Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts - (Page 40)
Raves + Reviews
REVIEWS BY S TA N LEY S TA RK , FA IA
Slow Manifesto: Lebbeus Woods Blog
Edited by Clare Jacobson
Function Follows Strategy: Architects'
Strategies from the Fifties to the Present
By Eduard Sancho Pou
Sancho Pou's book examines how strategy and strategic thinking have been employed to sell designs,
propel practices, and establish architects' brands.
Utilizing a case study approach around a series of
successful architects and practitioners, he presents
and analyzes the specific strategies they have used
to grow their practices.
Charles Luckman, architect and former
president of Lever Brothers, represents a high-level
business-leader-to-business-leader marketing approach. William Pereira, Luckman's former design
partner, and the more contemporary Bjarke Ingels
embody the design icons and/or actors who either
push a design image or mold themselves to the
expectations and needs of the client, incorporating
the best of both the client's needs and the designer's
intentions. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (a
non-architect) and Ricky Burdett (director of the
London School of Economics and Political Science
LSE Cities and the Urban Age Program) exemplify
the mediator-impresario model.
Coping with sudden societal challenges of rapid
growth and emerging needs offers another strategic
opportunity. Arthur Levitt, developer of the postwar suburb, and Chinese architect-developer Qing
Ma of MADA s.p.a.m. offer different and successful
methods of meeting these sudden needs. Architects
as developers are a more general example of this
style. John Portman and Jon Jerde represent two
Sancho Pou concludes with the strategists
Arthur Gensler and Rem Koolhaas. He believes
their ability to function not just as designers but as
trusted advisors to their clients, helping to shape
the project's strategy, will increasingly become a
hallmark of success and prominence.
This is not a how-to manual, but it might offer
some insight on positioning for future success and
Oculus Spring 2016
Munich: Edition Detail, 2015.
192 pp. $55
New York: Princeton
Architectural Press, 2015.
288 pp. $29.95
Stanley Stark, FAIA,
served as chair of the
from 2005 to 2007.
Lebbeus Woods was an architect who never really
built. He cast himself as an experimental architect
and worked as a teacher, an artist, and a provocateur/collaborator in hot spots around the globe.
He became very well known within the profession
and the arts community. Late in his career, in 2007,
Woods began a blog, which ended shortly before
he passed away in 2012. This volume of about 150
posts edited by Clare Jacobson captures his ideas
and insights, and many of his beautiful, vertiginous, and unsettling drawings.
The blog is a manifesto without a program, but
imbued with purpose. His writings reflect dissatisfaction with the stasis and complacency of the
architectural profession: what he perceives as the
passiveness of architects in the face of their clients'
demands. A theme that runs though the collection is his core belief that architecture should help
transform and improve people's lives: a seemingly
normal argument that is also deeply provocative.
Woods regards architects as creative, idea-driven
professionals whose conceptions should have a
powerful role in shaping experiential space that
has the ability to transform. But with a few exceptions - Thom Mayne, Steven Holl, Eric Owen
Moss, and Kevin Roche - he doesn't see this happening.
Woods has many vividly interesting things to
say about architecture schools, working in crisis
situations (Sarajevo), the value of both "dumb
boxes" and ugly buildings, and the emptiness of
architecture's newly found popularity as a form of
spectacle. He provides a hilarious list of alternative ethical principles organized as a "Resistance
Checklist." (For example, "Resist any idea that
contains the word algorithm.")
Woods was trying to do many things with his
blog. The most important was trying to keep us
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts
Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: The Intersection of Technology and Walkability
The Challenges of Expansion
A Win-Win at Rockefeller University
1,087 Windows (and a Unique Focus) on the City
Playing a New Tune
A More Perfect Union
Social Innovation by Design
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts