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What was the construction process of Acido Dorado?
If you are going to dig the ditches the work has to be new, it has to be meaningful, and it has to be your own. I did 100 percent of the building all by myself. Really, I am kind of self-conscious about this. I am coming out in the open with an aesthetic and conceptual approach that I have been developing for 20 years. I don’t want that to be overshadowed by the novelty of the master degree wielding solo-builder story. Philip Johnson inherited his daddy’s fortune and got his work built, I inherited a garage full of tools and got mine built. What is the difference to the architecture? I do think there’s an aesthetic consequence to this though. . .I can’t imagine this process would be worth it if you were doing derivative work, or just some new shape or nice finishes.
Where does this house sit in the context of Californian case study houses and the desert works of Will Bruder and Rick Joy?
I have a personal connection with the case study houses. They represent part of the marketing and lifestyle campaign that built my home town of Palm Springs, and their derivatives still make up much of what is now the vernacular of Southern Californian architecture. Modernism to me wasn’t some special idea that I saw for the first time in an architecture history class at university. It was the vernacular that I grew up with, now part of a vast field of broken utopian ideals turned into marketing campaigns, occupied and detourned into the framework of everyday life. . . and somehow better for it. I played punk shows in the living room of a William Cody house, drained and skated the pool of a William Krisel. People actually live in these houses and change their meaning- they are much more interesting as artifacts when you consider them full of high teenagers 30 years later. That may sound crass, but l’m giving them more credit than those who hold them up as empty objects with no cultural consequences. Bruder and Joy require a different response. I think my ‘desert’ is really different from theirs. I don’t think there is such a thing as nature separate from culture. I am quite sure their parcels had as many spent shotgun shells and bleached out beer cans on them as mine did when they found them . . . but my work somehow acknowledges that . . . and theirs pretends otherwise.
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