Charles Eames’ Advice for Students

Courtesy of Yale University Press

Few in the twentieth century straddled the demarcation between design and architecture as effortlessly – or as successfully – as Ray and Charles Eames. For the Eameses, the distinction was artificial and unhelpful; useful creative thought emerged from a process-based method of problem solving, design solutions addressed and resolved specific needs, and success could be effectively measured by an object’s ability to do its jobs. But while the Eameses were famously weary of design’s historical tendency toward “creative expression,” their work exhibited none of the abject sterility threatened by a devotion to extreme functionalism. They found that delight was itself utilitarian, and an object’s capacity to produce pleasure for its user allowed for the consideration of aesthetics as one metric of serviceability. From this belief in the unity of performance and perception emerged some of the century’s most iconic designs: Case Study House #8, the Molded Plywood Lounge Chairs, and the 670 & 671 Eames Lounge and Ottoman.

The forthcoming An Eames Anthology, edited by Daniel Ostroff and published by Yale University Press, chronicles the careers of Ray and in their pursuits as designers, architects, teachers, artists, filmmakers, and writers. As Ostroff attests, with over 130,000 documents archived in the Library of Congress, the Eameses were nothing if not prolific; this volume, accordingly, is not comprehensive so much as representative, curated to reflect the breadth of interests and accomplishments of the pair.

In preparation for a 1949 lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles on “Advice for Students,” Charles made the following notes on inspiration, methodology, and career strategy. They are excerpted here from An Eames Anthology:

Hadaway House / Patkau Architects

© James Dow / Patkau Architects

Architects: Patkau Architects
Location: , BC V0N,
Design Team: John Patkau, Patricia Patkau with Lawrence Grigg, Stephanie Coleridge, Marc Holland, Peter Suter, Shane O’Neil, and Mike Green
Area: 5000.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: James Dow / Patkau Architects, Peter Buchanan

6 Takeaways From NYMag’s Article On Calatrava’s $4 Billion WTC Station

© Bedel Saget/The New York Times

Ask any person involved in the construction of Santiago Calatrava‘s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and they will probably admit that the world’s most expensive train station has not been a PR success. In fact things have gotten so bad that a recent article by Andrew Rice for New York Magazine describes the gradual opening of the building later this year as coming “at long last and great cost, to both the government and his reputation,” adding that “a decade ago, Calatrava would have made any short list of the world’s most esteemed architects. Today, many within the profession are aghast at what they see as his irresponsibility.”

But, unlike much of the press coverage that has greeted Calatrava in recent years, the New York Magazine article is much more forgiving, taking the time to investigate the twists and turns of the project’s controversial 12-year history and offering the architect the opportunity to give his side of the story. Read on after the break for a breakdown of six takeaways from the article.

Peter Stutchbury Awarded Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal

/ Bay House. Image © Michael Nicholson

The 2015 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards have been allocated by the Australian Institute of Architects in Melbourne. The prestigious awards honor emerging and seasoned architects, students, and academics whose interdisciplinary designs have excelled in embracing the possibilities of the profession. Granting 14 awards in 9 categories, the recipients’ work spans a wide range of subject matter and addresses various aspects of architecture’s inherent influences both locally and globally.

The highest award, the Gold Medal, was awarded to Peter Stutchbury, whose lifelong commitment to architecture has spanned , professional practice, and involvement in organizations. His international work consistently speaks to its specific cultural and site conditions, while adhering to sustainable design principles.

See all the 2015 award winners, after the break.

The VIPP Shelter / VIPP

Courtesy of

Architects: VIPP
Location:
Chief Designer: Morten Bo Jensen
Area: 55.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of VIPP

New Readings Of Space: Placing Pools Of Oil Inside A Baroque Abbey Church

© We Find Wildness

This sculptural , created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, was exhibited at Bellelay Abbey in 2013. Although the structure dates back to the 12th century, the current Abbey Church of the Assumption was built by Franz Beer in a Vorarlberg Baroque style and completed in 1714.

