Julian Rose

  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the Broad, Los Angeles, 2015. Photo: Iwan Baan.

    the Broad museum and urban development in Los Angeles

    “HAVE YOU SEEN THE LIGHT?” I heard the question over and over during a recent trip to Los Angeles. This being a city with a long and storied history of cults, the query was disconcerting at first, but I soon realized that there was nothing metaphysical about it. It was, instead, a literal reference to the most talked-about quality of the building I had come to visit: the new Broad museum, designed by the New York–based studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), which opened downtown on September 20 amid widespread praise for the sublime luminosity of its interior spaces.

    Daylight has always been

  • “Stadt/Bild: Image of a City”

    In 2008, the United Nations reported that by the end of that year, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population would be concentrated in urban areas. By 2050, that proportion is expected to rise to two-thirds. To consider the city of the twenty-first century, then, is also to consider our collective future. So it’s hardly surprising that the metropolis is an increasingly popular subject among artists. This program—a collaboration between the Berlinische Galerie, the Deutsche Bank

  • Olafur Eliasson, Seu corpo da obra (Your Body of Work), 2011. Installation view, Studio Olafur Eliasson, Berlin, 2015. Photo: María del Pilar García Ayensa.

    “Olafur Eliasson: Verklighetsmaskiner/Reality Machines”

    Olafur Eliasson has gained an international following by making architecture disappear. Many of his best-known works have subsumed the fixed geometries of institutional buildings into more fluid and ephemeral environments in which the viewer’s perception of space is shaped less by the layout of walls and floors than by the manipulation of atmospheric conditions, such as temperature or light. Two decades into his career, architects have taken note, and are increasingly implementing similar special effects, while Eliasson’s studio has metamorphosed into an eighty-person

  • Still from Wolfgang Tillmans’s Book for Architects, 2014, two-channel digital video, color, silent, approx. 40 minutes.

    Wolfgang Tillmans’s Book for Architects

    ALTHOUGH WOLFGANG TILLMANS’S Book for Architects, 2014, offers an encyclopedic survey of the contemporary built environment, those to whom its title is addressed are likely to recognize surprisingly little of their own handiwork. Architects have never lacked ego, and we live in an age in which their trade has taken on an outsize importance and unprecedented popularity as a premium product of the international culture industry—charged with all manner of place making and identity branding. But this has led to a myopic understanding of architecture as little more than a series of individual

  • Gaetano Pesce, Foam Table, 2014, urethane foam, metal, PVC, 29 1/2 × 58 1/4 × 102 1/2".

    Gaetano Pesce

    Few buzzwords encapsulate the totalizing ambitions of the data economy as effectively as customization. Indeed, the idea that any given product could be individually tailored to the desires of a particular consumer seems to describe the inevitable end point of an age already defined by algorithmically targeted advertising and on-demand content. And this fantasy is fast becoming a reality in many branches of product design, in which new technologies such as 3-D-printing and robotic assembly promise to retain the low cost and efficiency of standardized industrial production while generating an

  • Calder, Sandback, and Tuttle

    Tadao Ando’s 2001 building for the Pulitzer Arts Foundation is both minimal and restrained, but it’s not quite a white cube. It is light gray, the color of the architect’s signature cast-in-place concrete, and its complex interiors, marked by carefully layered spaces and subtle plays of height and volume, belie the boxlike simplicity of its silhouette. As the latest spate of high-profile institutional projects reveals that museum architecture is still defined by the familiar polarity between overwhelming excess and mind-numbing

  • View of “Do Ho Suh,” 2014.

    Do Ho Suh

    So many weighty themes are piled onto Do Ho Suh’s fabric sculptures, it seems remarkable that his diaphanous structures don’t collapse under their heavy load. History and biography, longing and belonging, migration and globalization—these are only a handful of the ponderous concatenations apparently called to mind by the artist’s works. Such associations are perhaps not surprising, given that Suh’s work addresses architecture, a perennially symbolic subject, and specifically the home—surely the most intensely symbolic of architectural spaces. Indeed, in his more literal moments, Suh

  • Adjaye Associates and Olafur Eliasson, Your Black Horizon, 2005, LEDs, control unit, aluminum, acrylic, wood. Installation view, Lopud, Croatia, 2010. Photo: Rob Cheatley/Flickr.

