SHIGERU BAN PRITZKER PRIZE 2014 SPIN

shelter_construction1

PAPER EMERGENCY SHELTERS FOR UNHCR  1999           SHIGERU BAN OFFICE PHOTO

THE PRITZKER ARCHITECTURE PRIZE WENT TO SHIGERU BAN THIS YEAR WITH A LOT OF APPLAUSE.    NOT KNOWING A LOT ABOUT SHIGERU BAN, I  DID SOME QUICK RESEARCH, AND WAS DISAPPOINTED BY THE DESIGN LEVEL HE ESPOUSED.   WRITING A CRITICAL APPRAISAL TO A NUMBER OF MY PROFESSIONAL FRIENDS.

THE RESPONSE  BACK FROM MY COLLEAGUES WAS IN HIS DEFENSE.  SAYING  THE PRITZKER JURY HAD CHANGED THE EMPHASIS FROM SUPER STAR ARCHITECT TO AN ARCHITECT THAT ADDRESSED SOCIAL CONCERNS, LIKE HIS RELIEF TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR DISASTERS,  TAPPING MONEY  CONNECTIONS TO PAY FOR,  AND BUILT WITH  LIGHT WEIGHT PAPER RECYCLABLE MATERIALS.  USED LIGHT WEIGHT STRUCTURES TO BUILD LARGE PROJECTS  WITH AS WELL.  A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE PROFESSION.

I PULLED BACK AND DID NOT GIVE MUCH THOUGHT TO SHIGERU BAN UNTIL RAY KAPPE RECENTLY REFERRED A WRITER TO ME DOING A STORY ON SHIGERU BAN FROM THE NEW YORKER.   SHE SAYING THAT SHIGERU BAN HAD GONE TO SCI-ARC IN 1976-77 ERA WHILE I WAS IN MY HAY DAY TEACHING AT SCI-ARC.  SHE TRYING TO  HOOK UP WITH FORMER PROFESSORS OF SHIGERU BAN.   AFTER A CONVERSATION WITH RAY KAPPE, WHO PIN POINTED A FELLOW STUDENT FRIEND OF SHIGERU BAN AT SCI-ARC THAT MENTIONED TAKING MY CLASS WITH SHIGERU BAN,  I REALIZED HE WAS IN MY NATURAL STRUCTURE  CLASS THAT DEALT WITH THE MANY STRUCTURAL LIGHT WEIGHT SYSTEMS INCLUDING  DOMES AND LATTICE STRUCTURES THAT HE USES NOW.  THE STUDENTS  PERSONALLY BUILDING MODELS AND FULL SCALE GROUP OBJECTS  OF ALL THE STRUCTURAL PRINCIPLES.   SHIGERU CONNECTION TO ME WAS A CHALLENGE, SO I DID SOME INVESTIGATION.

SCI-ARC UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF RAY KAPPE WAS A HOT BED FOR IDEAS IN 1976-77.  THOM MAYNE , ERIC MOSS, TERRY GLASSMAN AND I  WERE ALL PERFORMING AT OUR BEST AMONG A HOST OF OTHER HEAVY WEIGHT PROFESSORS.  A TIME TO INSPIRE THE STUDENTS TO BUILD THEIR DREAMS.  IN MY CASE TO BUILD HANDS ON PROJECTS OF LIGHT WEIGHT STRUCTURES AND ADDRESSING GREEN CONCERNS. SCI-ARC WAS EXPERIMENTING ON ALL FRONTS. THE NOTORIOUS  SHELLY KAPPE PANEL OF THE FUTURE OF ARCHITECTURE WAS 1976 WITH I, FRANK GEHRY, CHARLES MOORE, ROLAND COATE AND OTHERS EXCHANGING VIEWPOINTS. THE ERA OF INSTILLING VALUES TO BETTER THE EARTH TAUGHT BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE AND GREEN MACHINE PRINCIPLES.  THE STUDENTS LITERALLY INUNDATED WITH PROJECTS  AND LECTURES CONCERNING  SOCIAL AWARENESS, STRUCTURE INTEGRITY, AND SENSUOUS AESTHETICS.   POPULAR NOW 40 YEARS LATER, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.

THE BUILDING THAT I LIKE BEST THAT SIGERIU HAS DONE IS THE GOLF CLUB BUILDING HAESLEY NINE BRIDGES GOLF CLUB HOUSE – Korea, 2010 WITH AN ELABORATE LATTICE STRUCTURE  WITH HUGE GLASS CURTIN WALLS ON THE PERIMETER.  ASTOUNDINGLY BEAUTIFUL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS.  BUT UPON CLOSER EXAMINATION HAVING  FLAWS.

