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Title: Interpretation Of An Architect: Frank Gehry

7854 words - 31 pages

SRA323CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE: architecture after 1968LECTURER: Mirjana LozanovskaASSIGNMENT: Long EssayTITLE: Interpretation of an Architect: Frank GehryMIRANDA HOBDAY100206369DUE DATE: O3.06.03Miranda Hobday100206369Interpretation of an ArchitectFrank O. GehryIn 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." This structure was so far past anything that had at that time been classified as 'the norm,' and this brought much criticism. In this work Gehry pulled together countless amounts of elements which had been playing on his mind up until that point - it was a culmination of his dreams. But no matter how far critics went, no matter how much people tried to hate it, as Philip Johnson stated, "it's so far out of normal expectation that it defies traditional criticism." Ryder pointed out that it was much easier to determine what the house isn't - conventional, modern or post-modern - than to specify what it is. In the same light Suzanne Doubilet stated that Gehry's work is "too personal to be categorized as either modern or post-modern." This view has its merits because in the Gehry House its significance lies in the mind of the architect. It is his house. No justification is needed apart from that to himself. This may explain why "in matters of both terminology and perception, the critics have not reached general agreement and have been unable to understand the Gehry House within the confines of existing...

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