My Architects

bobanddenise.jpgJames Venturi, son of architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, has made is making a film about them and their highly influential ideas and designs:

This film is the story of their struggle, their ideas, and the meshing of the two in their architecture. The coupleís work and theories have been widely misinterpreted. While Venturi is credited as the father of postmodernism, he feels this movement perverted his ideas rather than embraced them. As Bob rose to fame, however, Denise remained unrecognized as a full design partner. The film will explore this inequity, her pioneering role for women in the field, and the ìstar systemî that propagates the myth of the ìguru architectî over the reality of shared creativity in collaborative design. This story will be told via the firmís buildings and by interviews with the two subjects, their coworkers, clients, colleagues, friends, and critics. The filmmaker, their son, hopes this film will inspire those whose ideas go beyond what the dominant culture promotes.
Sounds a little apologia-etic, as if perhaps the Venuri/Scott Browns worry about their important historical contributions being thrown out with the currently unfashionable post-modernist bathwater. I figure as long as they don't have any projects in the Hamptons that need preserving, they're set.

But it also goes to show you, your great architect dad [Or mom. Sorry, Denise!] doesn't have to be a secret polygamist mystic who visits you in the middle of the night, and who dies in the bathroom of Penn Station for you to make an interesting movie.

Oh, and whaddya know, Nathaniel Kahn is on the advisory board for the project, as is my friend Andrew. Looks like I've got some emails to write; we'll straighten out these damn architecture critics yet.

Learning From Bob & Denise [, via archinect]
Previously: On My Architect: The Path Of Kahn and On Understanding The Architect [I remember I was so pleased with myself after writing that post.]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: October 13, 2005.

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