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Blurred Vision: Architectures of Surveillance from Mies to SANAA Series: Date: Tuesday 13 January Time: Venue: Lecture Hall Running time: 77 mins The history of the modern window is the history of communication: Le Corbusier's horizontal window is unthinkable outside of cinema, the Eames House unthinkable outside of the colour slide, and the midcentury picture window unthinkable outside television. In each case, the ambition to dissolve the line between inside and outside is realised by absorbing the latest realities of communication. Today, new forms of advanced surveillance technologies operate in the city, and these models of vision act as new paradigms. The glass box has become something else altogether. In fact, this question of the relationship with glass and the technologies of communication has been an ongoing inspiration, so to speak, in my research, a thread.
This is very Johnson, before anyone says 'you are copying Mies', he says 'I was copying Mies, of course! This is a still from a TV program, I can never find this model or photographs of this stage of the project.
Going back to his words: 'I built this house shortly after Mies gave us the model of his famous house near Chicago. I knew the plans of the Farnsworth very well. So, it is precisely this sense of complete envelopment that makes this minimalist statement an architecture. If you are in a good piece of architecture, Johnson continues, you have the feeling that you are surrounded. In fact, rather than dematerialized architecture, glass in fact reinforces this traditional role.
Architecture is how you enclose space, that is why I hate photographs, television and motion pictures. Television also arrived in the US precisely at mid century, and also it had been part of science fiction fantasies of the future. The Dymaxion house, he claimed, was equipped with the latest media technology: telephone, radio, TV, phonograph, dictaphone, loudspeaker, microphone, and so on.
But of course, some of those technologies barely existed in , only in the late 40s and 50s was TV widely introduced to the American public, when DuMont and RCA offered the first sets to the public in , and basically between and nearly two thirds of American families bought a TV set.
In , the most famous of the mass produced suburbs, Levittown in Long Island, offered a TV set built into the walls of its prefabricated Cape Cod houses. You know the beautiful story that Levi organized that all the appliances, which were still very expensive, particularly the television, will be included in the mortgage, so it was a very clever strategy, because with 25 down you could have a TV.
The amazing thing is that only one year later, the TV is no longer a distinct appliance, but is embedded into the wall, so you can say that the TV has become part of the architecture of the American house.
I think that Herbert Greenwald was the one that bought the TV set for him, and I did a bit of research into that and it turns out that Greenwald was this character, which was a rabbinical scholar that came a real estate developer, and that associates with Mies in , and between the two of them did fantastic projects, like Lake Shore drive apartments in Chicago, as you know, twin 25 storey glass structures on the shores of Lake Michigan, containing glass apartments each.
Mies wanted to give city apartment dwellers the feeling of being as close to the outdoors as people in the suburbs are, who have floor to ceiling picture windows in their houses.
The apartments are glass houses suspended in the air, allowing breathtaking views over the lake from every apartment, but at the same time turning each apartment into a display, can you believe this situation, why are there two twin towers facing each other, and nobody seems to be using curtains, so you have this images on Life magazine, where you can say that Lake Shore Drive apartments have become like multiplex theatres where they are all audience for each other, and in … each tower looks at its identical twin, as in mirror images.
Inhabitants seem to have been perfectly at ease, as one of the first tenants put it: 'I felt quite akin, and not nearly as exposed as I thought I would feel, now that the furniture is in place.
Johnson himself insisted that the glass house has no television, no telephone, no gramophone, no noise of any kind. You can say: no media in a house was designed precisely for the media, the glass house itself, I will argue now, was operating like a television set, but not in the obvious sense of the view the house makes possible, but one can argue that the typical post war suburban house operated as a TV set.
The Johnson glass house closes itself to the outside much more radically than a stone house would do, to become precisely a TV broadcasting studio. This model of using your house as a TV broadcasting studio was picked up later by authorities on the American house Martha Stewart, who not only uses her own houses as a broadcast studio, but owns also a country estate of four places also in Westport, Connecticut, near the Johnson house, with a series of model houses, so in the same way, Johnson had his state with series of model structures built over the year, he uses each one of them as an opportunity to broadcast.
Each time the glass house seems to run out of esteem, Johnson builds a new structure that renews the discussion of himself, but also of the early house. Back to Johnson, he builds a new house, a new structure every time that he feels like the glass house is running out of esteem, and he calls that getting a niche, he says: 'I keep building around the place because I get itchy, nobody asked me to do funny things, so I have to do them for myself, as a sort of test.
Clients always want something definite: toilets and other necessary gadgets, but I can always build what I like for myself, so about every five or six years, I build another funny thing. But Johnson knows what he has to do, he is the best character for TV. Each program becomes a new opportunity to talk about the house.
