Well, this feels surreal. To be recognized and recommended by the editors of Architectural Digest (thank you Gabrielle Langdon!) as a top Interiors photographer has me floored. I am humbled and honored. Remember, AD is a magazine I have read since I was a child. From being a publication that was always around in the house thanks to my mother, it has become my north star. This is true even in moments of weakness when days are just, hard. I know I need to keep trying with whatever steam I have left in me despite how uphill this whole business can be sometimes. I want this for life.
When we doubt ourselves and shrug off the praise and admiration that’s given to us, that doubt becomes the hill we all die on, over and over again. I’m grateful for every client who gave me an opportunity to do a good job in the past year, every uplifting comment a friend has made, my assistants and retouchers who support my productions, all of it. Thank you. Keep your focus, keep your chin up and keep on going. You’re doing great. Believe in what you do more than anyone else on the planet and one day they’ll start to see it, too, but only if you believe it yourself.
NEW INTERVIEW WITH VOYAGELA
A few months back I spoke with VoyageLA sharing some details about me and my work, challenges I’ve faced and a plan to publish a book about You-probably-already-know-who-if-you-really-know me. Read about it HERE.
Past interviews live here / Mouthwash and here / VSCO.
South African studio Counterspace holds stage for this year’s (delayed) Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park and while the largest pavilion to date rests on a world stage, it is an opportunity to welcome in all the praise a 31-year-old architect deserves along with a wave of necessary criticism.
The structure, for starters, is massive. At 27 feet tall in some places, the support of such a lofty structure is concrete, almost a 100 cubic meters of it. Even just looking at it you can sense how permanent this pavilion feels in comparison to others that took the prompt of temporary to build something almost weightless.
Conceptually I find it beautiful, memorializing. “Responding to the historical erasure and scarcity of informal community spaces across the city, the Pavilion references and pays homage to existing and erased places that have held communities over time and continue to do so today.” After all, the pavilion is supposed to be a place of refuge and spontaneous visitation. With multiple planes of varying “stages”, it has plenty of surface area for anyone to sit and chat.
The pavilion commission in it’s perfect form is to have “no end of experimentation” as Zaha Hadid hoped. But at what point does the justification of innovation, experimentation and play, fall short on sustainability? The largest portion of criticism I have read is pointing at how large of a CO2 footprint this commission has. I write this on an afternoon in Los Angeles and it’s well over 90 degrees outside, Portland had it’s hottest day in history a few weeks ago, and talk of dry thunder in this upcoming wildfire season has me feeling hopeless. What more evidence to human-induced climate change do we need before even the smallest of projects (IE- temporary pavilions, ADUs) need to subscribe to being totally carbon-negative?
Artistic director of Serpentine Galleries Hans-Ulrich Obrist vowed to ensure all future pavilions are carbon-negative. Constraints for architects can be a great thing. It forces us to look at what thin sliver of brilliance can be created with incredible boundaries. Now is the time to consider the ethical duty of adopting sustainability as the most prominent constraint in building. We don’t have the luxury of selling an exception for building practices that contribute to our planet’s detriment. The sensitivity matters now more than it ever has.
WEBPAGES TO VISIT
Web Design as Architecture / Are.na
The list that keeps giving and growing / BIPOC STUDIOS google doc
Let’s support seeing more women of color in Architecture. Consider donating via / Architecture for Change
I picked up a new book 37.2431° N, 115.7930° W via / Smog-press.xyz
Why we’re realizing building Chicago on a swamp was a bad idea / NYTimes
Let’s welcome the new all-around-feel-good wellness brand OEM to Earth! / OEM.care
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO
Having a soundtrack to life as we live it is invaluable. I actually consider it a part of my creative process as much as visual research is. Bodies of work or eras of projects have whole genres and micro-pockets in different realms of music. I consider these pairings like new worlds I could step into if I focus and allow it to influence me. I see it this way: Hotel lobbies, restaurants and coffee shops all have an audible element paired with their spatial-visual-utilitarian purposes. Why can’t digital spaces hold the same?
Either a Hot Date or a Vacation / Playlist
Nils Frahm and F.S. Blumm release new track Desert Mule / Spotify
Chris & Cosey - Exotika (12” Mix) / Spotify
MOUTHWASH Studio makes amazing playlists: “The Morning Commute” / Playlist
Ambrosia by emil / Spotify
Peggy Gou - I Go / Spotify
SOME RECENT IMAGES
I was fortunate enough to view Ian Colling’s exhibition at The Future Perfect along with artists John Hogan, Eric Roinestad, Piet Hein Eek in situ with so many additional beautiful things. Other commissions include the epic beauty that is the CalEdison building lobby c. 1931 and the 1961 American Cement Building on MacArthur Park. To come soon is a residential commission with Interior Designer and consultant Nakajeem. She did a superb job and I can’t wait to share the images with you.
If you received this, you’re a client, a friend, a colleague, a past colleague, someone I’ve sent proposals to, editors I respect, family members who want to stay as updated as possible, or you subscribed yourself because you want to see more. Thanks for reading the first of many newsletters I plan to send! Don’t worry, it won’t be too frequent but will always be of quality. I’m glad you’re here.