Thursday, November 15, 2007

of sound and architecture...

pictorial living 1960's los angeles examiner

future of architecture LP 1959

future of architecture LP 1959

future of architecture LP 1959

future of architecture LP 1959

while looking through some old architecture related magazine covers to run at the beginning of october (also known as architecture month), i found a 1957 LA examiner insert with a cover shot by los angeles' most famous architectural photographer - julius shulman - of his own house. i then noticed, in the lower left hand corner, an LP lying on the end table.

shulman was very particular about object placement in photo shoots, so it seemed significant. the nice thing was that i not only recognized the LP, but i also happened to have it in my own collection. this was not the first time i recognized an LP cover in a photo of an architect's home - years ago i noticed some avant garde music LPs in a photo of pierre koenig's house and eventually interviewed him about his record collection...

shulman's LP is called "conversations towards the future of architecture" and was put together by the reynolds metals company in 1956. the intention was to discuss an architectural future that might include the potential of aluminum; which, coincidentally, was one of reynolds' biggest products. the album features the voices of mies van der rohe, eero saarinen, walter gropius, philip johnson, gordon bunshaft, ernest kump, and richard neutra. the interviews were conducted by john peter, and i really wish i knew who designed the cover...

it seems that by the mid 1950's aluminum was in the architectural air. along with the LP, the reynolds company published a series of books titled "aluminum in modern architecture" in 1956, 1958, and 1960. in 1959, the alcoa company, who i believe was the main competitor of reynolds, published two volumes of their own related to aluminum and modern design/architecture called forecast; commissioning such experimental aluminum projects as charles eames' solar toy, better known as the do nothing machine.

since neutra and shulman worked together for so many years, i figured it made the most sense to post some of neutra's interview, and i like how he speaks of the main material of architecture as "the human material"...

click here to listen

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