The best descriptions are those of Johnson, he links this house to a celestial elevator, in which when it snows it seems to be going up, because everything else is coming down, which is a beautiful idea, the glass house is levitating. This house was described by Michael Graves as more Miesian than Mies. For example of the Seagram building he says 'unfortunately the entire experience of Seagram leads but to the elevator: that claustrophobic box, brings visual, professional beauty to a complete dead end.
The visitor can only look out of a high window, elevators are here to stay, but one is not forced to love them. It seems as if the claustrophobia of the elevator goes away when there is only the elevator in the landscape, the glass house, a freebox, a glass elevator in a way with 4 doors.
Even the black band going around the box makes sense now, it is something to hold on when the house goes up. Already in in his book on Mies accompanying the exhibition at MoMA, Johnson had described the Farnsworth house as a floating self contained cage, and Henry Russell Hitchcock, described as a beach yacht, with no provision for outer living beyond the very confined space of the screen deck and the small travertine dock below it.
This idea of floating, you can also find it already in the popular press.
There are lot of glass houses there, facing the ocean, and people like them, but I say there is nothing there. The glass house, he says, was designed as a Chinese box: you have a box, then you take the lid off and there is another one, then another one and then another one. To experience the house, then, is to move from floating raft to floating raft, each providing a sense of containment, defined precisely by the outer lines of the raft. The glass house is not a glass box, but precisely a horizontal surface, a raft.
There are no walls here, the space is defined by the horizontal surfaces. Is this horizontal movement contradictory with the idea of the vertical elevator? This is what he says: 'the intimacy of the raft is as great as the intimacy of a closed room. That is what is hard for all other architects to understand. And then he talks about ocean, providing a safe passage.
Here there is no difference between the reporter and the thing being reported, Johnson was simply a television program, a reality TV show, that run longer than anybody could have imagined.
CR: [Laughs] No, no… I got it! Sixteen pages of great idea kitchens in the issue of House Beautiful , plus 51 great kitchen ideas from on HB. A few things I'd like to point out: If not, you heard it here first. Was there ever such a thing as too much chintz in the mid-eighties? Born in ? Apparently that's when roses ran riot in design.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is fabric and texture still play a huge part in the process. Rules are made to be broken, right? It's part of finding what works for you. If that's mixing styles, carefree gardening with grasses, or four-star simple dinners, HB approves. It's called "personal style" for a reason—it's yours, no one else's!
Here's how to find your design style. House Beautiful kicked off the decade with an issue that claimed bolder colors, smart knockoffs, and smaller, elegant parties were "what's good for the 90s.
In earlier years, there was a bit more variety from the standard interior shots readers have come to love. Instead, you saw photos of families and home exteriors, like this January issue. Two major difference between earlier issues, like the January issue, and the ones you've seen thus far? First, the white box appeared around the title for years. The second, this one's a close up photo unlike the wide shots of beautiful rooms you've gotten used to.
Finding the balance between "gutsy" and "comfortable" is tough, but these comfy white dining chairs make both happen. I would love to transport myself into this scene. Between the weather and the dining setup, it looks like the most peaceful morning. The floral print certainly screams nineties sofa, but it's a trend you still see today. Do you like it? The nineties were clearly having a WordArt moment. You know, the white words with the black outline? Yea, those. This is certainly the first time I've seen a cover page whose text is all left aligned like this, but I'm loving the simplicity of the room.
Call ! The difference between this summer issue and the previous fall issue is drastic. I would never have guessed this was from If you were to answer the "Mix or match? Are you more of a mixer or a matcher? Other than the different logo style also multi-color , this living room design could definitely pass as one from with the classic neutrals, beautiful light fixtures, and velvet ottoman.
Kicking off with an issue that played with color, not just in its interior designs, but also in the logo. How do you feel about the multi-color House Beautiful title? I think pretty much everyone in the U. But, side note, those candles on the tree can't possibly be real, right? They guided their clients to lawyers who were in on the scheme. The Contract downloaders League fought back.
They refused to pay their installments, instead holding monthly payments in an escrow account. They were no longer fleeing in hopes of a better deal elsewhere. They were charging society with a crime against their community. They wanted the crime publicly ruled as such. And they wanted restitution for the great injury brought upon them by said offenders. In , Clyde Ross and the Contract downloaders League were no longer simply seeking the protection of the law.
They were seeking reparations. In its population was , Today it is 36, The neighborhood is 92 percent black. Its homicide rate is 45 per ,—triple the rate of the city as a whole. The infant-mortality rate is 14 per 1,—more than twice the national average. Forty-five percent of all households are on food stamps—nearly three times the rate of the city at large.
Sears, Roebuck left the neighborhood in , taking 1, jobs with it. North Lawndale is an extreme portrait of the trends that ail black Chicago. Such is the magnitude of these ailments that it can be said that blacks and whites do not inhabit the same city. When the Harvard sociologist Robert J.
