I think that after my parent’s generations and mine pass; a work like Peter Eisenmann’s “Melting Bong” in New York would not be ridiculed but instead looked at as something wonderful, and perhaps even inspirational. I can imagine decades from now individuals looking at that building and wondering why it looks as if it were falling; then quickly recalling its meaning and purpose. As for Frank Gehry’s “Lou Ruvo Brain Institute” in Las Vegas, the same can be said… It is true that the building is abstract and that its concept was clearly derived from its users. As a student of design, I can understand and appreciate the works of these gentlemen. At the same time I try to extract myself and put my perspective into someone else’s point of view, the common civilian. Would I be offended? Confused? Should I be?
All this brings me to an other point of thought- how is it that designers and architects alike can be so related in their abstract ways of thinking but so legally separated? Currently, our society looks at designers as a “caddy” and architects as the “professional golfer”. Each could do their job by themselves but would be much more successful working together.
Moreover, who’s to say that architects are not just privileged artists with math and science skills. I have recently read a passage in my studio class: Color in Architecture by Rasmussen from the book Experiencing Architecture, MIT Press, 1992. In the passage Rasmussen makes the point that “despite all theories on color there is no definite rule or direction that state- if closely followed one can guarantee good architecture” (Rasmussen, p219). If this were so, all design students would receive A’s but that’s just not the case because our craft is one of opinion, not of easily memorized facts and equations. So how is it that we create an accredited standardized test? After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.