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Beatriz Colomina, “The Secret Life of Modern Architecture or We Don’t Need Another Hero”

Beatriz Colomina, “The Secret Life of Modern Architecture or We Don’t Need Another Hero”


Hi, everyone. Thanks for coming. So tonight’s lecture
marks the conclusion of women and designs
events celebrating International Women’s Day. The focus has been
feminine power sidestepping the normative
assumptions about what success and agency look like
within the design fields and instead searching
for alternative ways to understand power. Events circled
around three themes– feminist epistemologies
in design, foreground women’s
work, and workshopping emergent practices. We strove together members
from our own GSD community to celebrate and cultivate
new ways of thinking about gender and power. Tonight’s lecture
is no exception. Women in Design is
delighted to welcome Beatrice Colomina to our school
as the concluding keynote speaker. Beatrice is professor
of history and theory in the School of Architecture
and founding director of the program in
Media and Modernity at Princeton University. She has written extensively on
questions of architecture, art, sexuality, and media. Her books include
Are We Human, Notes on an Archeology of
Design, i Century of the Bed, Manifesto
Architecture– the Ghost of Mies, Clip Stamp, Fold,
Domesticity at War, Privacy and Publicity, Modern
Architecture’s Mass Media, and Sexuality and Space. She has curated a number
of exhibitions including Clip Stamp Fold in 2006,
Playboy Architecture in 2012, and Radical Pedagogies in 2014. She was curator with Mike
Quigley of the third Istanbul Design biennial in 2016. She has been the recipient of
diverse awards and fellowships including the Samuel
H Cress Senior Fellowship at the Center for
Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, SOM Foundation, La
Corbusier Foundation, Grant Foundation, the Canadian
Center for Architecture, the American Academy in
Berlin, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Tonight we welcome
her as an authority on gender and sexuality
in the built environment. Some of the seeds of today’s
intense and immersive conversations,
especially in the GSD, can be found in her
work, particularly Sexuality and Space from 1992. I would have loved to have
gone to the conference, but I was three, and of
which she was the editor. In it, we can learn that
the politics of space are always sexual. Architecture must be thought of
as a system of representation in the same way that we think of
drawings, photographs, models, film, or television, not
only because architecture is made available to
us through the media, but because the built
object is itself a system of representation. Likewise the body
has to be understood as a political construct,
a product of such systems of representation rather than
the means by which we encounter them. We here now find our
interests and intentions in this particular
moment shifting. We accept that architecture
is a system of representation but of whom and by whom. We accept the body as
inherently political, but who’s calling
the shots here? We pull back the veil
to shift our gaze from architecture as object
to architecture as practice. Tonight’s lecturer is
framed thusly with and not and is the way in
which women are usually credited alongside men
in the official records if they’re credited at all. Women are the ghosts
of modern architecture, everywhere present crucial,
but strangely invisible. Architecture is
deeply collaborative, more like movie making than
traditional visual art. But unlike movies, this is
hardly ever acknowledged. Until recently, it’s been
a secret carefully guarded. So tonight, we make
space to represent that which has been
previously rendered invisible. Please welcome
Beatrice Colomina. Thank you very much for
your generous introduction and for your invitation. It makes me really, really happy
to be invited here precisely by the women in design. Not that Harvard has ever
been not generous to me. One of the first lectures– I was just mentioning– this I gave it here when
I was absolutely nobody. And not that I’m anybody now,
but I was absolutely nobody, like totally a kid
in ’86 I think. I started to work
on my dissertation. I gave three lectures
here in this very room. They’re very much the beginning
of my thinking of what could become
privately and publicly the modern architecture
mass media. And even if I didn’t have the
title or anything like that, I did, but I have always enjoyed
coming here and discussing things with you. So the question of
collaboration, of course, has become I think
an increasingly important and urgent,
you can say, question. On the one hand, you
can say that it’s central to contemporary
discussions in general of architecture. If you want ever deeper
engagement with SEER software programs that allow
a large number of people in different
locations and disciplines to work together on
the same project. On the other hand,
I think it’s also crucial to historians
trying to understand the way in which architecture
has been traditionally produced. Architecture is increasingly
a collaborative field. We all know that,
and yet it has been very difficult to acknowledge
this simple fact to architects. It’s much more
difficult than Phil. Phil has always
recognized these. Why are we so stuck
up with this question? At the end of a film, you
have– even the makeup people, the hair people, the
catering people are credited. And we credit nobody. I mean, we were out of their way
to credit just one person even in situations
like, for example– and this is pertinent to the
women in design in Harvard that they started that famous
and really urgent petition to acknowledge Denise Scott
Brown as part of the Pritzker Prize. And it was still denied. How is it possible that an
architectural firm acknowledge in their name Denise Scott
Brown and institution has said the Pritzker Prize
decided that that’s irrelevant. And this is I think
some of the things that we need to think about. And precisely I was going
to start with this question that you just read the
paragraph of how women in architecture and in general– this is an alternative title– the with and without you, the
growth of modern architecture. Because in fact with and not and
is precisely the way in which women architects
are more frequently credited alongside men
in the official records. And that is if they
are credited at all. And this is a woman
builder in 903 repairing the roof of
the city hall in Berlin. So women had been
in architecture for a very, very long time. It’s just we don’t see them. In that sense, I say
that women are the ghosts of modern architecture. Here is a ghost for example. This is photograph of
the Barcelona Pavilion There are very few
photographs of the Pavilion. Has anybody bothered
to ask themselves, who is this woman standing at
the edge of the carpet looking into the Barcelona Pavilion. Of course it’s Lily Reich,
that not only collaborated with Mies van der
Rohe in the pavilion, but she was the one that was
there the whole time where he kept going to Berlin. And so, she’s not only that. She did more than 23 exhibitions
in industrial exhibitions seen in Barcelona at the
same time that they did they the pavilion–
a fantastic exhibit and she was crucial to
the Barcelona Pavilion. But we still continue to
say about Barcelona Pavilion of Mies van der Rohe of course. And the pavilion has
not been inaugurated, and she’s inspecting the setup. So women are the ghosts
of modern architecture. This is a self portrait
of a Lotte Beese. And this is a photograph of Otti
Berger, a Bauhaus student who actually dying at
a concentration camp and a photograph
of Lotte Beese. Also, we don’t know enough
about all these women that were part of the Bauhaus. And when the Bauhaus, the tragic
stories of many of these– all these remains to be undone. But returning to the
question of the ghost– and I guess I put this picture
because it suggests this idea of the ghosts because women
are really the ghost of modern architecture– everywhere pressing, crucial,
but strangely invisible, unacknowledged. I think they are destined
to haunt the field forever. But correcting the record
is not just a question of adding a few names
or even thousands to the history of architecture. It’s not just a matter of human
justice or historical accuracy, but a way to more fully
understand architecture and the complex ways in
which it is produced. Architecture is
deeply collaborative, more like movie making than
visual arts for example but unlike all traditional
visual arts at least. But unlike movies, this is
hardly ever acknowledged. Until recently it has been