    “David Adjaye: Form, Heft, Material”

    Educated at the Royal College of Art, London, in the early 1990s, David Adjaye came of age with a generation of major British artists (and erstwhile YBAs). His ongoing exchange with contemporary art has been perhaps the most organic, dynamic, and fruitful of any architect working today. Many of his early projects, including a 2002 house for Sue Webster and Tim Noble, were for artist friends; Adjaye has also developed a series of collaborative projects with artists such as Doug Aitken and Olafur Eliasson that explore shared material sensibilities and common

  • Fujiko Nakaya, Veil, 2014, fog. Installation view, Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, CT. Photo: Richard Barnes.

    Fujiko Nakaya at the Glass House

    A BUILDING is a stubbornly material thing, a physical construction that exists only by virtue of its resistance to gravity and to a host of other forces. Yet we experience architecture not as a tangible solid but as a spatial void, less an object in itself than an expanse through which we pass. No doubt this fundamental paradox goes a long way toward explaining architects’ enduring fascination with the notion of dematerialization—the fantasy that a building might be as ephemeral and insubstantial as the space it encloses. Perhaps the most powerful manifestation of this vision to date is

  • Cecil Balmond’s project Sigma, 1994–. Rendering, 2014.


    CECIL BALMOND has made a career out of doing what he’s not supposed to. Trained as an engineer, Balmond has radically expanded the traditional role of that profession, building a reputation as one of the world’s leading structural designers. Over the past four decades, he has had a hand in shaping many of the world’s most significant buildings—working with renowned architects from James Stirling and Philip Johnson to Rem Koolhaas and Toyo Ito—and has collaborated on major public commissions with artists such as Anish Kapoor. The two constants underlying this extraordinary diversity of projects are Balmond’s unique spatial sensibility and his unparalleled mastery of new digital technologies, which are now the driving forces behind Balmond Studio. Founded in 2010, the firm pursues cutting-edge research in design and computation while producing commissions in both art and architecture. Artforum invited Balmond to speak with senior editor JULIAN ROSE about the genesis and trajectory of this sweeping—and continually surprising—body of work.

    JULIAN ROSE: It’s an unfortunate paradox in the history of modernism: Even as new technologies have become more important to the practice of both art and architecture, technical concerns tend to remain isolated—a set of concrete, real-world problems may need to be solved for a work to be realized, but they remain separate from that work’s more ineffable aesthetic or conceptual significance. You have been able to obviate such distinctions. Indeed, early in your career, you gained a reputation as an exceptionally innovative structural engineer, but in many ways you have always been an artist.

  • Frank Gehry

    Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton may well be the most technologically advanced building in the world. Its fluid shell has been constructed from more than 3,500 panels of curved glass, each unique and CNC-molded to exact tolerances—a feat of unheard-of virtuosity. Above all, though, the structure showcases Gehry’s artistic control, his ability to transcend the typical constraints of architecture by marshaling staggering resources in the service of his single-minded vision. Gehry’s role as artist-architect will be reinforced by the institution’s

  • Bernard Tschumi Architects, Zoo de Vincennes, 2014, Paris. Ed Atkins, Ribbons, 2014, three-channel HD video, color, sound, 13 minutes 18 seconds.

    Bernard Tschumi

    Much of Bernard Tschumi’s prolific career has been based on the insight that architecture is above all a way of thinking, a practice as conceptual as it is material. This fundamental shift was famously signaled in his Manhattan Transcripts, 1976–81. Deploying notational techniques inspired by dance and film, Tschumi in this sequence of some fifty drawings, explores architecture’s relationship to the full range of actions and events that characterize the cultural and spatial complexity of the contemporary city. The suite is now on view, in its