Almost three hundred years later Crelier’s piece, entitled La Mise en Abîme (which roughly translates to, ’to have put into an abyss’), placed two shallow pools of used engine oil to act as reflective mirrors. These ‘puddles’ “allow the viewers to interact with the architecture of the church by being pulled into the reflection so that they, in turn, become part of the sculpture themselves.” According to We Find Wildness‘ interpretation, “the installation not only dispenses multiple visual thrills and mysteries but also offers a moment where sculpture creates another reading of space.”

Rehabilitation and Extension of the Colani-UFO / SSP SchürmannSpannel

© Joachim Schumacher

Architects: SSP SchürmannSpannel
Location: , Germany
Area: 1000.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Joachim Schumacher

Recreation House Near Utrecht / Roel van Norel + Zecc Architecten

Architects: Zecc Architecten
Interior Designers: Roel van Norel
Location: , Netherlands
Year: 2014
Photographs: Stijn Poelstra, Courtesy of Roel van Norel

Luo Fu Shan Shui Museum / ADARC Associates

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Architects: ADARC Associates
Location: Luofu Mountain, 罗浮大道, Boluo Xian, , Guangdong Sheng, China
Area: 6100.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of ADARC Associates

The Gills / Cong Sinh Architects

© Hiroyuki Oki

Architects: Cong Sinh Architects
Location: , Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Architect In Charge: Vo Quang Thi
Project Architects: Vo Quang Thi, Nguyen Thi Nha Van, Nguyen Phuc Bao Thang. Nguyen Nhat Anh
Contractor: Thanh An Interior & Construction Co.,Ltd
Area: 261.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki

Pavilion in a Garden / CollectiveProject

© Tina Nandi Stephens

Architects: CollectiveProject
Location: , Karnataka, India
Design Team: Cyrus Patell, Eliza Higgins
Area: 750.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Tina Nandi Stephens

SCI-Arc Offers Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media Post Professional Program

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A dynamic post-professional program in Emerging Systems, Technologies, & Media (ESTm) offered by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles has been charged with examining core contemporary issues facing architecture and design today. Spanning topics from advanced manufacturing methodologies to new building systems, this one year Master of Design Research track allows professionals to rethink architecture and design through the experimental hands-on approach of the SCI-Arc community.

The ESTm program tests new levels of environmental performance as it prepares students to successfully integrate formal, technical, logistical, and material processes into advanced architectural designs. The program is open to graduates in architecture, engineering, product design, computer sciences and other professionals who wish to develop advanced research and design skills in light of continuously evolving materials and new production paradigms of the 21st century.

Dong Anh Villa / Hoang Thuc Hao

Courtesy of Hoang Thuc Hao

Architects: Hoang Thuc Hao
Location: , Hanoi, Vietnam
Area: 700.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Hoang Thuc Hao

February ABI Reports “Nominal Increase” in Design Activity

February 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to a healthy state, recovering from its first negative score in ten months. Showing a “nominal increase” in design activity, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported February’s ABI at a score of 50.4, up from a mark of 49.9 in January. The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from a reading of 58.7 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

I2-house / Masahiko Sato

© Ishii Norihisa

Architects: Masahiko Sato
Location: , Prefecture,
Area: 52.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ishii Norihisa

Female Architects Earn 20 Percent Less Than Male Architects in US

Source: Table of 2013 American Community Survey estimates, U.S. Census Bureau

In 2013, there were 145,439 full-time, year-round architects in the United States - roughly 31,000 of which were women. Making up just over 21 percent of the workforce, these women were on average paid just 80 percent the salaries of their male counterparts, according to the latest statistics released by the US Census Bureau. This means the median income for male architects was $14,877 more than female architects. 

Mynt Flagship Store / Dear Design

© Xavi Torrent

Architects: Dear Design
Location: , ,
Art Director: Ignasi Llauradó
Design Team: Paulina Calcagno, Sebastián Pereyra
Client: Mynt
Area: 40.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Xavi Torrent

AZPML and SHARE Selected to Design 115-Meter Viennese Office Tower

© SBDA

AZPML and SHARE architects have won a competition to the design a new prominent office tower in Vienna. The building, Schnirchgasse 11 “aims to strike a balance between a distinctive identity for the complex and an efficient operation, both in terms of flexibility of use and environmental performance,” by taking on a rhomboidal shape derived from the site’s geometry and shade conditions.

More about the competition-winning scheme, after the break.