Art in Architecture

This seems to have been split into it’s own topic, okay by me. The comment below is from the original thread.

I will be generous and say it’s the architecture, as one of the main characters is Okinawan and builds a traditional style house in SoCal, although KKII is actually shot partly in Okinawa, and I’d add that single image is more reminiscent of KKII - if you think that actor looks like Ralph Macchio, which, if I didn’t have my glasses on… [quote=“Kasey_Greene, post:1410, topic:19345”]
(Ugh, I’m ould !)

yeah me too


You might say the same about architecture. Most of the professionals in that field build things like tract homes, strip malls, gas stations, office blocks, industrial parks, and the headquarters for the Los Angeles Unified School District, an edifice that my wife and I affectionately refer to as The Humidifier whenever we pass it in downtown L.A.

Of course, some professional architects do create works of art:

By Sxenko, CC BY 3.0,

And architecture is a collaborative artform just as filmmaking is. Not every great architect is an ace at wielding a hammer and wiring a lightswitch and routing plumbing that doesn’t back up.

It occurs to me that even though I don’t consider myself a professional screenwriter as such (though, boy, wouldn’t it be great to make a good living at it?), I have in fact written a screenplay that got produced, and for which I was paid one whole fat dollar bill… so at some point in my “artistic” career (such as it is), I did in fact cross that particular Rubicon and became an actual Professional Screenwriter. (Note to self: get some business cards printed up!) But yeah… as Rubicon-crossings go, it was kinda like tripping over the rock on the right side and splashing my way over to the left.

(Yeah, that’s the actual Rubicon.)

I still think it’s a meaningless distinction. A screenplay is a medium, like a sonnet or an oil portrait or a bronze bust or a cathedral or a donut shop. You can write countless craptastic ones for money, or you can spend your whole life agonizing over perfecting one that’s destined to be seen by nobody at all. Great time-travel stories exist, and tired, mindless, derivative ones do too.

This isn’t mine (it was awarded to my wife’s grandfather), but it lives in my living room:

It was awarded to a guy who certainly wrote his share of cowboy flicks and gorilla pictures purely for the money. A couple years ago they made a movie about just how much crap and B-movie filler he had to write to keep his family fed while he was blacklisted.

He also won two of these statuettes while under that same blacklist. Did he think his job was a profession rather than a fine art? Sure. He wrote as well and as quickly as he could, but I don’t believe he ever deliberately wrote Oscar bait. He was tickled pink that he could get paid pretty well (pre-blacklist) for a talent that came as naturally as breathing to him.

I never knew him, so I can’t speak to whether he considered his work an artform, fine or otherwise.

But that scratched-up bowling trophy (and its somewhat better-looking sibling) attests to the fact that the Academy thought his work was pretty high art… even when he was considered too politically dangerous to be allowed to be paid for it.


Great story, how fabulous to have such a reminder on the shelf of the ups and downs of a creative career.


I do not have the time right now to tell you how awful FLW was as an architect (to say nothing of human being).

Now that I think about it, he was kind of that generation’s Trump, actually.


There’ve been conversations on here before about Fallingwater, haven’t there?

They had a couple of podcasts about his Usonian houses on 99% Invisible recently. Those looked nice. I don’t know that much about him, although I’ve heard about the leaky roofs.

Wait, what thread is this again? Do we need an architecture one? I just started trying to go through Never Built Los Angeles, which has been sitting around waiting for me to get to it for a while. Some FLW stuff in there - Hollyhock, Doheny Ranch…


He was famously intractable and irascible when it came to anything interfering with the vision of his architecture. There’s an unconfirmed story about Fallingwater (which was confirmed to me by a tour guide, but they say a lot of stuff) that when the owner of the house complained that all of the doors were too short for him to walk through without ducking, Wright stated that he himself was 5’8", and that he saw no reason for a doorway to be any larger than one for himself to walk through.


Kind of off topic here, but kitchen storage space is not something it is easy to have too much of. We have similarly high cabinets, but the stuff in the top ones is the stuff that is the least used. There is a stepladder for that.

Ours too, but I’m four inches taller than Adam and my ceiling is nine feet high. I could swear that set is eleven feet tall or more. But that show is known for its house porn as much as for its domestic drama.

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The standard for height of uppers over the countertop is 18", though individual homeowners may vary that. Those cabs on the set look 18" over. I also built a row of 18" high glass door cabs over 30" wall cabs in my 9’ high kitchen. Much better than dusty cabinet tops collecting junk or a wast of space soffit.

Our house currently possesses those standard 30" upper cabinets, with the dust-collecting wasted empty space above them, and we’ve hated them since we moved in. When we remodel the kitchen soon, the new cabinets will go all the way up and provide room for those rarely used cake dishes and juicers and things.

But I’m glad that our ceiling in there is only nine feet up. I love the look of bookshelves so tall that they need a rolling ladder, but kitchen cabinets up that high just look weird to me, like we’re hobbits in the wrong kitchen or something. Probably this stems from me being 6’2" tall, and used to being able to reach anything unassisted.


Don’t know if you are interested in ‘kitchen reno on a budget’ pointers, but I’m renovating my 8th kitchen and think I’ve gained some knowledge of the sweet spot for stuff like value cabinets. PM me if you like.

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You must have a big house. What do you use them all for?


Cooking, peasant.


Or cooking peasants.


7, I could see a use for. One for each day, save on cleaning?

8 is excessive.

As far as cabinets go, I end up climbing onto the work surface to get stuff off the top shelves.

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Your wife’s grandfather was Dalton Trumbo? Holy shit!

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The eighth is for state banquets and weddings, of course.

And I’ve done the counter-clamber myself, most recently to fetch the mixer. I don’t mind climbing up to get the rarely-used stuff, but if fully half the cabinet space is above my head, I feel like something ain’t planned right.

Yep, my kids are his great grandkids.

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I am at least eight inches taller than him, and I was the runt of the litter. I’m not a fan of form follows function, but the doorway thing is especially laughable.

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That required pro level appliances, never gone there.

@daneel: I’m a small time landlord among my other activities. Currently restoring woodwork in a 100 year old unit that needed a gut job on the kitchen & LR. The shot below is the hallway to the kitchen of an identical unit I did previously. A window casing in this style like the one on the dumbwaiter to the right takes 21 separate pieces of molding & lumber. I’ve not found a contractor willing and able to do this work. It’s slow and meticulous.

I was horrified by an article in the NYTimes a couple of weeks ago about trendy people buying Upper East Side prewar apartments and tearing out all the detailing.

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