At an early morning session, Paul Lewis of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis and Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP showed some of the work they've done since being featured in the first Design Vanguard issue in December 2000.
Lewis presented a trio of speculative projects: a scheme for rethinking suburbia, which was exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt's Design Triennial in 2000, a drive-through highrise that was shown at the US Pavilion at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale, and a park design that was included in the Museum of Modern Art's recent show "Rising Currents." Lewis admitted that his firm's work has become "less ironic" over the years, but the partners maintain their commitment to doing research, some of which becomes fodder for exhibitions and publications. They also continue to teach, which allows them to stretch their minds and "hire the best students."
Pasquarelli explained how his firm's five partners came from different fields--fine art, engineering, and finance--before becoming architects. Over the years, the partners have used this diversity as a foundation for starting a variety of ventures including a development arm, a software-development company, and a product design firm. "Architects are the last of the great generalists," said Pasquarelli, "but we're often asked to work as specialists." He showed a group of projects in which SHoP operated beyond the traditional sphere of architecture, including one in which it took an equity interest, one that involved planning, and one where it saw its role as designing a sustainable "performance envelope," not just a building. Talking about having a financial stake in a condo development in New York's Meatpacking District, he said, "Once we had skin in the game, our developer partners never questioned what we were doing."
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