you want to call them. For me, it’d have to operate on an abstract level if I’m doing them for myself.

And I’m not doing them for anyone else. I’m doing them because it gives me a huge release. As the projects get larger they get much more cumbersome, and much more difficult in every sense, certainly emotionally. These allow me a bit of freedom.

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