3_2

SHIGERU BAN OFFICE PHOTO

BEAUTIFUL AT NIGHT LOOKING THROUGH THE CURTAIN WALL GLASS.    THE GLASS CREATING  MAJOR HEATING  AND AIR CONDITIONING USE,    95 F DEGREES  SUMMER TO    7  F DEGREES WINTER IN SOUEL KOREA.  SHIGERU  CLAIMING THE GREEN ARCHITECTURE LABEL IS NOT HIS EMPHASIS,  BUT USING WOOD IN A GREEN  CREATIVE WAY.

4

SHIGERU BAN OFFICE PHOTO

A WONDERFUL UPLIFTING FEELING WITH NATURAL LIGHT FROM ABOVE.   THERE IS  ANOTHER STRUCTURAL SYSTEM PAINTED OUT IN WHITE FOR THE ROOF WHICH DETRACTS FROM THE PURITY OF THE STRUCTURE.

8

 SHIGERU BAN OFFICE PHOTO

THIS LATTICE STRUCTURE WITH THE WARPING PLANS IS AMAZING .

AS FOR THE REST OF HIS BUILDINGS,  I FOUND THEM ADVENTURESOME BUT LACKING REFINEMENT.   HE HAS OFFICES IN PARIS, NEW YORK AND TOKYO AND IS DOING A LOT OF NEW PROJECTS.

HIS DISASTER RELIEF HOUSING THAT HE SPINS WITH SONA TUBES IS CRUDE.  HE BUILDS THESE WITH HIS STUDENTS.  THE COST $50 A UNIT.  HIS PREDOMINATE MATERIAL 3″ -4″ –  SONA TUBES.  THAT NEED TO BE SEALED AND CONNECTED WITH AN ELABORATE JOINT.  THE SKIN BEING A PLASTIC TARP .  SHIGERU TALKS ABOUT THE SHORTCOMINGS ON HIS  OFFICE WEB SITE:    “were very complicated and time-consuming to build in high volumes.”  WHILE PRAISING HIS PAPER LOG HOUSES IN THE PHILIPPINES RECENTLY AS BETTER.

HE BUILDS 50 ON LOCATION WITH HIS STUDENTS, THE INTENSIONS TO HAVE THE NATIVES IMPLEMENT THEIR OWN.     GETTING  BULKY TUBES TO THE SITE IS A CHALLENGE.  HE CELEBRATES PAPER,  BUT DOES NOT ELABORATE ON THE PLASTIC TARP TO ENCLOSE.

I COULD TAKE ANY OF HIS PAPER DISASTER RELIEF STRUCTURES AND RAISE A LOT OF SERIOUS ISSUES ABOUT THEM.   THEY ARE CRUDE  AND LOOK DREADFUL.   SHIGERU BAN SAYING THE ANSWER TO SUCCESSFUL ARCHITECTURE IS LOVE.  I SEE NO LOVE FOR THESE TEMPORARY STRUCTURES THAT HE DESIGNS OTHER THAN TO HELP THE DISASTER VICTIMS.    THERE IS A HUGE NEED TO ADDRESS TEMPORARY HOUSING THAT ARCHITECTS SHOULD GET INVOLVED WITH THAT  CAN CELEBRATE SPACE AND INSPIRE THE DWELLER.

HE USED BIG SONA TUBES AND CARGO CONTAINERS TO BUILD, CHRIST CHURCH,  A TEMPORARY  CHURCH AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE THAT HAS TJI JOISTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TUBES FOR STRENGTH.  THE TUBES FALL INTO THE GIMIC CATEGORY .   HE HAS A BUNCH OF PROJECTS WITH  SONA TUBES,  PROCLAIMING WANTING TO BRING SOMETHING NEW INTO THE WORLD LIKE BUCKMINSTER FULLER AND FREI OTTO DID.  HE HAS A LONG WAYS TO GO TO MAKE THAT A REALITY.   BUT HE HAS CHOSEN GOOD MENTORS.

