A Rare Find: A Daring, YOUNG AND RENOWNED Architect!

Greg Lynn. Blob Wall. 2008. Plastic. Photo Credit: Ajay Khanna, 2008.

Greg Lynn. Blob Wall. 2008. Plastic. Photo Credit: Ajay Khanna, 2008.

In a profession, where mostly jaded and abusive old men with rich wives or inheritances, have long held sway over jaded and abused young architects till they find their rich spouses or inheritances, Greg Lynn is a breath of fresh air – young, innovative, and refreshing.

Using digital software, Lynn has majorly influenced how we design and conceive space. Lynn’s “paperless” practice brings computers into spatial conception – as opposed to the traditional practice of using digital software to transform an initial sketch into a workable form.

“You define space in the computer with curves,” he says. “Usually an architect would draw points, and connect lines and planes with them. With these programs, we’ve shifted to thinking of space as the sheltered enclosures of a flexible handkerchief.”

Frank Gehry. Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. 2003. Photo Credit: Aditi Raychoudhury.

Not unlike his predecessor, Frank Gehry, Greg Lynn has adopted programs that were developed for auto designers and film animators, to create “biomorphic” forms. Lynn’s forms are spatially and structurally coherent – although the installation here does use a couple of props!

While digital software – typically used for designing aerodynamic structures such as planes and cars – is revolutionizing how we conceive, design and build space, I can not let this “revolution” pass without mentioning Antonio Gaudi, who, long before the age of computers, bent and sculpted space and light in ways that continue to baffle the mind. As a student of architecture, in a computer free generation, I often wondered where would one even start to make the blueprint for the Sagrada Familia.

Antonia Gaudi. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. 1882-present.
Antonia Gaudi. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. 1882-present.

A visit to that building more than a decade after I graduated from architecture school, made the answer to that question even more unanswerable. Walking through this building of fluid space, shifting colors and abundant light, even an atheist like me, could understand what drives an overwhelming majority of our populance to seek God.

This feeling of liberation from physical confines, and awe at the limitless capacity of the mind to imagine, and its spirit to persevere, was an unforgettable experience – one that I can’t quite use to describe my experiences at the Disney Concert Hall, Experience Music Project, The Weisman museum, and The Fish.

All in their own way, embody the city they have chosen to call home –

Gehry – neon lights, glamour, silicon and botox, and the disturbing pursuit of eternal youth in Hollywood.

Lynn – cheerful and dynamic like the ocean, skies and pretty wild flowers of the coast.

Gaudi – the fiercely defiant and unflagging spirit of a city that has experienced 2000 years of turbulent history, and home to artists who constantly re-invent – Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Ferran Adrià Acosta…

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