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  • Glass House

    Jeff HALSTEAD, "Glass House."
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    SCI-Arc
    Gehry Prize, Best Graduate Thesis Award
    advisor: Hernan DIAZ ALONSO.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Jeff HALSTEAD: Architecture can be posited as a relationship between interiority and form. Glass House embodies an agitated, non-negotiated relationship of both—done through a collapse of the sequencing between them. . . .

    “We’ve met before haven’t we?”1

    Architecture can be posited as a relationship between interiority and form. Glass House embodies an agitated, non-negotiated relationship of both—done through a collapse of the sequencing between them. The aim is to use this collapse in order to invoke something that is simultaneously dream-like and psycho-projective. The result being a new sense of self, generated from the iterative displacement of the two. To be clear, the displacement only exists in the instances when fragments of their sequencing no longer resemble that of the original enveloping form or that of its order of interior life.

    David Lynch’s film Lost Highway is a double narrative, where the main character, Fred, escapes his harsh reality by imaging his life differently. Near the beginning of the film, Fred imagines he is lying in bed with his wife, while in fact he is in jail awaiting his execution for her murder. During this scene, he looks up to see his wife’s face but sees someone else—“the mystery man”—a projection of the jealousy he has for her for betraying him. This scene is both dreamlike and psycho-projective, in that there is imagined desire for her to still be alive and an instantiation of his feelings for vengeance.

    A house is typically about expressed desire—either that of an architect or a person’s reflection on how they should live. Glass House deals with desire through developing its own sense of subjectivity. Philip Johnson used his glass house to express an architectural desire in cohesion with the principles of The International Style. In this project, glass renders a perception of dream like dislocation. States of disfigurement between form and interior allow for an expressed sense of self, neutralizing either designer or occupant in favor of its own architectural attitude. The glass is the collapse, with levels of resolution and opacity altering the understanding of proximity between form, interior life and form again.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    JH: Hernan Diaz Alonso; David Lynch; Jeffrey Kipnis; The Glass House by Philip Johnson; and Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    JH: Reading anything by [Jeffrey] Kipnis, and Mario Carpo, “Breaking The Curve: Big Data and Design.” Watching: Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive (dir. David Lynch); FARGO; and True Detective.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    JH: Frank Gehry; COOP Himmelb(l)au; Xefirorotach; Kokkugia; Servo_LA; and M. Casey Rehm.

    Additional credits and links:
    [Selected Thesis Exhibition 2014]

    Christina and Bruce Halstead, Viola Ago, Alex Blugerman, Diego Wu Law, and Sam Sun.


    1. 1. Lost Highway, dir. David Lynch, 1997. 

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