a secret carefully guarded. So I guess what I’m conjuring
is this idea that we are going to get very far by simply adding
women architects to the history of modern architecture. What do we have to
rethink fundamentally is the question of how
architecture is being produced and the privileging
of one single figure that we continue to– to [inaudible] our problem. That’s what I’m trying to say. I’m not saying that
it’s not important to do a specific exercise of women
that has not been acknowledged. I’m just saying with this,
we will not get very far. To better understand the
field of architecture, I think we liberate
new potential. The gap between the
words and and with, which as you will see,
institutions so vigilantly guard, needs to be rethought. With implies a helper, a
secondary source of energy, and implies partnerships
and equality. What is positive
about the and is that it feeds on
difference and complexity and may encourage more and may
encourage more nuanced forms of production and discourse. And I will tell
you a story of how I got into this whole
question of the collaboration. It’s almost 20 years
ago, and I was invited to give a lecturer in Madrid. And by the way,
Madrid is incidentally the place where I was– the city where I was born. It was kind of an
interesting occasion because, by then,
as I was already a professor at Princeton, I have
lectured everywhere– at Yale, at Harvard, at Princeton, etc. at the [inaudible]. I don’t know. But you know, you never are
anybody in your own country. So finally, they decided that
maybe I was worth their while. And the Colegio de
Arquitectos, which is very much a male kind
of completion institute, and they invited me to
give a lecture there. And I was working at that time. So for those of you
who know my work– not that it’s way in my career– I was working on Charles
and Ray Eames at the time. So I gave this lecture on the
work of Charles and Ray Eames, and particularly I was
working on the Eames House. And to my surprise, most of
the discussion at the dinner afterwards centered on the
role of Ray’s background as a painter, how he
studies with Hans Hofmann. They knew everything. So of course, I
have mentioned, when I was showing
images of the house, how the Hans Hofmann paintings
were hanging horizontally from the ceiling and how Ray
had a study with Hans Hofmann. But otherwise, I had not really
focused on the role of Ray. I had not brought up
to this theme at all. And I was also surprised that
they brought this question, that they were so interested
in the significance of Ray in the partnership because I
was surrounded by very, very well-known Spanish
architects, some of whom even teach around here. But they were all men. There was not even a woman
on the table and also, because as I say,
I had not brought the subject of
Ray’s contribution at all in the lecture. I had thought it was not
a climate or an interest or an audience for that kind
of topic in Spain at that time. The conversation
drifted as usually happens in this occasion. And before we know, we are
talking about Lily Reich and what enormous,
massive roles she might have played in
development of Mies van der Rohe’s architecture. They were saying
about the importance of such products of the
Silk and Velvet Cafe in Berlin, the collaborative
project of Mies with Lily Reich for
the Exposicion de la Mode in Berlin in 1927, when
draperies in velvet and silk hang from metal rods
to form the space. And everyone, to my surprise,
agreed that there was nothing, nothing in Mies work previous
to that collaboration with Lily Reich that will
suggest this radical definition of a space, by,
let’s say, suspended surfaces, which
could become actually his trademark, as exemplified
of course in the Tugendhat and the Barcelona
Pavilion of 1929. Of course, Stoney’s
because where I have always thought
that was obvious, I had never brought myself– I mean, I have said things
like these in seminars, but I have never brought myself
to write something like that, that they were also aware
of this incredible influence of Lily Reich. And then one these famous
architects say something that has stayed with me ever since. He says it is like a
dirty little secret that we– that is, we,
meaning all architects– keep, something that we all
know, that we all see, but we don’t bring
ourselves to talk about it. That’s amazing. So these guys are all
guys, are controlling the entire situation in Spain,
the schools of architecture, the institute–
they know, they see, they are in a kind of
spontaneous situation after dinner, able
to talk about it. But as he himself
admitted– and I thought it was really beautiful
that he will say it that way– that this is like a little,
dirty secret that we all know, that we all see. So in fact, that made me
think that the secrets of modern architecture
are really like the secrets of a
family, in which, of course, everybody knows that
something has happened, but nobody wants to talk about
it, all this little secret. And it is perhaps because of
our current culture fascination with exposing the intimate,
that these secrets have not been unveiled little by little. They wanted to adjust the
publication of recent years or even of recent days. There is an increasing
interest on the way in which architectural
works, so to speak. It is as if we have become
more concerned with the how than with the what. And how is less about structure
or building techniques, which was of course the
interest of an earlier generation of
historians, and more about interpersonal relations. The previous marginal details
of how things actually happen in architecture practice
are now coming into the light. The focus is shifting from the
architect as a single figure and the building as an object to
architecture as collaboration. This for example is Charles
Eames with John Entenza. But how can anybody think about
Charles Eames and his Eames House without thinking
about Entenza, that was, of course the great
promoter of all the cases studies in California? So collaborations are
multiple and complex. Attention is today
starting to be paid to all professionals that
are involved in the project– the partners, the engineers,
the landscape architects, the interior designers, the
employees, the builders, etc., even photographers, graphic
designers, critiques, curators. He’s more of a
curator than a critic. And all of those who produce
the work in the media are being considered. It’s no longer
possible to ignore how much modern architecture
is produced both in the media and as media. And these, of course, are
the famous photographs of Julius Shulman of the Richard
Neutra House on Palmer Street, or the Pierre Koenig house. Without these pictures,
the work will not exist. As Richard Neutra himself said
about his photographer Julius Shulman and Julius
Shulman, he was a kid when Richard Neutra hired him. He was a fashion photographer. He had no idea how to
photograph architecture. He trained him. But then he says, this work
will always survive me. Film is stronger,
and glossy prints are easier to see than brute
concrete, stainless steel, or even ideas. So he acknowledged the
significance of this work. Today, even the clients,
who were previously treated as a problem for
architecture or as witness to the effects of architecture,
are being considered as the active collaborators. They are, as for example, in
Farnsworth, the famous doctor in Chicago and client of the
Farnsworth House of Mies. So of course, many of the
best work of architecture owe their strength
to the client. And this is something
that, of course, Alice Friedman
studied very well. The post-war inaugurated
a new kind of– here you have, for example,
Alice in the office of Mies actively working with
Mairon Goldschmitt in the design of her own House. The post-war period
inaugurated a new kind of collaborative practice
that has become increasingly difficult to ignore
or to subsumed between a heroic conception
of an individual figure. MOMA, for example, held this
exhibition on the Chiga firm, SOM– Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill– in 1950 acknowledging
him for the first time a corporate office. So here we have
individuals giving way to a more anonymous collective,
even in the exhibition of 1950. But when finally
the names are put– this is the cover
of the catalog– when the names are
finally written, then symptomatically a
very significant woman in the firm, Natalie de Blois,
was systematically left out. So when they have to
put all the names, all the male names appear,
but Natalie de Blois, who was actually
the great architect of all these projects–
the LeBer House, the Pepsi Build, the Hilton
International in Istanbul, she is never acknowledged to the
