I’m at work on a book about Buckminster Fuller and recently came across a statement by Philip Johnson about Fuller.
“Bucky Fuller was no architect,” said Johnson. “We all hated him because he really thought the profession was unnecessary.” Fuller, it should be noted, referred to architects as “exterior decorators” and frequently dismissed their role.
The Glass House, designed by Johnson, and the geodesic dome designed by Fuller, seem to be absolute opposites, but it can be argued that they are both Utopian artifacts coming from radically different perspectives.
I’m curious about this apparent rift between these two contemporaries and leaders in design.
So far the debate is tied, with great comments from Terence Riley, Joan Grossman, Bruce Dehnert and Elizabeth Thompson. Join the discussion, share your thoughts, and help break the tie! Post your comments now at www.glasshouseconversations.org!
Alastair Gordon is an award-winning critic, curator and filmmaker who has written regularly about art, architecture and the environment for many different publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Le Monde, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, House & Garden and Dwell. He is the author of numerous critically-acclaimed books including Weekend Utopia, Naked Airport, Spaced Out, Wandering Forms, Qualities of Duration, Beach Houses: Andrew Geller, and Convergence. He is also co-founder and Editorial Director of Gordon de Vries Studio, an imprint that publishes books about the human environment.
You can read Alastair Gordon’s writing at http://alastairgordonwalltowall.com.
Glass House Conversations draws upon the legacy of Philip Johnson and David Whitney, who brought together people from many backgrounds to join the cultural dialogue of the 20th century. The Glass House extends this “salon “through Conversations in Context as well as Glass House Conversations, an online moderated public dialogue. Invited hosts post a question or debate topic and responders worldwide have up to two weeks to join the online conversation. http://glasshouseconversations.org
The Glass House, built between 1949 – 1995 by architect Philip Johnson, is a National Trust Historic Site located in New Canaan, CT. The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises 14 structures, including the Glass House (1949), and features a permanent collection of 20th century painting and sculpture, along with temporary exhibitions. The tour season runs from May to November and advance reservations are required. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.philipjohnsonglasshouse.org or call 866.811.4111.