Repetition - Gina Grey and Tracy Simpson

 

 

Gina Grey

Gina Grey is an artist who works with photography and digital media and employs an analog sensibility while working with digital technology. She explores the elasticity and potential of the photographic image and uses it to explore the idea of what photography is procedurally and not merely the finished image one typically expects from a photographer. She examines the organization, translation, preservation, and degradation of data, mind, and matter through the lens of eccentric genius, visual illusion, and aircraft anatomy. She distills complex, yet seemingly mundane systems to their absolute rudiments and finds new ways to rebuild them such as breaking photographs down pixel by pixel or dissecting language letter by letter. This is followed by a careful reconstruction that has manifested as digital collage or photographs printed on paper, a sculptural object in space or an animated sequence. She graduated with a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from the University of Washington. She has shown her work internationally including exhibitions in Chicago, Seattle, Australia, Hungary, Italy and Scotland. She has been an artist in residence in numerous programs including the Burren College of Art, Kala Art Institute, Women’s Studio Workshop and Oregon College of Art and Craft.

 

Tracy Simpson

When I think about what career I likely would have pursued had I not become a psychologist, the one I come back to over and over is architect. As a small child I was fascinated by buildings, how they looked, the idiosyncratic details in their facades, how they related to one another and their surroundings. I liked how they held still but could look incredibly different depending where I was in relation to them and depending on the light and weather of a given moment. I approach my print making much as I imagine a draftsperson approaches laying out plans for a building, going back and forth from the vision of the final product to the foundational elements, mentally considering it from up close and from a distance, in light and dark conditions. Typically my subject matter is pretty abstract. Drawing on something emotional or political I use layers and repetition to indirectly tell a story. Sometimes, though, I choose to depict simple objects, like houses a child might draw. Most of the pieces in this show are of the simple object variety, straightforward little houses like ones I might like to build and live in and that I wish were available to everyone; nothing fancy or spectacular just still, inviting, safe, and functional, with clean lines and enough layers to be interesting.

 


Open Positions

JA is a full service design firm recognized for innovative design while maintaining sensitivity to the environment. We offer competitive salaries and a full benefits package that includes medical, dental; retirement plan; performance based bonuses; paid holidays and time off; training and development opportunities.

Project Designer/Architect
We are looking for a creative individual who demonstrates quality design talent and possesses good leadership, organization and 3D graphic skills. The Project Designer/Architect will lead in-office design teams, coordinate with sub-consultants, oversee quality of documentation, and construction administration. The ideal candidate has a thorough understanding of taking projects from schematic design through construction documents.

Successful candidates will have:
Bachelors or Master’s Degree in Architecture
Minimum of five full-time years work experience in the field of architecture
Experience with single family, multi-family and mixed use projects.
Proficiency with CADD, Adobe Creative Suite and 3D model building are required
Experience with Revit and Sketch-Up required, proficiency a plus
LEED accreditation and Experience with 3D Studio Max a plus

Interior Designer
The ideal candidate will have a strong design sensibility and the ability to communicate through visual graphics. The Interior Designer will work in conjunction with the architectural design team to conceptualize and express design ideas through 3D visualization. The individual should have experience developing space and furniture plans, selecting and budgeting finish materials and furniture.

Successful candidates will have:
Bachelors or Master’s Degree in Architecture or Interior Design
Minimum of three full-time years work experience in the field of architecture or Interior Design
Experience with single family, multi-family and mixed use projects.
Proficiency with CADD, Adobe Creative Suite and 3D model building are required
Experience with Revit and Sketch-Up required, proficiency a plus
LEED accreditation and Experience with 3D Studio Max a plus


Typically when architects write about homes it’s about the poetic qualities of space and light, flow between spaces, maximizing the site potential, material qualities, or details that bring it all together. But here we’re starting with the subject of cold, hard cash and considering what this may mean for residential architects.

The only thing better than a house is a house with a car in it? Dutch Mountain project, Denieuwegeneratie. Photos: Jaap Vliengenthart (L) Robert Holden (R)

The only thing better than a house is a house with a car in it? Dutch Mountain project, Denieuwegeneratie. Photos: Jaap Vliengenthart (L) Robert Holden (R)

A recent article in the Atlantic exposes “America’s Weird, Enduring Love Affair With Cars and Houses: $1 of every $2 Americans spend is on real estate and transportation.” On average we spend 33% of our income on housing and in some regions it’s 50%. To put this in context, people in Japan and Canada spend about 21%, while those in the UK average 24%.  This raises a lot of questions. Why have we made improvements in budget areas such as food and clothing, yet the cost of housing, health care, and education have exploded?  How did we get to the point where housing consumes 33-50% of income and the industry is powerful enough derail the global economy? An economist’s answer might involve supply, demand, government intervention, mortgage backed securities, etc. But on a basic level, is it also due to the fact that we need AND love home AND it’s a local investment that typically grows, provided a little upkeep (aka sweat equity).

33% is a greater proportion of income than what people in other countries spend on housing. Graph: Derek Thompson, the Atlantic.

33% is a greater proportion of income than what people in other countries spend on housing. Graph: Derek Thompson, the Atlantic.

One of the most tragic things that can happen in life is being displaced from home through natural disaster or homelessness. Consider hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and earthquakes in New Zealand. The poignancy of art installations by Chin, Strange, and Havel/Ruck that transform post-disaster houses comes from a feeling of being locked out of our house or having it rendered unlivable or alien. The experience, imagery, and symbolism is extremely disturbing because home should be our safest domain.

Safe House by Mel Chin, 2008-2010 New Orleans.  Photo by Daniel Rothbart

Safe House by Mel Chin, 2008-2010 New Orleans. Photo by Daniel Rothbart

What does this mean for architects? It is a call for architects to be involved with disaster mitigation and relief. Architects such as Shigeru Ban have responded to this cause by designing low cost, modular shelters for people displaced by earthquakes. The AIA has formed the Disaster Assistance and Resilience Program to enable architects to participate in disaster response.

Final Act by Ian Strange, 2013, New Zealand. Inversion by Havel / Ruck, Texas, 2007

Final Act by Ian Strange, 2013, New Zealand. Inversion by Havel / Ruck, Texas, 2007

It is also an opportunity to address the issue of affordable housing. This issue is playing out in Seattle as the price for rent and home purchase escalates. As architects, we have an obligation to control costs for clients. And we have an opportunity to contribute to solutions for affordable housing. This may include volunteering, involvement in city planning and real estate development, new business models and typologies such as micro-housing, looking for cost-saving strategies, and stream lined construction processes. There are many ways residential architects can contribute to safe, sustainable, secure, and affordable housing. For more on affordable housing, social equity, and other policy issues check out Dan Bertolet’s work at citytank.org

Sources:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/americas-weird-enduring-love-affair-with-cars-and-houses/284049/

http://seattletimes.com/html/editorialsopinionpages/2022545914_how_seattle_can_create_more_affordable_housing.html

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/opinionnw/2013/10/23/affordable-housings-nimby-problem-in-seattle/

http://ianstrange.com/finalact/gallery.php

http://melchin.org/oeuvre/render

http://www.denieuwegeneratie.nu/built/underground-house/

http://deanruck.com/havel-ruck-projects

http://www.aia.org/disasterresponse/

http://www.shigerubanarchitects.com/works.html#disaster-relief-projects

http://citytank.org/