I WATCHED THE  INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE ROSE, TONY PRITZKER AND SHIGERU BAN.   THE ULTIMATE SPIN PIECE.   CHARLIE ALL PRAISING  RESPECTFUL AND IGNORANT.  TONY PRITZKER REPRESENTING THE FAMILY, VALUED AT 27.1 BILLION , TONY WORTH 3.1 BILLION, ALL PUFFED BY BEING A GREAT DONER TO SOCIETY FOR THE RIGHT CAUSES, AND MENTIONING THE EXPANSION PLANS OF  HYATT HOTELS IN CHINA, THE PRITZKER PRIZE TO SHIGERU BAN OF $100,000

CHARLIE SAYING, SHIGERU BAN CAME STRAIGHT OUT OF JAPAN AS A YOUNG MAN TO COOPER UNION IN NEW YORK.  NO MENTION OF SCI-ARC, LET ALONE MY NATURAL STRUCTURES CLASS AND SYSTEMS.   SHIGERU BAN QUIET AS A CHURCH MOUSE.

I HAVE TO PRAISE SHIGERU BAN ON GETTING TO THE TOP AND BEING AWARDED FOR HIS ACHIEVEMENTS.   YOU CAN NOT ARGUE WITH SUCCESS.  MY EXPERIENCE BEING, IF I CRITICIZE, I AM LABELED JEALOUS AND MEAN SPIRITED.  NOT MY REASONS.  HONESTY SHOULD BE CELEBRATED, NOT BOOED.

STANDING BACK AND LOOKING AT THE BIG ISSUE OF DISASTER HOUSING  WITH PAPER PRODUCTS IS NOBLE.   I APPLAUD  SHIGERU FOR BRINGING ATTENTION TO THE NEED.

THE PRITZER FAMILY OWNS Hyatt hotel chain, and the Marmon Group, conglomerate of manufacturing and industrial service companies. Other holdings have included the Superior Bank of Chicago, the TransUnion credit bureau and the Royal Caribbean cruise line.

PENNY PRITZER IS THE PRESENT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR THE US GOVERNMENT.   THIS FAMILY IS INTO MONEY BIG TIME AND HAILS FROM CHICAGO OBAMA LAND.  ARCHITECTURE IS ABOUT HAVING SIGNIFICANT CLIENTS AND SHIGERU HAS DEFINITELY ATTRACTED POWERFUL CLIENTS.    HE IS IN A KEY POSITION TO USE HIS CLIENTS CONNECTIONS TO  MAKE  POSITIVE PROJECTS FOR THE GOOD OF HUMANITY.

WALMART SELLS A TENT,  10′ X 20′  THAT YOU CAN STAND UP IN WITH THREE ROOMS AND THREE EXTERIOR DOORS WITH ALL THE  WINDOWS, ZIPPERS, SCREENING ,  FLOORING,  SUN AND RAIN CANOPIES  ETC THAT COMES IN A BAG ABOUT 4′ LONG X 16″ DIAMETER.   STRUCTURALLY SOUND WITH A TENSILE DESIGN AND NOT ALL THAT BAD LOOKING  FOR $138.  THE ERECTION TIME OF 1/2 HOUR WITH TWO ADULTS.  THE USER COMMENTS EXCELLENT.   I AM SURE  THE MATERIALS AND DESIGN  COULD BE UPGRADED IF YOU ORDER   100, 000 AT A TIME.   SO A PHONE CALL FROM THE PRITZKER FAMILY TO THE WALMART FAMILY SHOULD BE ABLE TO PUT 500,000 TENTS IN STORAGE FOR DISASTER HOUSING TO BE FLOWN TO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WITH  FAMILY JETS.  NOW THAT IS MAKING A SERIOUS EFFORT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM   EFFICIENTLY THAT CAN DO THE TEMPORARY JOB.   EVEN DUMP ANOTHER LOAD AFTER A YEAR IF NECESSARY. THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES REPAIR, REPAIR AND REPAIR,  TO ME THAT IS RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYLE,

LOOKING AT THE PRODUCTS  ON THE MARKET FOR  DISASTER HOUSING, AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT IS A FLOOR OFF THE GROUND.  TO ADJUST TO THE TERRAIN AND GET UP OUT OF THE WATER,  BESIDES THE FEW INCHES THE WATER PROOF FLOORS OF EXISTING TENTS PROVIDE.   THE  PLATFORM COULD BE DESIGNED IN INFINITE WAYS,  A FOLD OUT SYSTEM WITH LEGS, THAT DRAINS AND ALLOWS  FOR A LIVING MODULAR ON TOP RANGING FROM TENTS TO MORE PERMANENT HOUSING.  THAT IS A MILLION DOLLAR IDEA I AM SHARING WITH YOU CALLED  “INSTANT  BUILDING PAD.”  MARKET IT AND GIVE ME A KICK BACK.

c15f63a1-2e19-43f8-a349-f60972ac7092.mp4.jpg.w960

Ozark Trail 10-Person 3-Room Cabin Tent     $138 AT WALMART

WHAT IS POSITIVE ABOUT SHIGERU IS A DISCUSSION ABOUT LIGHT WEIGHT STRUCTURES AND HOW THEY CAN BE USED .

