Test your design IQ
() - June 20, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Who is the Austrian-American architect considered one of modernism’s most important architects and whose office building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places?

He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1892, the youngest of four children. After studying under Adolf Loos, and working for a time in Germany, he moved to the US in 1923 and became a naturalized citizen in 1929.

He worked briefly for Frank Lloyd Wright before accepting an invitation from his close friend and university companion Rudolf Schindler to work in California. There, he became celebrated for his rigorously geometric but airy structures that represented a West Coast variation on the Mid-century Modern residence.

He was famous for the attention he gave to defining the real needs of his clients, regardless of the size of the project, in contrast to other architects eager to impose their artistic vision on a client. He sometimes used detailed questionnaires to discover his clients’ needs, much to their surprise. His domestic architecture was a blend of art, landscape, and practical comfort.

He had a sharp sense of irony. In his autobiography, Life and Shape, he included a playful anecdote about any anonymous movie producer-client who electrified the moat around the house that he designed for him and had his Persian butler fish out the bodies in the morning and dispose of them in a specially designed incinerator. This was a much-embellished account of an actual client, Josef von Sternberg, who indeed had a moat-ed house but not an electrified one.

He wrote several books, such as How America Works in 1927, New Elementary Schools for America in 1935, Mysteries and Realities of the Site in 1951, Survival Through Design in 1954, and Life and Shape in 1962.

The revival in the late ‘90s of Mid-century Modernism has given a new cachet to his work. Along with Lautner and Schindler, his properties have become trophies for a wide variety of Los Angeles celebrities. These include hairstylist Vidal Sasson, fashion designer Tom Ford, actress Kelly Lynch, and her screenwriter husband Mitch Glazer. XL Clothing line founder Eli Bonerz, Devo musician Gerald Casale, and musician Jonathan Anastas (present owner of the Bonnet house built in 1941) are among the new generation owners of his homes.

He died in Euppertal, Germany in 1970, and his son Dion now runs his practice.

Last week’s question: Who is the London-based Italian chef regarded as the “Godfather of Italian Gastronomy?”

Answer: Antonio Carluccio

Winner: Adrian Antonio of QC

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Text your answer to 0905-3142614 with your name and address. One winner will be chosen through a raffle of texts with the correct answer. The winner will receive P2,000 worth of SM gift certificates for use at Our Home, SM Department Store, or SM Supermarket. They can claim their prize at Our Home in SM Megamall. Call Roma Cortes or Apple Caballes at 634-1951, 634-1952.Bring photocopies of two valid IDs and a clipping of the Design Quiz issue in which you appear as winner.

ADOLF LOOS ADRIAN ANTONIO ANTONIO CARLUCCIO APPLE CABALLES CALL ROMA CORTES DEPARTMENT STORE DESIGN QUIZ ELI BONERZ FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT LIFE AND SHAPE OUR HOME
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