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Lewis Wadsworth
Works at LW4
Attended Yale School of Architecture
Lives in Boston, Massachusetts
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Studio North 14

This year’s Studio North project will be a Consumable Sugar Shack. The structure will be designed and built over a six day period, then slowly burned next spring as we turn maple sap into maple sugar. Sort of like Burning Man north. No idea what it will look like yet. That is the fun part.

-- Keith Moskow FAIA, award-winning Boston architect and author 

And it does sound like fun, doesn't it? +Keith Moskow and Robert Linn have been running short design-build summer programs ("small-scale rural interventions") for a few years now, and Keith asked me to spread the word concerning the upcoming one:

This June 23th to 28nd  we will be hosting our fourth Studio North Design Build Workshop.  For the first three sessions in 2011, 2012 and 2013 we had students join us from all over the country.  Over six days Keith Moskow FAIA and Robert Linn AIA work hand in hand with the students to design then build an innovative structures.
 
Program description:
 
STUDIO NORTH Building small-scale rural interventions
Moskow Linn Architects
Norwich, Vermont
 
STUDIO NORTH is a six day intensive building workshop. The workshop offers students the opportunity to engage with the rural landscape and to imagine, develop and construct inventive design solutions. An architectural education is best experienced through engagement in all aspects of the building process.
 
The workshop takes place on a 117 acre farm in Norwich, Vermont. Each session investigates a particular interest and responds with the design and construction of a complete prototype structure. The workshop is limited to ten students.

More information and an application is available here:

http://moskowlinn.com/studio_north.html

The attached album contains images of previous Studios North, and you can read about them online here:

Studio North 11:
Dwell: http://www.dwell.com/outdoor/article/chicken-chapel
Architectural Record Greensource: http://greensource.construction.com/features/bestgreenhouses/2011/11/images/slideshow/1111/slideshow.asp?slide=1
Studio North 12:
Residential Architecture: http://www.residentialarchitect.com/education/hog-heaven.aspx
Hanover Magazine: http://archives.mountainviewpublishing.com/here-in-hanover/spring-2013/#p=64
Studio North 13:
Dwell: http://www.dwell.com/outdoor/article/aspiring-architects-build-pavilion-vermont-forest

#architecture   #architects   #architecturestudent  
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Shin'enkan

I was recently in Peter Miller Books in Seattle and discovered there a limited-edition portfolio from 1978 of the works of Bruce Alonzo Goff (1904 – 1983), the Oklahoma architect who is most charitably described as an Expressionist successor to Frank Lloyd Wright (his friend and an early mentor). At some point, I'll have to scan some of the more unusual drawings in that set...I find so much of Goff's work to be too idiosyncratic to be easily admirable. In fact, some of it repels me (although it is difficult for me to decide why). But there is no denying that he was a genius in his field and deserving of some study.

I remembered reading somewhere that many of Goff's buildings, seemingly, have been neglected or even destroyed. On researching them, I discovered that certain unbuilt designs were visualized digitally by Skyline Ink for a 2011 exhibit entitled Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind at the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum at Oklahoma University.

The digital realization of an extravagant museum in an unspecified location for the Japanese art collected by Goff's patron Joe D. Price is particularly intriguing, especially when compared to the heavy Pavilion for Japanese Art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art that ultimately evolved from it, at the end of Goff's life.

The whole film devoted to Shin'enkan is available here:

http://vimeo.com/25566152

See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Goff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavilion_for_Japanese_Art

http://danceartandokc.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html
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Minotaur

There is a "classical"   labyrinth  laid out on the eroded lava bed of Makaluapuna Point. It would normally be an inappropriate if not silly piece of amateur landscaping: a symbol of unknown-but-indisputably-European prehistoric provenance, adopted willy-nilly by the fatuously-mystical of several religions and here installed seaward of a golf course,  adjoining a partially-desecrated native Hawaiian graveyard.

I had no interest, on the changeably rainy day when I took these photos, in walking this supposed "path of enlightenment." But I was struck, standing there in the rain, by the odd epistemological character of the labyrinth: it has a meaning and everyone knows that it does -- but no one alive can be exactly certain what that meaning is. 

That particular situation is exactly what I find most interesting about works of architecture. I suppose I would consider myself a success as an architect if I could be certain that any of my own designs partook of that characteristic. 
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+Miguel Angel Lage It's very similar (and probably modeled on the Chartres path) but less than 30 years old apparently. It's pretty and interesting in these photos, and the labyrinth symbol is fascinating in itself. But If it hadn't been such a rainy day, I'm told that I would have observed a succession of New Ager haoles (that's white people, non-Hawaiians) in gaudy resort wear gyring toward the center of the labyrinth, where there is a pile of trinkets and painted rocks. I'm happy to have not witnessed such a goofy scene.

There is a huge Native burial ground a few yards away, the scene of massive protests a few years back when a developer tried to dig the bodies up and build a Ritz. There are also apparently other graves cut into the lava rock, relatively close to the labyrinth. I can't help but consider it, under the circumstances, the cultural equivalent of an invasive species.
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Well, that's just impossibly cheerful...

(I'm sure I've seen a dancing Imperial Stormtrooper elsewhere.)
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Miwa-an Teahouse -- Marc Peter Keane

I discovered this the other day. It's long gone, but it lives on in the Web. The designer is an authority on Japanese gardens. 

http://www.mpkeane.com/

The Arbor of the Three Wheels is an experimental Japanese teahouse and tea garden built as a year-long installation (2003-2004). The curved walls, which are made of hand-woven dogwood and willow stems, create sections of three interlocking circles, thus the name. In Buddhist philosophy, the three wheels represent the interconnections between people: the Giver, the Receiver, and the That Which is Shared. Miwa-an was envisioned as a place where people could come together to share things: ideas, lessons, or a cup of tea.