THAT WAS THE EMPHASIS OF NATURAL STRUCTURE CLASS:  GLEN HOWARD SMALL  PROFESSOR SCI-ARC 1972-1986 AND GREG DAVIS INSTRUCTOR 1986-1990.   WHICH SHIGERU BAN  PAID ATTENTION TO.   TO HIS CREDIT HE IS ONE OF THE FEW STUDENTS OF MINE,  THAT I KNOW OF , TO USE THE PRINCIPLES TAUGHT IN NATURAL STRUCTURES TO BUILD  AT A SCALE THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  ALL PRAISE TO HIM.  I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HIS PROJECTS IN THE FUTURE.

00744_s_11aggf5anz0744_3

LA TIMES HOME SECTION 1974     SCI-ARC   URBAN ODYSSEY ONE      GLEN HOWARD SMALL AND AHDE LAHTI  PROFESSORS

00748_s_11aggf5anz0748_z

1975  SCI-ARC         URBAN ODYSSEY  2         GLEN HOWARD SMALL AND AHDE LAHTI PROFESSORS.

TENTS HAD AN INTERFACE TO CONNECT TO OTHER TENTS,  SO ONE HUGE TENT COULD BE MADE TO SHARE.

00746_s_11aggf5anz0746

 IN MY TENT IN 1974, THAT I SEWED TO TRAVEL AND  CAMP IN THE WILDS OF LOS ANGELES ON A BIKE  ODYSSEY  WITH MY STUDENTS. I  STILL HAVE THE TENT IN MY GARAGE .    I LEARNED HOW TO  SEW FROM ONE OF MY STUDENTS.   BUT AS PLATO SAID,  KNOW THE PRINCIPLES OF THE TASK, BUT DELEGATE TO OTHERS TO ACHIEVE LARGE SCALE GOALS.

00490_s_11aggf5anz0490_3

HABITAT 1   UNITED NATION CONFERENCE       VANCOUVER CANADA  1976  PORTABLE WIND MILL AND TENT

SCI-ARC     GLEN HOWARD SMALL AND AHDE LAHTI PROFESSORS

00733_s_11aggf5anz0733

PLAY STRUCTURE FOR  LA GLORIA ORPHANAGE SOUTH OF TIJUANA IN MEXICO  1977

HOME SECTION,  LOS ANGELES TIMES       SCI-ARC  GLEN HOWARD SMALL AND AHDE LAHTI  PROFESSORS

AHDE AND I TAUGHT BY IMPLEMENTING NUMEROUS  LIGHT WEIGHT HANDS ON STUDIO DESIGN PROJECTS  WHILE TEACHING AT CAL POLY POMONA AND EARLY YEARS OF SCI-ARE. I WILL DO FUTURE BLOGS ON THEM TO GET IT RIGHT.  1970-1977.    THE NATURAL STRUCTURES CLASS FROM 1972-1986 BEING A STRUCTURAL CLASS THAT I TAUGH ALONE THAT COVERED POST AND BEAM, TRUSSES, SPACE FRAMES, POLYHEDRA, DOMES, THIN SHELL, RIB,  LATTICE , FOLDED PLATE, TENSILE, PNEUMATIC AND KINETIC STRUCTURES.

00323_s_11aggf5anz0323_o_2

GREEN MACHINE DISPLAY 1980   ON SITE, VENICE CALIF LOS ANGELES,      GLEN HOWARD SMALL ARCHITECT

SONO TUBES WITH 2X4 WOOD FILLER,  USED TO CREATE MOCK UP SPACE FRAME FOR TYPICAL CENTRAL CORRIDOR.

PETER PIERCE TUBULAR STEEL SPACE FRAME BEING THE SPECIFIED SYSTEM TO BUILD WITH FOR REALITY.

