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Entries in Art (17)


Origin Stories: Brett Zamore Design, Hometta and Bert Long

All images courtesy of Brett Zamore Design

I am an unashamed addict. 

My drug of choice? Glossy print. (Newsprint is just fine with me too, and a regular part of my day, but it doesn't deliver the same high, I have to admit.) I've got it so bad that I can remember favorite stories and layouts that were published years before. In this case, when we first started collaborating with Brett Zamore on some inner-loop real estate development projects, (a partnership that led indirectly to the creation of Hometta), it wasn't long before I realized he was the designer behind one of my all-time favorite Paper City layouts: the one in which Zamore, as part of his master's thesis for Rice University School of Architecture, remodeled the Fifth Ward shotgun house of acclaimed Houston artist Bert Long, Jr.

So since we're featuring more of Zamore's early work today as part of the Eastwood Civic Association Historic Home Tour, I thought I'd favor you with some images from that long-ago layout that made me smile: 


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Gail Peter Borden Celebrates the Inevitable

Image courtesy of Gail Peter Borden and Materials and Applications, Los Angeles

Last night at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, Gail Peter Borden discussed both his new book, Material Precedent, and his installation opening tomorrow at Los Angeles' Materials and Applications, Light Frames. It was a wonderful evening for architecture geeks, with the Rice Architecture faculty out in force (including Ron Witte, who provided an enetertaing introduction) and many beautiful slides viewed and elevated concepts discussed.

Boren is an outstanding scholar, theoretician, and artist, but I most appreciated his layman's summation of materiality. Embracing materiality, Borden said, is "celebrating the inevitable. It doesn't become a pox on your house if you have to put exit signs on your wall, it becomes an opportunity."**

Ceiling Mounted Exit Light, Bracket #4A. Photographer: Chad Loucks ©2005

 **Talk about making an exit sign into an opportunity: Interloop Architecture, whose principal Dawn Finley is a Hometta core architect, made the E-X-I-T sign above for the Nasher Sculpture Center in 2003. In 2007, it became part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.


Marfonia: A Fairy Tale

A knit-bombed trailer at El Cosmico. All photos by Jenny Staff Johnson.Marfa is special; everyone who is paying attention knows this by now. To me, one of the most special things about it is the way it instantly belongs to anyone and everyone who goes there and finds inspiration. (For more on the inspired knit-bombing of the trailer above, go here.)The video below is the product of the inspiration taken from one architecture student's Marfa experience, a design-build challenge to build temporary shelters on a patch of desert known as El Cosmico as part of the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love:

And yes, I was there, so I suppose I could have done a bit more reporting on the whole design-build thing, but I was too distracted by things like this: 

Luckily I was traveling with my favorite professional photographer, so there is some photographic evidence of our trip. See it at my good friend Farrah Branniff's Flickr stream & blog.


Gail Peter Borden's Material World

Bottle Grid by Gail Peter Borden

It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it.

I first met Gail Peter Borden, of Hometta's Borden Partnership, when I interviewed him in his USC office for our first-ever video podcast. Around the same time, in my off hours, I was dashing out to Marfa, Texas to see the art and soak up the West Texas sky. Unbeknownst to me one of my favorite haunts, Galleri Urbane, was already representing Borden's art work, and my family would later own one of his pieces.

Borden, formerly of the Rice University School of Architecture, has been on a roll lately. In addition to his teaching duties and architectural practice, he has a new book out, Material Matters, and will have simultaneous openings in Galleri Urbane's Dallas outpost and Los Angeles this weekend.

Tomorrow night, Houston's Rice Design Alliance hosts Borden as part of its lecture series A Material World. The series

will focus on materials and material practices—digital fabrication, integrated practice, and cutting-edge designs—as they relate to and are employed by the built environment. Speakers include academics and architects who focus on material use and technologies in innovative ways.

 You think he'll have enough--ahem--material to talk about? 

From the upcoming Shallow Spaces show. Images courtesy of Galleri Urbane


Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil

Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil (Menil Collection)

These patrons of both architecture and the arts have had a lasting impact on not just Houston's, but America's cultural life. Their Renzo-Piano-designed Menil Collection, in its park-like urban setting, is beloved by Houstonians and celebrated by the architecture community, and their Houston home, designed in 1950 by Philip Johnson, is maybe my favorite house of all time*. I can't wait to learn more about this dynamic pair and their work. 

You can buy Art and Activism, as well as other select titles in architecture, interiors, urbanism and more, in our new Amazon store, The Hometta Reading Room. (Just click on the link to the Art & More category on the right hand column.) It's a great way to support our mission to improve the built environment until you're ready to choose a plan and build your modern dream house. 

*With sincere apologies to the Eames House.