V. Proposals

Harvey Opgenorth

Unlikely Utopian Roommates (a Proposal for Pauline Schindler’s Studio)

How can the aesthetics of architecture or design influence the way we interact socially? This proposal creates a metaphorical friction/fiction by juxtaposing early and late modern design tendencies through L.A. modernist and space-age logics.

The 1920s architecture of the Schindler House and 1960s furniture of the space age share a theoretical approach to communal design that seeks an elusive internal harmony and universal truth. A noticeable awkwardness appears when the two stylistic personalities confront one another. The proximity of the two illuminates a spectrum of the modern in relationship to the social dynamics of the house’s provocative history.

Pauline Schindler’s dedication to communal living anticipates the social framework and shared responsibilities that come with projected life on a space station; both are examples of a potential Eden. The placement of furniture in Pauline’s studio is a nod to her contributions and her struggles as a facilitator of experimental familial, political, and artistic interactions throughout her decades at the Schindler House.

Treating early and late modern design as bookend styles and disparate personalities, the divide between ideation and application becomes clear through exploring established utopian manifestos.

Harvey Opgenorth is an artist based in Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

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