HOK Present jpeg glen howard small _Page_034_2

GREEN MACHINE 1980   ECO LOW INCOME HOUSING FOR CITY OF LOS ANGELES

GLEN HOWARD SMALL AIA ARCHITECT                       BLOGS    GREEN MACHINE 1-3

SHIGERU BAN TALKS ABOUT SERVING THE RICH,  WHICH IS REFRESHING,  BUT HOW TO GET THE RICH TO  PITCH IN TO SOLVE THE HOUSING PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD  IS THE CHALLENGE.   I HAVE A FEW IDEAS ABOUT THAT SUBJECT I COULD SHARE WITH SHIGERU.

I AM WAITING FOR HIS CALL.

GLEN

Share this Post:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Print
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

    READERS,

    THERE ARE NO COMMENTS FROM YOU. I AM NOT SURPRISED, BUT I AM DISAPPOINTED.

    I AM SHAKING THE TREES FROM WHERE THE MONEY AND POWER COMES FROM. MAYBE IT IS AGE, BUT I FEEL I CAN BE HONEST WHERE OTHERS HAVE TOO MUCH TO LOSE.

    ARCHITECTURE IS SERVING THE RICH, EVEN ALL THE LOW INCOME HOUSING PROJECTS ARE BUILT BY THE RICH, SO BEING CRITICAL OF HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS IS A NO NO IN ARCHITECTURE.

    I GAVE A SIMPLE SUGGESTION OF HOW THE PRITZKER FAMILY AND WALMART FAMILY COULD PUT A MEANINGFUL PROJECT TOGETHER FOR DIASTER HOUSING. NOT A PEEP FROM YOU.

    I FEEL ALONE. BUT I WOULD NEVER TRADE MY LIFE WITH ANY ARCHITECT THAT I KNOW.

    GLEN

    • Edmond Pat Konrad

      Your article with artist H(an?) was very articulate and fully put out your basic philosophy better in a few paragraphs than I have heard you say in many years of conversation. Unfortunately I agree with what appeared to be your verdict on why environmental megastructures never caught on: the world thought it found cheaper, more convenient ways to solve problems such as overpopulation and waste, and feels it is on tract for energy solutions. However, as you pointed out, the world’s system appears to be breaking down as seen in Detroit and LA’s traffic grid. Time will tell. Perhaps megastructurism will return after easier remedies fail. An example in another field is the growing realization that deep immersion in the native language along with learning English is the way to make immigrant children fully competitive in our society. This idea was rejected years ago in referendums in Cal, elsewhere, but now being brought back when the ESL courses put in its place failed.

      -pk

  • eric chavkin

    Glen, Everyone is doing there own thing nowadays. My imessions about BAN is that he looked at a lot of Frei Otto atures atural strucnd was intrtoduced to him via your natural Structures class. It is a short leap, walk, crawl from your natural structures class to his work.

    Your crit takes on two aspects: A pragmatic one and another that is the ethics based aesthetic. I have ben partying with a couple girls all nioght so I am not all up to speed but I will give it something.

    It sems to me that his stuctures are somewhat overdone.and not refined enough as to materials. Like he got the idea but didnt take it to it’s end conclusion. I am thinking of the wooden tensile structure which is more show than neccesary. He is not Otto or Candela.. The paper tube constructions misread the structural optimal design as well.

    As for the aesthetic and ethics I dont see Ban as a hypocrite in fact the opposite. I applaud his outlook and premise. I just want better than I see.

  • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

    eric,

    i had lunch today with carlos gamino, a former student at sci-arc that hung out with shigeru ban in 1978 at the cafe next to sci-arc. carlos mentioning shigeru was a david hurst type. carlos gamino, david hurst, michael rendler, and roger lewites all buddies that went to europe in 1982 with me as their professor.

    i ended up having michael rendler as a partner in 1989 – 1991 in santa monica, and in nicaragua with roger lewites as a partner in 1999-2005

    would somebody, and that could include shigeru ban, tell me why shigeru ban did not recognize taking my natural structures class at sci-arc? david hurst has never mentioned, that i know of, my classes as well. including the field trip to john lautner’s office .

    am i missing something? maybe i did not commend their efforts in my classes? is that what it took to propel them forward? i have to laugh about that since they are both doing extremely well these days. does the future hold more surprises for me about my students?

    glen

  • eric chavkin

    Your NATURAL STRUCTURES class is/was an intuitive approach to understanding structural principals. Starts out simple: Beams , trusses, and on to folded plate, tensile, and ending with a megastructure. It was a first/secondf year required class about, fundamentals and not at all THEORY with all caps. Eric Moss had that one covered.