point that, at a certain point, she left the firm. She was never
promoted, et cetera. I brought this Fortune
magazine because I think we are worse
architects, as the institution of architecture are worse
than the popular press because here you see
Fortune magazine that has no trouble acknowledging
that Natalia de Blois is the senior designer that
did the preliminary drawings for the Union Carbide
Tower, et cetera. And here she is with Phillip
Johnson and Mario Salvadori. And you see that Phillip
Johnson knows perfectly well who she’s dealing with. But the firm itself would
never fully acknowledge her, and MOMA did not include
her in the credit either. Actually, in this period
of the post-war year, all the great masters
associated for the first time with other architectural on
key projects– for example, Mies van der Rohe worked with
Philip Johnson on the Seagram Building, was the
crucial intervention as client of Phyllis
Lambert as both patron and the own architect. That was Phillip Lambert that
convinced her father, Seagram, that wanted to hire a very
conventional architect that Mies will do the building. So again, the Seagram
Building will not exist without Phyllis Lambert. In 1943, Walter Gropius founded
the architect collaborative tadt with a group
of young architects. And in 1963, he collaborated
with the corporate office of Emery Roth and Sons
for the Pan Am building. Many other examples– Wallace Harrison is told, if
you want, from the corpus here, the forms for the new
headquarters of the United Nations in New York. Rem Koolhaas has
actually suggested that such partnerships
are always overlooked, even they often contribute the
more idiosyncratic features of the buildings. Here still is the
United Nations. And Koolhaas’ point is that
those of the perversion of the masters. From the 1930s
Koolhaas wrote in 1996, when he began working
with Lily Reich, on Mies left the theatrical to
others– perversoin by proxy from her silk and velvet to
Johnson’s chain mail in the in the fourth Seasons. What is the connection? Who took advantage? Once again, it’s
symptomatic to me that it takes an architect and
not a critic or a historian to point to the obvious,
even if in fact he gets the facts wrong, Lily
Reich having being collaborating Mies since the mid 20s. But the question is the
question of collaboration is what he gets right. Collaborations, to return
to the initial point, is the secret life of modern
architecture, the secret life of architects, in a way,
the domestic cultural life of architecture. And nowhere is this more
evident than in architects who live and work together. With couples for whom there’s
a complete identification between home life
and office life– precisely, I think the
sensitivity Koolhaas to the question of
collaboration is also personal or
autobiographical in as much as OMA was also two couples. And of course, there is Zada
Hadid, that at some point joined the office only for one
year, who was terribly unhappy and actually, in this
collage, it’s also interesting that this is practically at
the door in a I’m leaving, two you guys can. So of course, Madelon
Vriesendorp, Rem Koolhaas, and Elia Zenghelis and Zoe. Zenghelis were part
of the practice. And many times, at least
in the initial years– I haven’t been heard him
complaining so much recently– he complained in the
early years so much that, despite the huge
effort of naming his practice Office of Metropolitan
Architecture, the press tended to
prefer only one name. So they will continue to
talk about Rem Koolhaas and not about OMA
and not acknowledging fully the rest of the partners. So as I say, nowhere
is this more emblematic that with architects that
work and to live together with couples for whom there’s
a complete identification between home life
and office life. Ray and Charles
Eams in the 1950s provided actually a
model for couplings in following generations. By couplings, I mean
collaborations in which there is also some intimate
relationship, in particular for Alison and Peter Smithson,
whose partnership in turn provided a model for Robert
Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, believe it or not, and for
Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos a generation later. So a couple in a way identifying
themselves with other couple. These guys were absolutely
obsessed with the Smithsons, whom they had made when they
were very young kids studying in Urbino Urbino was a school
in Italy, a summer school, where students from different parts
of school of architecture all over Europe will go there
for two months with Giancarlo De Carlo. And they found themselves with
the Smithsons teaching there, and they formed a
longtime relationship. The couplings actually
reached an enormous level of resentment and
nervousness from all camps, and that includes women. The phallic myth of the solo
architect, the isolated genius, is one of the most regressive
and reactionary understanding of architecture. But unfortunately it’s
still the more pervasive. In this climate,
I think there is much to learn from the
Smithson’s if only to remind ourselves that it
took more than half a century before
women architects were on equal footing in
partnership with man. Margaret McDoland collaborated
with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Lily Reich with Meis,
Charlotte Perriand, with Le Corbusier, Aino
Aalto with Alvar Aalto. But their extraordinary
influences was never completely
acknowledged. Only Charles and
Ray Eames, we did for the first time have a firm,
which at least in the name, would recognize the
two partners as equals. And only with the
Smithsons did we have that a woman puts her name first
and her work is finally fully acknowledged by all. Of course, institutions,
particularly eastcoast institutions, I must say– the
Museum of Modern Art, the New York Times, Harvard University,
I’m sorry, were in denial. A devastated Esther McCoy
wrote to the Eams apologizing for an article that had just
appeared in the New York Times where the name of Ray had
been erased from the article. And she says, Dear Charles
and Ray, the Times story was an embarrassment
to me, as it must have been painful to you. It was originally, as
requested, a 5,000 story and was cut, at their
request, to 3,500. And when Paul Goldberger, he
called and said it was fine. Then he turned me over to
an editorial assistant, and Barbara Williams, who
had endless complaints– I won’t bore you,
but the two things we settled down on
a death struggle– death struggle– were that
Ray’s name must be included. Imagine that you have
to fight for that, that Ray’s must be included
and that a [inaudible] must not be called a casting couch. For 20 years, of course
the article appears and Ray has disappeared and
[inaudible] is called a casting couch, right? For 20 years, I have worked
faithfully with editors. Now already in 1973, I have
come up against two editors– he’s 73– who are unbelievably arrogant,
the basis of their complaint being that I don’t understand
the broad audience. This is sheer nonsense. The broad audience does
not object to a woman being credited for work. So this is the kind of thing
that critics like Esther McCoy had to deal with. But I mean, if the New
York Times was terrible, the Museum of Modern
Art was even worse, they never were able to
acknowledge Ray Eams. Only Charles was credited in the
institutions for the exhibition of their work. One that presented
that as one man saw and the title, new
furniture designed by Charles Eames in 1946. Now this is particularly
tragic because older members of the Eams office were also
not credited for their work, including– and you see
the whole team there– Gregory Aime, Coliver
Toya, Herbert Matter, and Griswold Raphael. And all of them resigned from
the office as a consequence. So MOMA may have thought that
they were doing something very nice by credited
only Charles, but it had enormous
consequences for the firm because this was one
of the more, actually, fruitful and productive
moments of the office. And they all left. And the relationship
was even personal. You have, for example,
here Alexander Matter who was the son
of Herbert Matter, and was also here on top
of this plywood elephant. So there an intimate and
also personal relationship. And all of this was sent to
garbage by this stupidity. The exhibition– sorry–
the exhibition and catalogue of the good design
exhibitions of the 1950s, where also Charlers and
Ray Ears were a part, did not again give
credit to Ray, who is in fact seen in
many photographs installing the saw next to the
creator, Edward Hofmann Jr. So to my knowledge,
she is the one really that is there
doing all the work. But she doesn’t
