COLUMNS

  • Industrial Design from Japan at the UCLA Galleries

    THE ROOM IS A COOL GLADE set with floating floodlit discs. Upon them glitter a bright new generation of objects from Japan: not red lacquer bowls but white Western china, neither gilded screens nor dancing fans but the personal, portable machinery of the contemporary world. Suspended silks and photographs seem anxious to remind us that these international-looking objects are truly Japanese.

    In exquisite refinements to human use, in little dramas played about an idea the national skills show best. The transistors under glass are textured to the hand, the grilles like open mouths about to speak.

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  • Architecture and the New Vernacular

    An idea, now treated by those in the know as highly old-fashioned, is that a distinction should always be made between architecture and buildings. As Gilbert Scott, the great 19th-century English Gothic Revivalist put it, “Architecture consists of the decoration of construction.” While such an assertion would only bring smiles from our current schools of architecture or from our professional architectural journals, this is a distinction which is still almost universally made on a popular level. To most people, that which is thought of as architectural in a typical project house, are shutters,

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