Herman Miller, Action Office Template Chairs. Courtesy of Sylvia Lavin.
The New Creativity examines the relationship between the spaces in which architecture has been created and the understanding of architecture as a creative practice that is both produced and determined by those spaces. From ateliers and studios to offices and labs, the spaces in which space itself has been rendered, reflected on, and catalyzed constitute a neglected but essential component of the design process. Each space is, in turn, not merely a space in the abstract, but an ideological and technical complex composed of various forms of labor, modes of production, instruments and machines of representation, and theories of creativity. While there are many distinct types of creative spaces and many more hybrids, this exhibition addresses the four that were the most important to architecture during the twentieth century: the atelier, the office, the studio, and the shop.
Sylvia Lavin is a leading figure in contemporary architectural history, theory, and criticism. Lavin is the recipient of a 2011 Arts and Letters Award, as well as previous awards from the Getty Center, the Kress Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. In addition to her most recent book, Kissing Architecture (Princeton University Press, 2011), Lavin is the author of Quatremere de Quincy and the Invention of a Modern Language of Architecture (MIT Press, 1992); Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture (MIT Press, 2005); and the forthcoming The Flash in the Pan and Other Forms of Architectural Contemporaneity (recipient of a Graham Foundation grant). She initiated a series of architectural projects for the Hammer Museum, and has been a guest curator for the Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal, and Ace Galleries.
Unique in its role as an historic site and exhibition space, the MAK Center develops local and international projects exploring the intersection of contemporary art and architecture. Acting as a "think tank" for current issues, the Center encourages exploration of practical or theoretical aspects in art and architecture by engaging the Center's places, spaces, and histories. Established in 1994, the Center is housed in the landmark R. M. Schindler House (1921–22) in West Hollywood. In addition, the Center maintains and occupies two other Schindler-designed buildings, the Mackey Apartments (1939) and the Fitzpatrick-Leland House (1936).