appear in the credit. Only on the last
page of the catalog, there are a few
lines crediting her with assistance in preparing
the show and the book, but not really for
the work itself. Even as late as
1973, the same year of the New York Times article
Arthur Drexler’s introduction to the exhibition on Charles
Eams for the design collection did not properly credit
Ray, which is only mentioned as an assistant. If institutions have
difficulties acknowledging the Eams partnerships, the
Smithsons, on the other hand, could identify. They were absolutely
fascinated with the Eams. They followed them
everywhere, and they keep writing to them
these affectionate notes. At one level, their born
with their elder couple was personable. Their standard form of
address in correspondence– this is is all from the
archives– is from RC to– to R and C from A and
P, and they usually closed with effusive
displays, like [inaudible] very affectionately, or we think
of you often, and much love. Their writings are also full
of expressions of admiration. One by one of all of the
pieces of the Eams work are treated as precious
icons, magical tokens, that are presented as pardigms
for their own practice. Of the Eams chair, the Smithsons
will write, for example, that the chair was
like a message of hope from another planet, that it’s
the only chair that one could put in an interior today– they
say, the only one they will put in their own living room. Eams chairs, they say, they
belonged to the occupant, not– well, this one, they
belonged to the [inaudible] only. But the Mies chairs
belonged to the occupant, which I think is a very
interesting observation. Mies chairs are
especially of the building and not of the occupant. I think everybody
will agree with this. No, when you look at
the Barcelona chair, you think, I mean, who
is this chair made for. I was fascinated
when the [inaudible] did that beautiful installation
in the Barcelona Pavilion. And I saw them sitting in
one of the stools assigned in the book, and
they perfectly fit. I mean, whose bodies that
will feel comfortable in these chairs of Mies? In any case, of the Eams
select and ranged technique, the award, the award of the
Smithsons, the Smithsons says, as a design method it’s
closer to flower arrangement and to good taste in
the function of rooms with collectors pieces. And then they claim to
have to used the method themself in designing and
equipping our own houses. The Eams, they write,
had made the respectable to like pretty things. This seems extraordinary. But in our world, pretty
things are equated with social irresponsibility. Now of the Eams unique
photographic technique, the Smithsons write,
we who ourselves are very attentive listeners
and watchers of everything the Eams have made– you
see this complete obsession with everything, right? We have taken their invention
of the flat on color documentation of objects as part
of the way we now also work. So you can see that,
in every instance, we are presented with something
with an acute, actually, observation of an
aspect of the Eams work. And then at the same
time with the way in which they, the Smithsons,
appropriated it and made it theirs. Take, for example,
this smooth transition from using in the Eams
chairs, as they say before, to designing their
own furniture. And they write, with the
first interiors years sketches of this
project [inaudible],, we realized we had a problem. What was to be put
in our furniture? We needed objects that
achieve a culture or feat. They could not be falling
back on the Thonert chair sold in France and
used by Le Corbusier. As a response to
this realization came the [inaudible],,
a chair which looked as if it might follow
you, or follow its owner room to the room
and on to the beach. So here is the chair that
the Smithsons designed. And incredibly enough, was
appropriated immediately by the Miralles. Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos,
they reproduced this house, and then they installed
in their house. The Smithsons chairs
take on precisely the same characteristics they
ascribe to the Eams chairs. They occupy the space
vacated by the Thonet. They are from the same
period as the architecture, as for example in
the Smithsons house of the future, where they are
clearly inspired by the Eams. But at the same time,
it’s also different. And very important, they
belonged to the occupant and not to the building. So the Smithsons put themselves
in the place of the Eams, absorbing their
mode of operation rather than the specific
details of their form. But the key symptoms
of identification between the Smithsons
and the Eams are not just there the endless
reference to particular aspects of the Eams. They are also in the
couple’s techniques of presenting
themselves and the kinds of obsessions they manifest. And above all– and perhaps
this is not surprising when one couple bonds with another– the symptoms are in
the pervasive sense of domesticity, literal
domesticity as when Peter Smithson reflects on
the Eams breakfast table, and of course he saves that
for the Eams, the table. The breakfast table is a form
of architecture only then in the same movement to go
back to Walter Gropius and Ise Gropius breakfast table in
the home in Massachusetts near here. And we end up with
an imagine of Alison at breakfast on a snowy day in
their country house in Funhill. So they trade this
domesticity in all this. And actually
conceptual domesticity as when, in the
same article, Peter organizes the history
of architecture from the Renaissance to the
present as that of our family, as more a family of
only six members. [inaudible] Alberti
Francisco de Giorgo represented the generation
of the Renaissance, and Mies, the Eams,
and the Smithsons represented three generations
of modern architecture. Do you see what is says there? Piper Editorial. This is a lecture here. And the poster was done
by a student from Harvard, apparently under instructions
from Peter Smithson in a telephone call from London. So there are three
areas of the Renaissance and the three generations
of the present. The Smithsons made many,
many, many family trees. But what is incredible is
the couple’s insistence on the inclusion on themselves
in these family trees. In the modern architectural
genealogy within [inaudible] and which they were
able to communicate in such brilliant ways
in their writings, the Smithsons wanted
to see themselves as following the
tradition of Mies. Peter, for example, to
write my own debt to Mies is so great that
it’s difficult for me to disentangle what I
hold as my own thought. So often they have
been the results of insights received from him. So he cannot even know what he
thought himself or what he got from Mies. But if Mies was the architect
of the heroic period that they most
admired, the Eams were like their favorite cousins,
the ideal for the second, less heroic generation, the
generation straddling World War II. And it was with them, in
fact, that the Smithsons felt closer alliances. They keep producing
these geneologies. For example, on the occasion of
our lecture of Alison Smithson, where she goes the see
the Farnsworth House, she makes these genealogy,
which goes from the Farnsworth House to the Eams house to
their own pavilion in Fonthill. Or then Villa Savoye on another
occassion is Villa Savoye. So the Eams are the thing that
stayed, do you realize that? So the Eams is
always in the middle or, in this particular case,
that with Reedbull House, the Eams House, and again,
their house in Fonthill. In a lecture by
Peter in connection with the reconstruction
of the 1956 exhibition of the
independent group, he links the party on
pavilion with the Eams house points out that the Eams
two had been familiar with the Mies sketch of
the glass house of 1934, and again different projects
produce different genealogies. And this is interesting–
again, to return to the question of women– because Peter Smithson–
what a kind of [inaudible],, I because that could not be
more separated from this idea. And he [inaudible]. Never mind. Peter Smithson was significantly
one of the first architects to point to the significance of
women in modern architecture. He keep emphasizing women in
what he calls the female line. And he writes, much
of the inheritance reaches us through
the female line. And he mentions [inaudible],,
who collaborated of course with [inaudible] for
the [inaudible] House. Lily Reich, Charlotte
Perriand, Ray Eams– those are the four
names he mentioned. And of course, the line
continues all the way, in his view, to Alison
Smithson, in what Peter calls a conscious homage
to the founding mothers. Now we have talked a lot
about the founding fathers. In architecture, it’s always
