THESIS PROPOSITIONS by Bob Augustine

The MODERN AMERICAN DREAM:

Herman Melville, the author of Moby-Dick, and one of our greatest American authors described the dilemma of the modern American odyssey as one of “holding the Old Testament in one hand and the Sears Roebuck Catalog in the other.”  These competing weights represent two distinct and seemingly opposite needs - that of seeking deep spiritual meaning and the need for a rational/ scientific description of the world. The quandary of awe and reason are still a genetic part of our personal and cultural lives. These themes likewise are essential qualities of our architectural journey   Click on Text to Read Full Article


ARCHITECTURE of the UNDERBELLY

Architect Douglas Darden spoke of the underbelly when he wanted to describe all those troublesome things, experiences and emotions that we choose to deny, ignore, overlook or turn away from. But, he also made the case that it was  that very phenomenon that made life vital, meaningful and real. Read Full Article


Architect Daniel Libeskin suggested, “TRADITION IS A VEILING of FIERY ORIGINS.”  My work examines those origins and infuses them with modern sensibilities, functional design, and smart technology

.......to be continued.


BUILDING FOR THE “CREATIVE CLASS”


ARCHITECTURAL FUNDAMENTALISM

Have the architectural canons been written in stone and set implacably in our cultural landscape? A speaker at a local school of architecture‘s commencement chastised graduates to avoid “strangely shaped buildings,” and “cast off architectural fads.” 

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WHAT HAPPENED to the HOMES of the FUTURE THEY PROMISED US?

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The ROOTS of MODERNISM: ABSTRACTION vs. REPRESENTATION - “But what is it a picture of?” .......to be continued.


ARCHITECTURE as BRAND: THE HOUSE that GEORGIA PACIFIC BUILT

Just as the fashion industry refers to its mega-brands with flourishes like -”The House that Dior Built,” are we far from stamping architecture and its products with logo identity like Polo and Louis Vuitton.  Is the Gehry brand already a commodity? Get out the hats & T-shirts........to be continued.


WHO”S AFRAID of MODERNISM?

The phone rang one afternoon. “Is this Bob Augustine? Are you the architect for that house on Grove Street in Cambridge?”  A voice I can best describe as sounding like Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of OZ cracked “Hideous. It’s Hideous.”….more than taken back, I could hear shrill yelling and saw what might have been wisps of black smoke curling up from the holes in the hand set as I slowly and I think wisely set the phone back down to a conversation ending click. (cont.)

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Other Topics:

ARCHITECTURE - A POINTER to the TRANSCENDENT - Light, Space & Form

.......to be continued.


GENERATIVE ARCHITECTURE: How can we create an architecture that has deep meaning and consequence? .......to be continued.


The ANTHROPOMORPIC HOUSE: IT’S ALIVE - Louis Kahn commented that "when you make a building, you make a life."  .......to be continued.



Return to Bob Augustine, ARCHITECTURE

Practice & Projects

 

THESIS

This page will be devoted to the ideas and intention behind the architecture.


Topics to be discussed relevant to specific projects and to broader issues of design, culture & technology.







MODERN LOVE

It’s clear from this recent article in the Boston Globe that controversy still smolders. Some thoughts and observations may be helpful in understanding the issues at stake.

 

10 years serving as Director of the Architectural and Interior Design Thesis Programs at the Boston Architectural College has led  me naturally to want to articulate the ideas which help frame my work & world view.


Look for changes and additions to this section as the work unfolds.

Photo Montage

Bob Augustine

Boston Triple-Decker

w/ Copper Panels

Grove Street House, Cambridge, MA

Bob Augustine, Architect

Frigidaire's "Kitchen of the Future."

Desoto’s Fins

Bellis Circle, Cambridge

Trojan Horse