Sampson examined incarceration rates in Chicago in his book, Great American City, he found that a black neighborhood with one of the highest incarceration rates West Garfield Park had a rate more than 40 times as high as the white neighborhood with the highest rate Clearing.
The humiliation of Whites Only signs are gone. Rates of black poverty have decreased. Black teen-pregnancy rates are at record lows—and the gap between black and white teen-pregnancy rates has shrunk significantly. But such progress rests on a shaky foundation, and fault lines are everywhere. The income gap between black and white households is roughly the same today as it was in Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, studied children born from through and found that 4 percent of whites and 62 percent of blacks across America had been raised in poor neighborhoods.
A generation later, the same study showed, virtually nothing had changed. And whereas whites born into affluent neighborhoods tended to remain in affluent neighborhoods, blacks tended to fall out of them.
This is not surprising. Black families, regardless of income, are significantly less wealthy than white families. The Pew Research Center estimates that white households are worth roughly 20 times as much as black households, and that whereas only 15 percent of whites have zero or negative wealth, more than a third of blacks do. Effectively, the black family in America is working without a safety net. When financial calamity strikes—a medical emergency, divorce, job loss—the fall is precipitous.
And just as black families of all incomes remain handicapped by a lack of wealth, so too do they remain handicapped by their restricted choice of neighborhood. Black people with upper-middle-class incomes do not generally live in upper-middle-class neighborhoods.
As a rule, poor black people do not work their way out of the ghetto—and those who do often face the horror of watching their children and grandchildren tumble back. Even seeming evidence of progress withers under harsh light. In , the Manhattan Institute cheerily noted that segregation had declined since the s. And yet African Americans still remained—by far—the most segregated ethnic group in the country.
With segregation, with the isolation of the injured and the robbed, comes the concentration of disadvantage. An unsegregated America might see poverty, and all its effects, spread across the country with no particular bias toward skin color.
Instead, the concentration of poverty has been paired with a concentration of melanin.
The resulting conflagration has been devastating. One thread of thinking in the African American community holds that these depressing numbers partially stem from cultural pathologies that can be altered through individual grit and exceptionally good behavior. It is also wrong. The kind of trenchant racism to which black people have persistently been subjected can never be defeated by making its victims more respectable.
The essence of American racism is disrespect. And in the wake of the grim numbers, we see the grim inheritance. The suit dragged on until , when the league lost a jury trial. Securing the equal protection of the law proved hard; securing reparations proved impossible.
Board of Education and all that nonsense. The Supreme Court seems to share that sentiment. The past two decades have witnessed a rollback of the progressive legislation of the s. Liberals have found themselves on the defensive.
In , when Barack Obama was a candidate for president, he was asked whether his daughters—Malia and Sasha—should benefit from affirmative action. He answered in the negative. The exchange rested upon an erroneous comparison of the average American white family and the exceptional first family.
In the contest of upward mobility, Barack and Michelle Obama have won. But that comparison is incomplete. The more telling question is how they compare with Jenna and Barbara Bush—the products of many generations of privilege, not just one.
Belinda had been born in modern-day Ghana. She was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery. She endured the Middle Passage and 50 years of enslavement at the hands of Isaac Royall and his son. But the junior Royall, a British loyalist, fled the country during the Revolution. Belinda, now free after half a century of labor, beseeched the nascent Massachusetts legislature: The face of your Petitioner, is now marked with the furrows of time, and her frame bending under the oppression of years, while she, by the Laws of the Land, is denied the employment of one morsel of that immense wealth, apart whereof hath been accumilated by her own industry, and the whole augmented by her servitude.
WHEREFORE, casting herself at your feet if your honours, as to a body of men, formed for the extirpation of vassalage, for the reward of Virtue, and the just return of honest industry—she prays, that such allowance may be made her out of the Estate of Colonel Royall, as will prevent her, and her more infirm daughter, from misery in the greatest extreme, and scatter comfort over the short and downward path of their lives.
Belinda Royall was granted a pension of 15 pounds and 12 shillings, to be paid out of the estate of Isaac Royall—one of the earliest successful attempts to petition for reparations. At the time, black people in America had endured more than years of enslavement, and the idea that they might be owed something in return was, if not the national consensus, at least not outrageous.
Click the image above to view the full document. Finkenbine has documented, at the dawn of this country, black reparations were actively considered and often effected.
Charles J. Ogletree Jr. But while the people advocating reparations have changed over time, the response from the country has remained virtually the same. Having been enslaved for years, black people were not left to their own devices. They were terrorized.
In the Deep South, a second slavery ruled. In the North, legislatures, mayors, civic associations, banks, and citizens all colluded to pin black people into ghettos, where they were overcrowded, overcharged, and undereducated. Businesses discriminated against them, awarding them the worst jobs and the worst wages.