talking about the founding fathers. But this is the first
time that I have heard the founding mothers. The Smithsons, who were very
sensitive to women’s presence in the history of
architecture for our century more than any historian or
critique of that period, but the women they
identify are always symptomatically in couples. And this may have
been, for example, the symptomatic absence of
significant figures like [? guile ?] Ingrid, not of
interest to them because they cannot put her in a partnership. So they refer to my Margaret
McDonaold, and Mackintosh. Probably you have never hear
about Margaret McDonaold. Have you ever heard
about Margaret McDonaold? I mean, for Mackintosh,
he spent his entire life saying that he was normal,
that he was a genius. Nobody seemed to have
believed retroactively. But the thing is
that, in many ways, I think we are going backwards. Because the other day,
I was doing research on something else,
and I came upon this a moment in the early 20th
century when Margaret McDonaold goes with Mackintosh,
and they put together an exhibition in Vienna. And all the newspapers
and all the magazines talk about Margaret McDonaold,
and the red haired women, this is strong woman that
has done this great project, and they practically
don’t mention him. So what’s wrong with us? What’s wrong that the journalist
and the critics of the time have no problem recognizing her,
and one hundred and– and what is it– 18 years later, we are
stuck with Macintosh. And we don’t know that
he spent his entire life saying that he was actually
quite a regular guy, that she was actually
unbelievable. Why will he say that? Why will we say that? It has to be something, right? So what was I saying? So he refers to Margaret
McDonald and Rennie Mackintosh, Charlotte Perriand, and
Le Corbusier, [inaudible] Lily Reich and Meis and so on. So a couple in a way identifying
themselves with other couples, perhaps identifying
other couples, perhaps identifying
themselves with other couples. As Alison put it, I can see the
part played by Ray Eams in all that they do, the perseverance
in finding what exactly is the one thing wanted,
although the secret may not even know the exact object
until finally it’s seen. Or when writing about Mies,
Peter suddenly remarks, as if talking to himself, I want
to know more about Lily Reich. And in a footnote to this– because this a [inaudible] and
he writes a footnote to this very blunt comment– I want to know more
about Lily Reich. You normally don’t write that
in a scholarly book, right? You won’t write that. I think it’s kind of fresh. I want to know more
about Lily Reich. In a footnote, he points out
to this picture of [? meet ?] and Lily Reich in 1933 published
in this book of Ludwig Glasser, this silvery book
on Mies furniture in the collection of the
Museum of Modern Art. But he says nothing about it. It’s this picture
of Mies and Reich on a boat where they each
look in the other’s direction, but their gaze
symptomatically never cross. But it’s also not
just heterosexual couples that interest
this [inaudible].. And this is fascinating to me. When discussing Johanes
Duiker in the heroic period of modern architect,
Peter writes, it is not for me to deal with
the relationship between Duiker and Bernard Bivjoet. I speak of them as one eminence. In fact, Duiker Bivjoet
have collaborated in many projects including
the famous Zonnestral Sanatorium in
Hilversum, the open area schools in Amsterdam, etc. Do we know these projects
as a collaboration? No, we tend to think about
as the projects of Duiker. Same thing happened
when Bivjoet goes to parties and collaborates
with [inaudible] in this beautiful
[french] in Paris. Last year there was a
beautiful exhibition in the US museum,
extensive documentation, and great material. And this poor Bivjoet that had
collaborated on the project was not even in the record. And you go like,
how is it possible that they make such a big deal
about how this was the best project of [inaudible] and
how nothing else that he do was anywhere closer to this. And could it be that Bijvoet had
have something to do with it? Because it’s the same
guy that also did this, that collaborated this. Duiker never did anything better
than when he was with him. So actually something
that Alison told me– actually, she was very
upset when Enric Miralles split with Carme Pinos. They were very upset. It was like they were breaking
themselves apart, too. And they happened
to be in New York. I have invited them to
give a lecture in Princeton this is 1992. And he said, Beatrice, there
is something in collaboration– what did he say? Something the addition is higher
than the sum of the parts. Something else happens,
that [inaudible] would each of us contribute. And he says, they would
never do, neither of them will rise to the same level
that they did together again. And that was actually
a good prediction. Anyway, so Bijvoet– yes,
and speaking of soap operas, Bijvoet arrived in Paris
with his wife and his child and was the wife of Dukier. I mean like, what? And they were all living
together in the same flat and eventually Bijvoet
divorced his wife and married the wife
of Duiker, Erminne. So anyway, looking at the– because it’s also interesting
that the whole history of modern architecture
is full of soap operas that we don’t talk about. But it’s also, we have
to look into that. That’s super interesting. Why would we not look into that? That explains a lot
about what happens. Anyway, going back to this
cover of the heroic period, I think it’s evident
just by looking at the corner of this book
on modern architecture– one of my favorite books
on modern architecture– that it’s evident already
that the Smithsons are interested in collaborations. For them, the history
of architecture is the history of
a conversation. You can see that it’s not a
heroic architect in the core, but Mies and Le Corbusier in
the grounds of the Wiesenhof discussing this project here,
Le Corbusier and Gropius in a cafe in Paris,
again, arguing, talking. CIAMs and Team 10s
were for them occasions for a wider conversation, if
you want a family conversation. And think about the difference
between these photographs of the CIAM people are
all kind of like soldiers in the kind of new situation
that the Team 10 is creating. So Alison also wrote Team
10 is a small family group. And this very much
suggests these kind of pictures that you
have of the Team 10s, very, very different
of these ones. Alison wrote, Team 10
is a small family group who knows each
other so well that can begun to work together
with a better mind that each school achieve alone. Again, the question
of collaboration– that they could work together
better than they could each of them work alone. And on the occasion of
Pierre Jeanneret’s death, Alison broad a very
moving report here, Alison and Peter,
where they write, we have a various [inaudible]
significant houses, and indeed, there is
Farnsworth, a few early Rudolf houses and very little else. The earliest document is from
the architects journal June 27, 1946. It is these with the thought
of on the death of Pierre Jeanneret. The house on here embodies the
sweetest collaboration with Jean Prouv , who really
has been unfortunate in his architects’ collaborators. So look at what is happening. The Smithsons are paying tribute
to Pierre Jeanneret by showing his house with Prouv . So they removed him from Le
Corbusier’s gigantic figure, but only to pair
him again right away in the sweetest collaboration. And in the process, they
introduce the question of Prouv and happy
marriage, so to speak. For example, when
they say the same. The suitor is going with Jean
Prouv who really has to be unfortunate in his
architects collaborators. I mean, I think he’s kind of
opening a possibility of us to study here about what
is going on with this collaboration
because, of course, Prouv had collaborated with
a succession of architects including Tony Garnier,
[inaudible] Le Corbusier, [inaudible] for the
Freie University, etc. But since the
[inaudible] remember that to Jeanneret bringing
up the matter of partnerships raises questions
about what is perhaps the most unexplored, the
most unknown partnership of the century and
asks the question of what generally
may have contributed to the work of Le Corbusier. Nobody knows this
Paul Pierre Jeanneret I have worked a lot
on Le Corbusier. My dissertation was
on Le Corbusier. I spent years in the
Fundacion Le Corbusier. I never knew that
it was so short. It’s not that Le
Corbusier is a giant. He’s really little. And I had to go with
my students to– I taught a class on Chandigarh. I took the students to
Chandigarh in Chandigarh. On my god, in Changdigarh,