    So your natural structures class is considered too basic, too obvious to point ou as an influence. Like saying my jr high english teacher taught ne how to write. Doesnt sound profound enough. Easier to quote acknowledged ‘masters’. Remember Liebskin saying he owed all his ideas from Mies van der Rohr. Maybe the ghost of Mies in his dreams but nothing real.

    So the succession of intellectuial provence has to well known personages. You know guilt by association, brillance by name dropping.

    I purposly left out any architect lineage in your case because I wanted to convey an architectual uniqueness, both in design and approach. Your predessors , I said. were philosophers and engineers. Your dont copy architects or do a ‘homage’ as the French say.

    Let others say who their influences are. Let others be Zaha jr, or Koolhaus jr and forever be under that shadow. The big boys make it thier own.

    eric

    • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

      eric,

      good job summing up how to spin influences. as ray kappe told me recently, eric moss for years on his resume would not acknowledge he was teaching at sci-arc. harvard his main thrust.

      your take on the natural structures class was simplified, there was a phlosopy taught as well, shigeru ban uses the lighweight structures to build with less weight. economic use of materials. all the rage again. mimmic nature to seek the best solutions.

      as you stated the megastucture of the biomorphic biosphere was esposued, a difficult direction to ignore. but how that affected the student was not something to be championed yet. not the thing to spin to charlie rose.

      this conversation was about shigeru ban building with the natural structures principles he was exposed to in my class and yet not acknowledging he was influenced by the instruction.

      as you state it was too basic to mention, yet so profound. the better greats do acknowledge their basic professors. let it be. however they want to spin it, but i wll call it to their attention. like a lawyer making a point of clarification.

      glen

  • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

    eric,

    the way i structured this blog was to point out that shigeru ban was immersed in sci-arc at a time when besides him taking my natural structures class he was exposed to the the ideals of the green machine, and building for the less fortunate in the orphanage in mexico. i draw a lot of parallelism of his interests, but not the refinement of the designs that he was exposed to.

    i would think he would be big enough to respond. am i asking too much?

    glen

  • eric chavkin

    Glen,

    The positive aspect of SCI-Arc was an environment that encouraged diversity of thought, looser educational structure that places like Harvard (a machine for education really) and individual experiment.

    I doubt that Shigero would of evolved into his own without the nest of SCI-arc. At his time your ideas were in the flux and one couldnt not be influenced, even if you didnt like something. It was there to collectively share. Conscience or unconsciously Ban was influenced. And it wouldnt of happened elsewhere, especially Harvard.

    The direct or indirect imitation of architectural form and solutions is not so far fetched either. A few people, like myself, have pointed out the similarities of your works to others: Green Machine to an Archigram project; Biosphere to Frei Otto’s tensile enclosures; Turf Town to Knowles solar studies. The form vocabulary are alike but the solutions differ. You have to live in a hole not to notice things that interest you. Ban of course knew of your works, see them in person and in lectures, took your class. Ban wasnt deaf or blind, nor did he live inside a hole in the ground. Your influence on him is just simply not acknowleded.

    So to take this furthur on. Is this a question of architectural plagerism? Or inspiration, conscious or not? Or memory, images reacalled as one thinks of design?

    The best way to argue copycat is to publish. That is what you doing on your blog with images and see what new projects derives from your direct influences. In that sense, others imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  • GLEN HOWARD SMALL

    eric,

    points well conveyed. yes, architecture is a matter of evolution. you are right that i was influenced by previous architectural works, but not so much in the copycat state as being inspired by their directions. a fri otto tent being the inspiration for the stadium of detroit. the downtown tropisphere being inspired by buck minister dome for manhattan. the concept of inclosure, but i using a tensile structure for the enclosure and going much further with the infrastructure , climate , vegetation, buildings, growth system and practical reality. the green machine, was not an archigram remake, it was more of using of objects like trailers for vertical living. what happens with all my projects is a combination of many functions all funneled together. eco, structure, units, public space, site, region etc. when that happens it becomes unique for the moment until the next designer evolves the design further.

    the biomorphic biosphere is yet to be addressed at scale and complexity. just too big to make a buck, so other architects do not even contemplate to evolve.

    i was fascinated what you said about the spin. if you want to be known as a great architect, you do not say you were influenced by glen howard small, you say you are influenced my mies, frei otto and buckminster fuller. so simple. you do not say you went to sci-arc, you say you went to cooper union.

    all so logical in the spin game.

    glen

  • Pingback: Survive the Future: A Lesson on Megastructures with Glen Small | The Nomadic Journal