I thought I was an artist/builder but this couple ,seventy one year old Architect, Arakawa and his partner and wife, Madeline Gins, are really out there. They have designed and built homes and other buildings that they believe defy aging and its consequences by basically taxing your senses and creating an in-home obstacle courses. They use lots of bright colors and shapes and there seem to be no right angles in sight. The strangest thing are their signature floors that are moonscapish, made rrom lumpy, wavy concrete of varying levels.
The featured home in a New York Times article today is reminiscent of Pee Wee Herman’s play house. I would actually like to go in it -but I would not like to live there. It is too off-putting, which is actually what they are striving for. They say they try to “Cradle Tentativeness” in their homes making people feel tentative so they have to react very carefully in a new way to their environments.Arakawa and Ginn believe that the discomfort creates an active mind and the spacial challenges both exercise mind and can increase the immune system and thereby defy death.
I can’t say I am eager to sign up to feel strange and unsettled in my own home, but I do share their love of manipulation of color and space. And unfortunately I have something else in common with them ( See my post ” Atlanta Developer Gives Away Condos“). Their first spec house in the States, the Bioscleave House, was finally completed for more than $2 million, and it has been sitting there without a buyer. I feel for you Arakawa. What’s wrong with these people, don’t they know its a BUYER’S MARKET?