they adored Jeanneret because he was there. He was the one that built Changdigarh. He went there. He had spent years there. He wanted to be buried there. He died there. He loved India. And then I started paying
attention to Jeanneret and realized how little
we know about this figure here on the beach– I don’t know– boxing
with Le Corbusier. And then finally, there
is the love affairs. Here is a Lotte Beese,
that we mentioned before– first a student in
the Bauhaus to be admitted in the architecture. They were all put into
the textile section. All the women, they were not
allowed to be in the metal– I mean, it’s a whole history. So Lotte insisted on
being in architecture and had actually an affair with
Jonanes Meyer, who had finally agreed that she will enter into
the School of Architecture, but also told her that,
if he were to do that, she probably would have
to associate herself professionally with
a male architect because otherwise she will
never be able to do anything in her life. She did exactly that. She associated herself with
him, as he was married. And then he’s made
head of the Bauhaus. And she was a student
was asked to leave. Why? Because it wouldn’t look good
that the director of the school was having a story
with a student, one that’s in [inaudible]. She have to leave. But anyway, so here
you have Lotte Beese, and I don’t who is this guy,
this creep in the background. But that’s that. I don’t know about– I mean, I think Lotte
Beese is super fascinating. As you know, then
she married Mart Stam and became Lotte
Beese Stam, and she the head of the reconstruction
of the hall of Rotterdam. And she’s an force. She’s an unbelievable
in architecture. And she really was interested
in any of these guys. Anyway you think about it,
all she’s in this Bauhaus, she’s always photographing this
Lotte Beese and other women in the Bauhaus,
amazing photographs. Annie and Joseph Ahlberg,
but particularly I want to– from other love
affairs but I want to particularly talk about
the affair of Catherine Bauer with– what’s his name– Lewis
Mumford, which you see here. Catherine Bauer was a social
historian who married, by the way, William Worster,
Lewis Mumford in 1940 and in a way politicized
him, infusing his domestic science with hard
social and unpolitical ideas. But before that, he had
also radically changed the work of Lewis
Mumford by inspiring him to take on the grand themes
of technology and community, which will become the basis
of his best known books. And Mumford in turn
encouraged Bauer to contemplate aspects of
the sign that could not be quantified to
broaden and humanized the definition of
housing reform doing the several years
of the rove affair while he was married
to someone else. Mumford had met Bauer in 1929. Listen to this because you
have read a lot about Mumford but you haven’t
read these I’m sure. We were drawn together
by our common interesting in modern architecture. From the beginning, we were
excited by each other’s minds and plunged and leaped in a
sea of ideas like two dolphins, even before our bodies
had time for one another. Wow. Catherine’s challenging
in mind, particularly during the first two
years of our intimacy, had a stimulating
and liberating effect upon my whole development. In effect, she played the
part of of Hilda Wangel in Ibsens play, the voice
of younger generation, bidding the Master
Builder to quit building modest,
commonplace houses and to erect, instead,
an audacious tower, even if, when he has reached the
top, he might fall to his death. OK, wow. So There: you have another
Mumford from the one that you normally talk. Anne Tying one of the
first women architects to graduate from Harvard
University, from this place, became Louis Kahn, a
lover, as you know, were working in his office
and collaborating closely in the designs. In a letter to Tyng where
she was in Rome in 1954– you want to know
why he was in Rome? Because she got pregnant and
then, of course, because she was married to someone else. She was told to go to Rome. It was better because otherwise
it was kind of embarrassing. And she says in a letter,
I’m waiting anxiously for us to be together again
in our wonderful ways of love and work, which again
is nothing really but another form of love. Louis Kahn. And Anne Tying writes,
we were both workaholics. In fact, work had become
a kind of passionate play. We were able to bring out
each other’s creativity, building on each other’s ideas. The full of tragedy
of the relationship that you probably know well
even if you have seen– I don’t know whether
you have seen the film. Anne Kahn’s ultimate
selfishness unfolds. The letters between them, which
are all published in a book that was done by
[inaudible] a few years ago, remain filled with the
details of design– so published designs
and private soap operas are here inseparable. As the institutions of
records for the field, the Museum of Modern
Art found itself in the middle of many questions
on disputes of attribution. Tyng, for example, who had
ended her relationship with Kahn in 1960, shortly before the
museum’s visionary architecture exhibition was surprised
not to be credited for her work in the
exhibition and particularly for the city tower in
Philadelphia, which is a really hard project. She says, I did not get an
invitation to the opening. When I ask our
secretary about it, he say my name might not
even be on the credit label. I merely asked Lou if
my name was credited. He answered no. So I suggested yesterday it may
be better if he called museum than if I called. There was no Strurm and Drang. He simply called and
my name was added. I was profoundly shocked that
Lou would do such a thing, especially since [inaudible]
progressive architecture, the Atlas, and a number
of other publications already have given
credit to both of us. I could not believe that
his desire for a recognition will erode his integrity
since sharing credit with me will not necessarily
diminish his fame. In the end, the
city tower appear as Lou Kahn and Anne Tyng
architects associated in the exhibition at MoMA. Kahn publicly, if
inadequately, as you will, acknowledged Anne Tyng when in
1973, a year before his death, he gave the National Academy
of Design a self-portrait of himself along with a portrait
he had made of Anne Tying in 1946 inscribed with
the following sentence– this is a portait of
Anne Tying architect, who was the geometry conceiver
of the Philadelphia Tower. Well, that’s not
exactly so because I thought of the essence,
but she knew its geometry. To this day, she
pursues the essence of constructive geometry and
now at the university of Penn and other places like Harvard. We worked together
on my projects from a purely conception
base, December 27, 1972. So even in the moment of
acknowledging her contribution to this project, he draws
the line between the essence that apparently he thought
about and the geometry that she figured out. And this makes no
sense in [inaudible] that obviously, as anybody
can see, is all geometry. So what is the
essence exactly here? Well, anyway, to conclude
perhaps the new fascination with collaboration is actually
part of a new voyeurism. Television, the internet,
and social media have brought a new
sense of limits. Talks shows, blogs, social
networking sites, etc., are changing the standards
for what we consider private. Can we expect architecture
to remain immune. We don’t care anymore so
much about the heroic figure of the modern architecture,
of an architecture, about the facade, but about
their internal weaknesses. Architectures themselves
having started, or have been doing
it for a while actually, to tell
us private stories about their desperate
attempts to get jobs, about their
pathological experiences with clients, about falling
in the street, and even about the [inaudible]. And we pay more
attention than they were trying to dictate to
us what their work meant. On the one hand, there
is a concerted effort to demystify architectural
practice and debunk heroes. On the other hand, all the
details of private life are being incorporated
into a kind of heroic image as in a kind of therapy. And finally, who has been
keeping all these secrets for so long? Historians and critics have
felt more confident, I think, even re-assured responding
to the idea of an individual author and the former qualities
of the building as an art object than to the messiness–
because it’s very messy– of architectural practice. Paradoxically, as we have
seen, practicing architects have tended to be more
sensitive to the subject perhaps because they know
from their own experience what goes on really in an
office and are endlessly curious about what’s happening
