Year: 2015

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Within the cultural ethos of Los Angeles, there is a great desire for its citizens to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This obsession is so strong that it compels people to drink their superfoods, sweat in still poses in heated rooms, or push on truck tires for fitness. Sometimes this desire manifests itself physically: people make their houses green. From foliage facades to greenhouses of plentiful gardens, the healthy aesthetics has become a kind of urban hardware that communicates a lifestyle choice. There are several design opportunities in this lifestyle choice. The appetite for a luscious and furry facade is a place for the composition to accomplish visual and sensual effects. In looking at Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites (1991, Mike Kelley), we read the landscape of Teddy-Bears as a way to design patches of pastures.

The scale of the facade can become misread into a landscape containing many micro-regions with the clumping of micro-objects. The painterly technique using Teddy-Bear brushstrokes is also not dissimilar to the plush toy projects by Claude Cormier. The palette for the architectural elevation of a healthy house like this, instead of plush toys, could be comprised of shrubs, flowers, and herbs that smell pleasant or taste great, in addition to providing a spectrum of colors. The interior of this house can be considered as an over-sized machine for exercise. By laying out strands of idyllic rolling hills, the undulations of the landscape suggest programmatic opportunities. With pits, dips, and scoops cut out of the interior landscape, a story is being told. The more private actions are encased into tree-houses, at the same level where one could find a Philip Johnson inspired greenhouse, as well as a normal watertower. At the end of the day, we also want to think about the surface appliqué of the color green. It is a signal for good health, but particularly in Los Angeles it also speaks about transparency into an alternate reality. Perhaps there is a way to consider a misuse of the color, and what photographic wonders we may be able to accidentally produce.