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Louis Kahn @ FABRIC WORKSHOP MUSEUM

Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture
August 11, 2017–November 5, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 6:00–8:00 pm

The exhibit of Louis Kahn’s architectural career on the 8th floor of the Fabric Workshop Museum in Philly presents an obviously male gendered and white notion of city planning and priorities. 

‘A small boy walks through a city and sees something which will tell him what he wants to do his whole life . ‘

Ok, I will accept this premise with adjustments to the assumption of gender and race. Wondering, then, what I have seen which has told me what I want to do my (whole) life. One beginning note is that my (whole) life is a consummation of variant architectures and landscapes. The quote on the wall seems more applicable to one born and raised and died within the city. So, in order to consider its possibility, I will wonder within the context of my (whole) life in New York City. Then, specificity becomes necessary . I don’t believe I have seen much in Midtown that I wish to continue forever , and the Lower East Side, while at times beautiful, is better suited to indulgence than inspiration . That leaves me in consideration of Brooklyn’s brownstones and project houses . I will also consider the masses of low income housing in the Bronx. 

Accepting the premise, I will agree that I am inspired by a quality of the complexes. Does this inspiration inform what I will do with my (whole) life ? The author’s premise then becomes that architectural form is capable of igniting passion and clarity of thought . The big picture, the more important desire of a lifetime becomes apparent through form . ( I assume the architect was speaking of buildings , not people … what else would one see ?) 

So, yes, as I have come to see , the architecture of a city has shown me something that will tell (him) what he wants to do with his life (within the bounds of that city). I will then proceed to let you know that the activity I have found in the architectural form is called Hip Hop. 

My question for Kahn are then, what is the act of walking ? , how have you considered + manipulated + expunged the social desire of an individual through architectural form ? What is it about the shape of project house that inspires hip hop? 

Furthermore, on the periphery of my own exploration, I must consider the tone of your claim . It assumes ability to imagine possibility , longevity of life , and the safety of a walk which allows one to consider the scope of his life , consciously or not , without reacting against the bounds of an existing structure. 

That is , of course , a privilege of a white man in Downtown Philadelphia .

. . . What is the distinction between artist and architect? 

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