in other people’s practices. Architects in partnerships
from Denise Scott Brown to Rem Koolhaas have publicly
complained about the opposition of critics and the media
with the single figure, despite their offices at efforts
to provide precise credit. Since Denise Scott Brown
talked to the Alliance of Women in Architecture in
New York in 1973– 1973 seems to be a date
that we keep coming back to. On sexismo and the star
system in architecture that became the subsequent
article room at the top. Sexismo on the star
system in architecture, but that circulated
privately for many years before it was finally
published in that book, Architecture, a Place
for Women in 1989. A number of women
architects had been raising issues of their own. It’s not by chance that
women and gay scholars have been leading the way. The ease of collaboration
is of course indebted to feminist
criticism with its focus on the veiling of contributions
and the domesticity of power. More recent scholarship
on areas of race, sexuality, cultural studies,
post-colonial studies, etc., has also a crucial resource. Architecture history is starting
to absorb many of its lessons and opening research
to new questions. And my prediction is many more
secrets are bound to come out. Thank you very much. [side conversation] Hi, does anybody
have a question? I actually have a
question if anybody would you like to keep thinking. And I don’t intend it
to sound cheeky at all, but this is an incredible
amount of archival research. And I’m wondering
almost what duration and how many collaborators
it requires to pull together this much information? This much information? You mean my own research? Actually, in this
particular case, as I say, I was fascinated with
this question for a while, and there were a number of
occasions in which this was put together over the years. So it looks like a lot,
but in fact Alison Smithson died in 1992 or something. And there was an
event at [inaudible],, and this is the first time that
I thought about the Smithsons obessions with the Eams. And so, because I have
been doing all that work for domesticity at war, I had
a lot of archival material from the Library
of Congress, which included personal letters
between the Smithsons and the Eams. And I knew about
their relationship. And then I interviewed
Peter extensively for an issue of
October magazine, and the issue of the
Eams and their travels to California and their
obsession with the Eams. So I kept make
making notes, where I was doing something
else, which of course they end up in a group
interview for October. So it’s a project that it’s
been with me for a long time, and I have been adding things. Then what happened? Most recently at the Museum
of Modern Art, first they had a conference that
about MoMA women, all the women that are in
the Museum of Modern Art. They budget only one
person in architecture. It was a two day
conference, right? So then they were
doing the book. And I said to them,
if you’re going to be inviting me like
a token architect, maybe I’m not going to do it. And so, they invited
a few other people. But I ended up looking
into the archives. And a lot of what I
found is not here. But now I’m thinking
about putting it together in a book about
the these stories. There’s a lot in the Museum
of Modern Art archives, about questions of attribution. It’s not only Tying. And it’s not only
this a lot of prom. So as the institution
of record, they have been deliberately
keeping women out in such a way that I think
they were themselves scared if I were to put all these
details into their MoMA women– I don’t know whether
you have ever seen this big, fat book of
MoMA women, most art world. And because it was
MoMA, I thought that I should just deal with
what is in the archives. And so, they didn’t want
that I wasn’t going so– they wanted a little
bit more diffuse. So it ended up being
a combination of some of those things of the Smithsons
and a little bit about MoMA, but not really
totally everything that I have I found
in the archives. That’s an interesting
development. I’d love to see the book. We’ll start down here. Beatrice, thank you so much. This is like the highlight
of my year that you’re here. It’s super exciting. We have a new dean– chair, sorry. New chair, Mark. Sorry, my bad. I’m still new. We have a new chair, Mark
Lee, and I just was wondering if the fact that we have Mark
Lee instead of the Johnston of Johnson Mark
Lee as our dean– the GSC’s never
had a female dean– if there’s maybe an
echo of the ventur– chair, did I do it again? Sorry. Have we had a–
oh, Toshiko Mori. But we’ve never
had a female dean. You’ve never had a dean,
but you did have a chair. Toshiko Mori, actually, Toshiko
Mori was in way, I will say, don’t take that bad. But I will say you are now
behind because a [? whole ?] course is like
Columbia University, is run by is a dean, at
Yale University [inaudible].. Princeton, the dean
is a woman, Penn. And instead, you were ahead
when Toshiko Mori was chair. That was the first
time that a woman in such an important
position, wasn’t it? I think historically. So the question
of how woman have entered into a leadership
position in academia is very interesting. But I don’t know whether
you were going there or with the collaboration. I mean, I was just
thinking about Veturi Scott Brown and the Pritzker
Prize, and then just thinking about Johnston Mark Lee
and a new chair, sorry. And I don’t know. It just feels relevant, and I
wanted to just throw it to you. Right, no, that’s
super interesting. It’s another collaboration. And I hope she will
also be around. I suppose– if they are
going to have the firm here and in Los Angeles, but I don’t
know how it’s going to work. But this is an interesting
question that you are bringing. It could also deanships be
thought in a different way, in a more collaborative way. Or do we still have to
have the hero architect? I mean, we come from– the generation is the generation
that Mies was running this and Gropius was the ta da da. And now we’re in a
different moment. We don’t need
another hero maybe. We need something else, right? So yes, even in education,
the question of collaboration is of course super important. Hi, Beatrice, I’m really
interested in your talk and your research. But I’m wondering
if you have ever come across criticism
of intellectual life versus private life
that we’re more interested in the real,
actual life of this person this figure than the private
life, and the private life becomes– it’s serious, it’s
not scholarly enough. And I mean, you compared
movies with architecture. But the movies, the real
credit is the director. The editor, the
cinematographer sometimes doesn’t get mentioned. The make up person, nobody
ever knows what that name is. It’s a name. It doesn’t get attention. So there is a difference
between a credit line and the public’s attention,
who’s getting the attention. So I wonder what your
thoughts are on that. Yeah, but at least
they are credited. At least they are acknowledged. At least there are Oscars for
all kinds of different things. Are there prizes in
architecture for all kinds of– not so much, right? How about the intellectual
and the private? I suppose what I’m trying to
say is that you cannot make that separation. I think that’s a polemic,
but that’s what I’m saying. And you know with Jacqueline
[inaudible] I mean, come on, you do did your thesis
your thesis at Princeton on the question of
Jacqueline [inaudible],, and her intimate
relationship with Gideon. I mean, how can we think– since I’ve read
your dissertation, I cannot think of
Giedion the same way. I just cannot. And of course, again, Giedion
is a super significant hero. How many people here know how
incredible was Carola Gideon? Impossible to understand
Sigried Giedion without understanding
Carola Giedion, who put him into a
lot of differences. But then also the personal
affairs are also important. The affair with
Jacqueline brought him into different areas as well. And it’s very, very significant,
the relationship and the impact that it had on the world. Those things cannot
be separated. This project that
we just saw of Kahn is inseparable from their
personal relationship. Thank you for the talk. It seems the history ended
it at OMA, if I’m correct. And I’m curious,
taking these themes of private and
public, dirty secrets, and even where I guess
partnerships become seen as domestic issues, I’m
curious if you could maybe make some comments on how
these historic lines bring us to today, where these
themes have a lot to do with the MeToo
movement, with the shitty men of architecture list. Is there a line to be drawn,
I mean, to connect these? Yeah, probably, I’m not
