In-Laws Home/Shilpa does a Julius
- September 13, 2016
In- Laws Home/Shilpa does a Julius
I do not know too many other photographers who shot like that; but Julius Shulman did. He passed away at the amazing age of 99, in 2009.
But in the years that he worked he made famous the work of Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig and Eero Saarinen, in works built between 1945-1966.
He shot with an incredible sense of space, a sharp eye and most importantly peppered his pictures with real people using the spaces.During the Second World War it seems that the offices of Arts & Architecture in the US, were home to endless discussions about new ideas in residential design and they launched what was called the “Case Study House Programme‘.
Ralph Rapson, John Rex, Richard Neutra, Charles Eames J.R. Davidson, Whitney Smith, Thornton Abell, William Wurster and Sumner Spaulding (with John Rex) designed the first eight houses in the program.
The program announcement stated that each “house must be capable of duplication and in no sense be an individual ‘performance’… It is important that the best material available be used in the best possible way in order to arrive at a ‘good’ solution of each problem, which in the overall program will be general enough to be of practical assistance to the average American in search of a home in which he can afford to live.”
The announcement went on to say , “…We of course assume that the shape and form of post war living is of primary importance to a great many Americans, and that…the house[s]… will be conceived within the spirit of our times, using as far as is practicable, many war-born techniques and materials best suited to the expression of man’s life in the modern world.”
Many houses were built.
Stahl House, the 22nd in this series, built by Peter Koenig in 1960 was the one that made Julius Shulman even more famous.
It shows a cantilevered edge of a steel and glass living room, with two ladies in the corner in conversation; the whole frame overlooking the lit up city.
It is and was an elegant and poetic frame.
But in general , its rare to see architectural photographs with people. Most infact seem to shun them. The pictures are usually bare, almost stripped of life, sometimes even stripped of furniture, or any vestiges of signs that may suggest that human life is likely to occupy these spaces. At other times, they have a figure that seems to be a paranormal creature, that is traversing through the space in a blur.
But for the longest time we have not seen architectural photographers shoot spaces with those folks for whom they were designed for !This is a strange ,phenomena to say the least. ( and we are equally guilty of it )
A house we completed for Smrutis parents seemed to demand that we at least try and see what would happen if we shot it differently from the way its normally done.
Shilpa Gavane, that young and extremely enthusiastic photographer was game, and she made many trips at different times of the day over several weeks , and shot the just finished home, with Smruti and her family in it.
A large “gulmohar” tree will grow over time, the “ashoka” will make a screen, and frame the entrance of exposed bricks that leads to the house and also the generous cake studio above. In picture Smruti and her parents Hemuben and Vinodbhai.
The results we felt were warm, human and more importantly became a nice portrait collection of a family.
And dare we say, that if there was a Case Studies House Programme , now, this house may just make the cut. Its basic, simple, utilitarian, well built and has shades of poetry rendering its parts.
Quick Report ; Germany
July 26, 2016
A recent trip to Stuttgart to talk at the opening series of Creative Days, an initiative that is the brainchild of a firm run by a designer duo- Poonam and Martin, and supported by the city, other design organizations, Dept. of City Planning and Urban Renewal ( Stuttgart), and
Mid-way; Tracing Narratives- Taking Stock.
July 01, 2017
It started with that Million Garden Project; one day we were asking " what is an Indian Garden" and the next day we were writing mails and calling friends, colleagues, old students across the country asking them to send us gardens from their regions. And slowly over a year ,we got