The Japanese teahouse is a singularly-complex, culturally-specific architectural problem. I find it fascinating, as an outsider to the tradition that developed and still generates solutions for that very specific program. 

Note that even though this is described as a "teahouse" it has no roof that I can perceive from these photos..it's an enclosure of insubstantial walls, more of a dedicated tearoom although in a garden and not inside another structure. It also dispenses with the traditional proportional system based on the tatami mat, like many recent teahouse designs.

These photos are from the designer's website. More are available here:

http://www.mpkeane.com/#!miwa-an/c1bv3

#architecture  
#landscapearchitecture  
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Have him in circles
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"thin" and "stretched" as architectural journalism goes

I thought this might be an intriguing article.  

Instead, I have to conclude that the original author doesn't really work as an architect. Has he actually been on a building site? Ever? It's still W-sections, studs, nails, hammers, bags of concrete, and sawdust. Where is it not? Where is it not worse?

To quote Neal Stephenson,  

In the real world--planet Earth, Reality--there are somewhere between six and ten billion people. At any given time, most of them are making mud bricks or field-stripping their AK-47s.

Maybe in some more-first-than-First-World fantasy "Digital fabrication is devaluing itself through overuse."  Where are we talking about that happening? Architecture schools? That's a real world? (And I ask this question as an academic who teaches 3d modeling and fabrication in an architecture school.)

...and therefore it becomes the responsibility of the designer, and particularly design students, to reintroduce value into a design by synthesising multiple and complementary sources in a way that is unique and innovative. The challenge for students is not achieving technical or digital brilliance, but rather employing these mainstream tools to achieve architectural brilliance.

The challenge is employing "mainstream tools to achieve architectural brilliance? " Brilliance? Define that! I strongly suspect that anyone who would conclude any sort of architectural thesis this way is probably the sort of person that, ten or fifteen years ago, would have been foaming at the mouth like a Ring-deprived Gollum during a crit on discovering that his students had (gasp!) used CAD.  "Computerssss are ruining architectures..we hates thems! We hates thems forever!"
 
"As is the case for many new technologies, the work of the early adopters stands out as avant-garde, but by the time late adopters are using the technology, the work it produces has become largely accepted and sometimes even the norm. Suddenly what was a unique work one year, is homogenous the next. With increased access to digital fabrication, comes a propensity to over-use or at least to use these methods without consideration."
The ICD / ITKE Research Pavilion 2011, demonstrating an example of a Voronoi diagram at work. Image © ICD / ITKE University of Stuttgart In this
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Ered Lithui

Vacation now on the beautiful South Mordor coast!

Even Google Maps refers to this area of Makaluapuna Point as "Dragon's Teeth." There seems to be a certain amount of disagreement concerning the origin of this strange formation. Guidebooks suggest that wind from the sea pushed the very fluid lava of a late West Maui volcanic eruption up into these jagged forms at the edge of the water, but a ranger at Haleakala told me that in fact it was the steep drop-off and resulting cold splash of water that froze the molten rock into these odd shapes.

Some areas of the Teeth seem to be oddly architectonic, especially where the seawater has corroded the lava to reveal pockets left by gases. If it wasn't for the scale, this could almost be the ruined remnant of some ant-like troglodytic civilization that once hollowed out the seaside ramparts.
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Cloud Supreme

For no particularly good reason, I was here yesterday, in a fairly driving rain.  The valley was certainly living up to the meaning of its name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iao_Valley
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Words don't usually fail me...

Okay, they've failed me. 
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Calvin & Muad'Dib

If this doesn't make sense to you...you've led a sad and limited life, and you should turn off the computer now.

http://calvinanddune.tumblr.com/

(Bill Watterson is OK with this? Who knew he was a Herbert fan?)
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Have him in circles
673 people
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Designer, illustrator, artist, and teacher...wait, didn't I already write that somewhere? Why didn't I become a spy? How does one become one? I will delete all my design files and burn my computer. Why is there no fire? Why aren't there the makings of one? How did I get in the unused room on the third floor? Have I spent too much of my life reading Edward Gorey?
Employment
  • LW4
    Principal, or possibly Chief Cultist, 2008 - present
  • Boston Architectural College
    Instructor, 2007 - 2013
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Boston, Massachusetts
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Seattle, Washington - New Haven, Connecticutt - Hanover, New Hampshire - St. Augustine, Florida
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Architect who knows how to use a sword.
Introduction

Lewis Wadsworth is a designer, artist, and teacher in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lewis' architectural projects have appeared in AIArchitect, the journal of the American Institute of Architects, and have been honored by the Boston Society of Architects. He has also illustrated projects for architecture firms in the United States, Australia, and Japan. He teaches 3D design and software courses at the Boston Architectural College. He has served as a technical adviser on software manuals, and oddly enough sometimes is paid to tell publishers what he thinks about proposed books on software commonly used by architects.

Lewis also fences with an épée. A lot. And yes, that is a type of sword.

Bragging rights
Peter Eisenman threatened, when I was an architecture student, to make sure that I never had a job in architecture anywhere on the planet. I've never assumed he wasn't serious.
Education
  • Yale School of Architecture
    Master of Architecture, 2001 - 2005
    (where, notably, he was told by the same fool who gave Maya Lin a "B" for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial project that he was too "unconventional" to be an architect)
  • Dartmouth College
    A.B. Visual Studies, 1986 - 1990
    (where he learned a few things, mostly concerning the habits of obscure Roman emperors. You have to be pretty decadent to invent veal.)
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Male