Architectural Precedents:

My earliest training as an designer was greatly influenced by the holistic design approach professed by Buckminster Fuller. With Bucky all aspects of design had to be considered.  Aesthetics was only a part of that approach. The weight of a building could be as an important as its form.  His Dymaxion Homes and Geodesic Domes were beautiful in there ability to use very little material to create large and efficient structure. Much of the thinking was driven by a rigorous use of process methodologies..  As I furthered my studies the modern masters of architecture came to the foreground. I was absorbed by the expression of form , especially those elements of composition which were less tangible. Due to my location at the State University in Buffalo, New York, I was exposed to the works of Frank Lloyd Wright.  In the City of Buffalo there were five remaining Wright buildings, some had already been destroyed by the wreckers ball.  With Wright I began to explore the aesthetic compositional aspects of space making by one of this countries modern masters.  His expression of form was influenced by his mentor, Louis Sullivan,who professed a design through the exploration of forms in nature. His plastic flowing natural shapes and poetic prose were compelling as a young student especially when hearing the famous expression, “Form follows function.  On my arrival to New York City, Fuller, Wright and Alto waned as I confronted the New York Establishment. The Whites, Gwathmey, Eisenman, Hejduk and Meier, whom I rejected as a student, were influenced more by the European Modernists. As a student I perceived their work as a cold modernist language, a type of formalism which was alien to my design thinking.  As time passed and I became more familiar with the act of building and I started to explore the nature of materials.  This, I discovered, was made possible only as a practitioner.  It was at this time I found an interest in the powerful New York firms and in 1984 I began my apprenticeship.


Dance Precedents:


On my completion of formal architectural studies in Buffalo I began my search for form through dance. I began with ethnic African dance. This was in part due to my love of percussive instruments and rythm. After some initial investigations and basic knowledge of dance I sought out the modern schools, Martha Graham, Nikolais-Louis and Jose Limon.

I started with Nikolais-Louis. The theatrical integration of props and lighting with the dancers was a natural for an architect. Here in the dance studio I began my lifelong search for the integration of dance and architecture. The controlled environments of the studio, in which Nikolais created his imaginary worlds, were my first laboratories. As in the knowledge of material was to architectal language, the ethereal nature of the dance was to plastic form. Dance is of the moment and it is created with your body. I experienced the same excitement while designing places, only I was an observer creating forms with inanimate materials.

After Nikolais, onto Limon and Graham, where I was exposed to a modern language which was dreivative from the natural forces on the body, gravity and breathing. Here I learned through doing the natural forces acting on the dancers and form. The ebb and flow of our daily breathing, the nature of gravity on moving through space and the musicality of dance.