Tuesday, July 08, 2008

For A Few Dozen More

In the July/August 2008 Architecture Minnesota magazine, the article “Architects’ Dozen” was a fantastic look into the minds of some of our contemporary architectural leaders through the buildings in Minnesota that inspire them. Ralph Rapson’s fascination came from the Witch’s Tower in Prospect Park while Ken Johnson’s inspiration came from Ralph Rapson’s Rarig Center. Vincent James selected the sublime ore docks of the north shore while David Salmela chose Vincent James’ Dayton House.

It’s caused me to ponder what building, if forced to choose just one, I would mark as a point of inspiration. While there are many runners-up, I think I have finally settled on the Cedar Riverside Development by Ralph Rapson. Love it or hate it, success or failure, it’s an example of how design can impact social change. It’s one of those rare buildings that you can never judge by aesthetic. You have to know it and understand its ethos before you can learn from it. And learn from it, we must. For me, it’s a daily reminder of design’s ethical function; that there is a right and wrong to the decisions we make, whether we know it or not. Want proof? Check out the Walker exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%”.

What Minnesota building has deeply affected or inspired you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

can we ever read anything about james dayton without mentioning he worked for frank gehry???