so sure that the history finishes with OMA. Ray was important
to me in as much as he at least was able, when
looking back historically and paying attention to the
question of the partners that had emerged in the 50s, even if
it was in person that he made this reference to the perversion
by proxy, even if it was kind of– I thought it was super
interesting that somebody was paying attention that,
yeah, who is taking advantage, I ask people. And the fact that he
got– but I didn’t go into their relationship. I didn’t go into
the relationship. But of course I’m fully aware
of how Rem, also went many times to see Bob Venturi in the
beginning of his career, went to visit Bob Venturi and
Denise Scott Brown repeatedly and was fascinated by them. And it’s inevitable
that, when you are in that kind of
personal relationship, you also look at all the– so whole thing
about role models, I think the couples also
see other role models in other couples. I think it is very significant
that it’s always other couples looking at other couples. And that’s what
I’m trying to say. But I don’t know
whether I finish in Enric Miralles
[inaudible] Carmen Pinos is much younger than Rem. So I guess that’s the
last people I mention. It’s very hard to talk
about the present. I’m a historian myself. So in this particular
case, I would say the work is
totally influenced by what is happening now. And it has been,
as I said before, in gestion for a long time. So I was already sensitive
to a lot of things because now all of this
is coming to the surface. But it’s not that we haven’t
been thinking about it for all these years. Marissa mentioned
sexuality and space. I can tell you a million
stories from myself from others. I was in this very
room when there was a conference in which
Denise Scott Brown was speaking. And there were all the
big boys of architecture– Peter Eisenman and Michael
Graves and so and so on. And then Peter Eisenman
got up and complained that Robert Venturi had
not come and that he always says the surrogate. The surrogate was Denise. So until very recently,
these kinds of things were being said in public,
and everybody laughed, like how funny is that,
the he sends the surrogate. The surrogate was Denise. So of course, many
other stories– and to his credit,
Moneo, who was chair– told Peter that that
was not was not right. But most of the time,
people just laughed– They didn’t laugh actually. People booed him resoundingly. This room, I was here,
the whole audience– Yeah, all the women were
in the back like screaming. So no one laughed. I mean, they was shouting. Moneo stopped him, right? So it was boo. It was boo. Wasn’t really laughed about. I don’t know. I don’t know. Some people were close
to me, other boys. Anyway, yeah, we were super mad. That’s true. But these things still happen. And it’s not that long ago. It was 1990 whatever,
91, 90 whatever. It’s just– the
surrogate, I mean. So how do we go into– it’s
very touchy business, right? It’s a different–
as a scholar, I find it more difficult to go
into the details of previous of practices. But it doesn’t have to be– I suppose it changes as
we go on into the present. And I suppose, if I were to take
this and turn it into a book, then I will start thinking about
how we are collaborating today differently, not
just in architecture, but in other aspects
of our life and how in this culture of sharing,
the idea of this single is completely bankrupt
and perhaps also thinking about more positive
models of things that we see around
ourselves, of ways in which people are collaborating today. It would be more interesting. Because this is more
of historical, or more looking back at all these
collaborations that have taken place in the 20th
century and the way in which we have systematically
ignored for whatever reason. And I suppose the question
of the private, yeah. I don’t know. I have to think about it, too. Yes. Hi, thank you. So to jump on the question
about private life and why is it being overshadowed
by the intellectual. And this might be a little
raw and hard to talk about at the present. But what about personal
character of architects and how that influences? I’m thinking about Richard
Meyer and some people, including Paul
Goldberger, debating whether the moral compus
that overshadows his work. So I was wondering what
you think, and this is all coming to the surface. And it seems that there’s a lot
of accomplices also over time in letting this persist. Right. Again, once again,
we can separate what is happening
in architecture with what is happening
in the rest of the world. When the Harvey
Weinstein story happened, I turned around to a friend
and I said to him actually, I wonder how long it will
be before things emerge in architecture because we
have known these stories for our very, very, very long– not with a level of detail. I was shocked myself
with some of the things and also kind of the
crudity of all of them. And what is the bathrobe? I mean, what is wrong
with these guy, right? The bathrobe, I
mean, what is wrong– But I have heard my share of
stories at Columbia University when I was teaching
there and at Princeton. And of course, those were
things that we– again, like the secret of the family
that I was talking about that we all knew about it, that
we knew who was more that– why you shouldn’t
get into an elevator alone with certain
characters or why you should be careful with certain people. But we didn’t bring
ourselves to– among ourselves, I suppose
among women we will say, that guy is bad news. But I mean, until recently this
was happening to all of us, right? I think there’s
time for one more. If anybody would like to ask? Hi, in terms of other fields– I’m thinking of
literature or science– is there a league of
Colomina’s and Colomino’s that are doing you what
you do in other areas and that you’re
in contact with– to know more of these
stories that we don’t know about other heroes of the past? It’s so interesting that you
say that because of course there must be. Of course, literature is
a much more lonely field. I mean, you can be a
really great writer and you are not collaborating
with many people. I mean, that’s possible. But science, science has
always been entirely open about the idea that
they are collaborating. Of course, there’s a
lot of shitty stories about appropriating credit when
a lot of people are involved. But in the field of science–
and that it comes always to the surface in tenure
cases, in the humanities versus the sciences in
places like, I suppose, Harvard or Princeton
because in the humanities, if you are, of course, writing
a paper with someone or a book, you have written a book
with someone else– that doesn’t count. That’s how amazing it is. Even if you apply to the
Guggenheim for a fellowship and you have written a book with
someone, don’t send that book. They say that especifically
because they couldn’t tell what it is that
you did and what it is that the other person did. You’re like, what? In the science,
on the other hand it’s perfectly acceptable
for tenure cases, for all kinds of promotions
for even [inaudible] the collective authorship. We have not achieved
this in architecture. But I suppose what you’re
saying is also, have there been in studies on this question. I should look into that. I should look into
that as I work more into the question of
collaboration in architecture and how the issue is changing. And the feminine– like
for example, with Kafka, and worked hand by hand
with his secretary, that was the one who typed the thing. And most of us, we
don’t know that. And I’m sure there are thousands
and thousands of stories in all the fields that– I don’t know– I wish there was like a
league of people like you that just bring– No, I don’t. But I will look into it. That is a good point. It still is different. But, yeah, it’s like the
client in architecture is super significant and we
owe it to Alison Freidman to have brought that story. But there are so many
actors in architecture. That is very important
to pay attention to, all the different contributions
that make such a complex thing as architecture. If anybody would like to join
the league of Colomina’s, we can have a sign up sheet. Thank you so much
for your lecture. Thanks, too, everybody. [applause]

3 comments found

  1. I think, this is very weak lecture. With weak logic and reasons. I see that the lecturer tries to get special rights in architecture practice and this is not healthy way for development of any profession.

  2. Much appreciated for sharing such amazing content on your channel, can I ask you please to review the subtitles in this particular lecture? I think they are not right. Thank you

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