07
May
09

John Lautner: Between Heaven and Earth

I visited the excellent Lautner exhibition at the Lighthouse in glasgow. Lautner, without me knowing who he was, influenced me from an early age due to the use of his building in Diamonds are Forever and they have featured in many films and tv shows including Less than Zero, The Big Lebowski, lethal Weapon 2 and Body Double(check this for more http://www.johnlautner.org/wp/?p=32). Marbrisa or the Arango house was a huge influence on my end of year project during 1st year at Art School where we were to design a residence and recording studio on a clifftop overlooking the West Coast of Scotland (Craignish). I recall Isi Metzstein describing it at the most modern elevation he had seen all day however slated it for its open terraces being impractical in this location mocking with ‘What are they going to do there?Play ping-pong”. I always thought that if Isi even gave you the time to look through your drawings and provide an in depth critisism then there you must have done something right and his technique certainly prepares for reality.

John Lautner, Arango House, Acapulco, photographed by Julius Shulman

John Lautner, Arango House, Acapulco, photographed by Julius Shulman

The exhibition is well worth the visit and I believe at this point it is its only European Destination after being shown in Los Angeles. There are some amazing models however I was more impressed by the original drawings on show. Having spanned a generation in an office that had one computer that took up a whole room, no mobile phones and a haze of smoke to a fully computerised age(I still have 1 drawing board in the office that I still frequently use), I am fully appreciative of the skill involved in the concept and construction drawings on show. I still believe that a line drawn by hand has more meaning  to the designer in the design proces than lines duplicated/copied/pasted on the computer.

The buildings of Lautner when used in film are generally used as the home of a gangster/drug dealer/villain. I see this as a positive in that they are so impressive and futuristic that they portray success and vision. I wonder how Lautner felt about Mel gibson destrying one with his pick up truck!

The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design Architecture and the City is recommended as a destination for anyone visiting Glasgow. there are various design and architecture exhibitions on at all times and there is the permanent Mackintosh Interpretation Centre based there also.

The Lautner Exhibition runs until 26 July 2009

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