|Surfin' California Birdhouse by KrugsStudio|
The point is, sometimes we create our greatest works when there are limits. The world's greatest, well ALL, architecture has limits. Architects usually have time, money, and space constraints and struggle to make the greatest statement with what they had. Think of these iconic buildings and you will know what I mean: The Eiffel Tower, The Parthenon, The Great Pyramids, The Great Wall of China, Hoover Dam, the old and new Trade Towers, the Golden Gate Bridge, all iconic in their designs yet serving their functions extremely well.
|California Dreamin' Birdhouse by KrugsStudio|
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art had a wonderful retrospective on the work of Ansel Adams years ago. One room was devoted to nothing but possibly his greatest photograph, "Moonrise Over Hernandez, New Mexico." I had a chance once to buy a print signed by him for $500 but we were a new family and that money was needed elsewhere. I learned later that after he died, similar prints were now worth over $10,000. We can always remember I guess what could have been and just move on.
Since visiting the site of the photograph, not changed much in the 30 or so years that intervened, I was always drawn to the Adams photograph. He captured both the desolation and the eerie beauty of the place. However, what fascinated me was that from that very first photograph he never stopped improving it. As you circled the room you saw the evolution of the photograph until you see what is the definitive version we see today. It took many years and many prints but finally he achieved what he saw in his minds eye. The image that blew me away though was the 4 ft. x 5 ft. print of what was pretty much his final version. If there was ever a lesson in never giving up, Adams had shown, at least me, the way.
As you can see clearly here, the composition on both birdhouses is pretty much the same. However, and its a big difference, is that the composition "feels" different on the two different surfaces. While the square birdhouse has wonderful, almost seamless transitions from side to side, the design really flows on the round surface. There is no corner, no sudden stop in the design and as you turn it, you easily move from one idea to another. Before you know it, you are back at the beginning.
Is one better than the other? It depends. The client picked the round version. I agreed. They are both interesting in their own ways but the client had a vision in his mind and as I continued to develop the concept I found that I agreed with him as well. I urge everyone to not try just one but several. It may seem boring, but as I learned early on and am forcing myself to learn again, there IS much to be learned the second and third time around.
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