Design the World, Change the World

I've always danced to the beat of a different drummer, so my family and friends often told me. I somehow derive enormous energy from defying convention. Creative individuals have that secret longing to change the world, perhaps through design.

In one of my architectural adventures, I heard and saw this deafening reality while visiting the Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe.

This house was a result of an innovative client-architect pairing between Edith Farnsworth and Mies Van Der Rohe. Dr Farnsworth was a prominent Chicago-based kidney specialist in the 1940's---a time when it was unpopular for women to work, let alone have a successful career.

In the book "Women and the Making of the Modern House" by Alice T. Friendman, it chronicles the attitudes and lifestyles of architectural patrons who defy convention. What better way to build their houses than to engage architects who truly understand unconventional thinking while bringing to the project extreme talent and creativity?

In some way, shape or form, these type of clients like Edith Farnsworth, paved the way for innovation in residential and architectural thinking.

Without Ms. Hollyhock, Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic "Hollyhock House" in California would not have become a reality. I believe it takes an extra ordinary kind of client to be able to build extra ordinary buildings that would become a catalyst for changing the world.

I already know I want to dance to the beat of a different drummer. What are the odds of having the clients I work/will work with who are willing to dance to that beat with me? Each one, whether in architecture or in a different line of business has that lingering hope that one will find clients with whom everything just clicks...


mark alvin banas said...

ang alam ko sa architecture is very very very limited

but from what i heard, Dr. Farnsworth sued Mies. The house was not functioning well... in-accessible, early details did not provide curtains & curtain tracks, glass panels had high condensation, no provision for operable windows, owner felt like an animal in a zoo, so she sold the house.

Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, LEED AP said...

There was a falling-out between E. Farnsworth and Mies Van Der Rohe, that is why she sued Mies.

I saw this house in person and all I can say is "it's either you like or you don't." The pictures do not do justice to this architecture.

mark alvin banas said...

its good that you mentioned the word 'justice' since in architecture, the real justice is at the end-user experience and not how an architect feels about the built work.

as architects, we can't veer away from the idea of 'objectivism'. seeing the house like a gem, from afar.

if i was the architect of the house, i'd be really be ashamed if the end-user is uncomfortable.

i wouldnt care if the house break grounds of architectural movement, it just failed to address the basics of sense of comfort. its like getting the whole picture but missing out on the details.

a passer-by, archl tourist is really a different experience from a 24/7 farnsworth experience inside it.

im speaking as a layman.

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