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1908 Westcott House photographs & link to video
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume that the encaustic method disappeared from FLW's interiors after decades of repainting, so it may be a surprise that he specified the process, but he did. I also assume it was not a cheap finish, and as such was likely used only in the more high-end houses. His total control over Dana would not have allowed any process that he did not approve of. The two interiors with the system that I have experienced, Dana and a house by an architect for himself, were in no way glossy, as the Westcott photos suggest, but a very warm hue, as Tom says of the Bradley house.

Those "Before" photos are so sad. What a mess! But seeing the quality and extent of the restoration is uplifting. I cannot remember his name, but there was, in the olden days of yore, a FLWBC member who lived in an apartment in the garage structure of Westcott. I believe he was instrumental in getting the restoration off the ground. He lost his apartment, but help save the house.
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Modmom1



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your connection to the house, Meisolus. What an exciting experience for you to intern with the firm while it was working on the Westcott House. My daughter is interning with Schooley Caldwell, a Columbus firm that also worked on the project, as well as the Ohio State House. Off subject but have you seen Kent State's new architecture school building? We are looking at architecture grad schools (as much as we would love Taliesin, the cost is prohibitive to all but the very wealthy) and we toured Kent State this week in part to see the new building designed by one of my husband's classmates, Mike Manfredi. Incredible LEED Platinum building! The program was very impressive as well but they are about to get a new director, so we'll wait and see.

As far as the encaustic paint, in person the mottling is much less apparent and the overall experience is worth a trip! It's a sad family tragedy to learn about the history, but what a community endeavor to take on such a project! We will be hosting a tour w some folks from Westcott after my younger daughter returns to college in August.

The Carriage House, which once housed the stable, Mr Westcott's cars and an apartment for the grounds keeper, is now a lovely gift shop and administrative offices.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16258
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Modmom. Here's the new school:

https://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2016/08/ksus_new_architecture_school_b.html

(The photos don't open for me, perhaps because I have an ad blocker ?)

https://archpaper.com/2013/04/kent-state-picks-weissmanfredi-to-design-new-architecture-school/

SDR
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Modmom1



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks SDR, from photos I had thought it was some kind of metal panelling for the exterior but it's local Belden brick! Ample amounts of light in the building especially the studio space (which is where architecture students really live). Here's some more photos:

http://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/kent-state-center-for-architecture-and-environmental-design-1678_o
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16258
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exciting. I love iron-spot brick.

A visually open and breezy scheme ? Interesting to see more drafting boards than computer screens in the studios . . .

SDR
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Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 196

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modmom1, I have not been in the building but have driven past several times. They held a competition for the design and I really think what was built was the best entry.

If you've got any questions about Kent State, please feel free to DM me.

SDR, when I was at Kent, about a hundred years ago in technology terms, they really emphasized doing things by hand. My understanding is that it is far more digital than it used to be, but they still expect you to have the basic skills, which I agree with. My guess would be that those drawing boards are for first or second year students.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16258
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was my supposition. Glad to know things are being done in the right order. I just met a mature disabled gentleman, born in Nigeria, who teaches
multiple computer drawing programs to local college students. He told me that his students go through a course of conventional drafting before they get to him . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot address digital architecture, but to me the process of hand-drawing a design, even one thoroughly composed in the mind ahead of time, is more than a record, it is an essential part of the design process. An architect doesn't know what he has until he sees it, Fallingwater notwithstanding.

I am sure that held true for FLW. Had he lived into the digital age, I doubt he would have been impressed.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16258
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I concur; while it is possible for what appears on the page to "push the designer around" -- perhaps a motive for the notion that the object should
be firmly in mind before pencil hits paper -- the designer has to accept that his initial conception may have left something out (the "neglected aspect"
once referred to by a senior) and that only by refining, on paper or onscreen, will the correct and useful thing result.

With very limited hands-on exposure to digital drafting, I can nevertheless suggest that the design process will be little different on the screen as
compared to on paper: the same steps will have to be taken, to "build" something in two (or three) dimensions. Digital doesn't rewrite the laws of
physics -- or the nature of invention, its commitment to measured lines, and its subsequent or simultaneous refinement.

