CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE: architecture after 1968
LECTURER: Mirjana Lozanovska
ASSIGNMENT: Long Essay
TITLE: Interpretation of an Architect: Frank Gehry
DUE DATE: O3.06.03
Interpretation of an Architect
Frank O. Gehry
In society there exists an ever-present need to commit things to categories. Whether it is people, plants, animals, food, fashion, or art we seem to always apply labels. Why? Is it because it makes aspects of day-to-day life easier to understand or more accessible? Does it make remembering things or learning about them more straightforward? Or is it that as a society we are unable to accept that unfamiliar aspects or objects may be of equal, if not more, value than those which are able to be categorized? This need to classify or label is a dominant theme when discussing the work and career of American architect Frank Owen Gehry. Throughout his career his designs have created many theories, views, opinions, and breakthroughs in the architectural world and inevitably critics and theorists have tried to put a 'brand name' on him and his creations.
Is he a Modernist or Post-Modernist? Is he a Cubist? Is he a Deconstructivist? Is he an artist? Does he produce pieces of architecture or works of art? But the most crucial and valid question is can he indeed be categorized? Does his work, or some part of it, fit characteristics which define 'a type' within contemporary architecture? Maybe it is this ambiguity which makes him so controversial? For the fact that Gehry's creations span many themes and theories across four decades is exactly the aspect which sets him apart from his architectural contemporaries.
"When he reconstructed his Californian home in 1978 using unconventional materials such as chain-link, plywood and corrugated stainless steel, Gehry was catapulted to international attention."...