Monday, June 28, 2010

Average vs. Half-ass vs. Bad-ass

I'm so sick of average stuff. It's everywhere. Particularly architecture. I was at the Dwell On Design show at the LA Convention Center last Friday. There were a couple of cool things (I'll post them later, cuz they deserve it), but for the most part, nothing mind-blowing. But dammit, I'm ready to get my mind blown!
I mean...I get it. There are certain inevitable constraints. The number one constraint is typically budget. I'm familiar with that one. If I had an unlimited budget I''ll see.
And the half-ass sucks too. Half-ass is the result of average designers trying to be bad-ass. Jeez this sounds critical and egotistical... but how 'bout this - Anyone wanna take me on? Let's get out the pencil & paper, clay, Legos, papier mache, Lincoln Logs, 2x4's....or lets just grab a stick and find some wet sand and see who can come up with what. I mean, it's not like this is a new idea. Most contemporary designers can't keep up with the Egyptians or Greeks. I'm not saying there isn't any cool stuff out there. There is. And it's MIND BLOWING! But it's rare. And it's the exception to the rule.
Think about it this way: When you're driving around (or riding) take a look at all of the stuff you pass....all of the objects. Take a look at the cars, the mailboxes, the landscaping, but mostly the buildings. There's so many of them. They're everywhere! Everybody's got at least one, but how many of them would qualify as bad-ass? Not enough. That's how many.
Well, anyhow...if you need some examples, here's a guy I like - Art Dyson. There's others of course, but he's the first that comes to mind.
Now let me get some dough together so I can go visually squash some fools.


  1. I think I understand why there is so much average stuff out there and that's because the level of attention to design that you describe created by people like Art Dyson is "art" and most business people looking for "just a building".

    I enjoy the buildings I see built in the days when style was important enough to factor into the building, such as ornate movie theaters or strong, columned bank buildings. Let's get some more dough out there and I'm sure the quality of design would improve :)

    I liked how you were getting involved in Jack London Square's revitalization group. A similar thing has been happening in Fresno for the last few years and I think it's finally building steam. There might be some opportunities to get Able and Baker designs there!

    Next time we get together let's break out the Legos!