I hope those more experienced that I will share their impressions of the similarities and the differences between the old and the new drafting regimen.

Just like Schindler before him, and his conversion from T-square to "drafting machine," I see little hope that Mr Wright and "the boys" would not have
adopted the latest (and inevitable, and ubiquitous ?) version of the drawing procedure. The practical advantages of the new method are so obvious once
recognized, that only the most severely Luddite practitioner, with any kind of volume and complexity of work, would turn away.

That said, I feel grateful that I was able to make it to the end of a formal career without having to master the new medium. I will always enjoy the
experience of pencil or pen on paper; just this morning I acquired the 32nd in a lifelong series of 9 x 12 sketchbooks, blank and ready for already-
percolating new ideas . . .

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3585
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came into the profession just as CAD was gaining ground...I worked in offices in which hand drafting was still most prevalent, but soon certain larger corporate clients required CAD on their projects more for their own record keeping than anything else. By the time the full changeover occurred, I was directing drafters more than doing the production myself. To this day, I still do construction sketches by hand, and design by hand, though I can and do use AutoCAD daily in the office. I've made it a point to use CAD solely on projects that require a lot of repetition, such as hotels and apartment buildings.

SDR's comments struck a chord with me...I have noticed that projects on which I worked with some level of hand drawing in the design stage, I have a better sense of the project when in the field during construction than those which I designed solely with CAD. It is almost as if there is a physical connection, or "muscle memory" with respect to my mind's perception of the building as it is assembled.
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Modmom1



Joined: 03 Dec 2017
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick, my husband tries to convince my kids (1 a 3rd year, the other just graduated) but they do everything by computer. Remember how every architect used to use the same printing? You should see their penmanship! Appalling! I don't understand how a person can draw well but their print looks like a 3rd grader.

I believe that the open studio space @ KS is for all students. Maren said the students bring their own laptops and that there were some computers in the back.

Another off subject, do you guys realize how expensive schools are now? We looked into Taliesin but it is $50,000 a year while in-state tuition is mid to high $20k. Out of state is high $30k-$60k/yr. My daughter's room mate was accepted to Sci-Arc...$75k/yr and thats without room and board (in LA!). This is why so many student are burdened with debt.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16258
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine that we can agree that it's the product, the outcome of the process, that's more important than the method, to the success of a work of
art or science ? If one means works better, for any reason and for any individual, than another, who are we to decry it ? The workman's tools are
his business, not ours.

I simply don't learn dozens of new rules simultaneously -- if at all -- which is the price of entry to the digital-tool world. I know how to draw a curve, or
an odd angle, instinctively and without a second thought, while those who know their way around a drafting program have a whole catalog of
commands under their belt. The computer drawing is capable of faultless craft, of endless and easy permutation, of interface with other data, all to
the benefit of its users and their employers.

Whether the digital drafter enjoys his work, or if it is capable of drudgery like any other task, is unknown to me, and probably will remain so. I only
know that I've seen both beautiful and ugly computer-drawn work, just as with the traditional kind -- so artistic expression, for what that's worth, is
not unknown to the modern drafter. My hope is that the tasks can be made as intuitive and, yes, simple, as moving a pencil past a drafting tool on a
sheet of paper. If and when that happens, I'll be right there to try it out . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I applied to Taliesin in 1962, the total yearly cost was $2,000 ($16.6K in adjusted dollars), and that was more than 6 times the tuition (books and living expenses excluded) at U of M. So Taliesin has tripled in cost. I don't know how parents do it.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8595

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God is in the details, and so is the devil. One if the details are right, the other if they are wrong. Computers can ferret out the inaccuracies of anything mathematical or geometrical, but cannot make decisions, like "Is this enough, or should I add a staircase down to the stream?" Techies are convinced there will come a day when IT is able to make such decisions, but I doubt I will be around to see it.
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