I have always been more interested in questions, rather than answers. We all know what is conventionally expected of architecture in terms of shelter, function, and design. So I have spent a lot of my life asking, “What else could a building mean?” I asked, “Why was building design locked into the pervasive litany of Modernist and Constructivist clichés?” I had always liked Utzon’s Sydney Opera House and Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, but, increasingly, I felt that such structures only capped off seventy years of the same formalist conventions. Stylistic repetition becomes exhausted after a certain point. Duchamp observed, “If you want to be creative, you need to clean off your desk at least three times in your life.” My early sculptures were stylistically inventive and well crafted; but, by the late 1960s, such predictable objectives no longer interested me. This became my own “clean-off-the-desk” period. I started to see aesthetic content and conceptual motivations in a completely different way. I began to view building archetypes – in their most commonplace level of interpretation – as a kind of “subject matter” for art, instead of the usual design problem. I became intrigued with the process of using archetypal sources – for example, the ubiquity of suburban Colonial houses, classical bank facades, fast food restaurant signage, big box store physicality, etc. – as “trigger zones” for ideas and raw material for the fragmentation, dematerialization, and general inversion of architecture.
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