It’s all about me

Scott Taylor —  January 19, 2012 — 35 Comments

Since I’ll be invading Bob’s blog on a semi-regular basis, I figure that I need to get to know you all a little better and in turn have you all get to know me (not the “hey, we should go grab a beer sometime” kind of way but more along the “you should read what I have written about myself below” kind of way (A man can only grab so many beers with random strangers before he’s viewed as an alcoholic)).

I am passionate about design and I have been since I was a wee child.  One of my earliest exposures to art and design was with one of my childhood friends…we would take a huge sheet of paper and draw a war scene on it…my half of the page against his.  He would have his army men, tanks and helicopters and I would draw canons, machine guns and paratroopers jumping out of jets shooting up his side of the page.  I’m not really sure what we were trying to accomplish there but it had something to do with the inevitable mortality of stick figures.  I clearly remember drawing these epic battles with a black pen (my mother wouldn’t let me use a red pen because “it made the reality of war a little too real”).

My natural yearning to draw made me gravitate towards design and was ultimately one of the things that brought me to the field of architecture.  The environment that I was raised in, along with my life experiences, have made a huge impact on they way I perceive design.  I find it interesting to see how the paths of other architects have shaped their style and the way that they design.  As a result, I think that an architect’s design sensibilities tell a lot about who they are.  I often wonder what type of furniture other architects have in their house?  What kind of car do they drive?  What kind of art do they own? Would going shopping for a rug with them be just as painful as my wife says it is with me (“no honey, that carpet is leaning a bit towards the cool gray side but maybe with the incandescent light bulbs in the bedroom it might look okay”).

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Having said all of that,  I’ve put together some questions that I feel are a good indicator of my design sensibilities that will allow you to understand me a little better (maybe I can get Bob to complete the same list in a post later down the road too).

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Favorite piece of furniture:  Eames Lounge Chair

I have a mild obsession with mid-century furniture.  I will not hesitate to rescue a totaled slightly damaged piece of mid-century furniture left out on the curb during big trash day (much to my wife’s chagrin). Out of all of the mid-century pieces ever made this is the one I cherish the most.  Introduced in 1956 by Charles and Ray Eames, the lounge chair continues to be a style icon … it is a symbol of creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship … oh and it’s pretty darn comfortable too.

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Favorite pen: Paper Mate medium, blue ballpoint stick pen

paper mate blue ballpoint pen

Why would I use this cheap a$$ pen to draw with you ask?  Thanks for asking. Well, when I was growing up I would draw on paper place-mats at restaurants.   Without having any prior notice for our dinner outings, I’d always have to ask my parents (or the waiter) if I could borrow a pen so that I could draw while my parents gabbed about grown up stuff … for some reason they always had these pens.  Why do I still use one?  Thanks for asking.  Well, unlike a pencil, when the ink dries it doesn’t smudge.  Unlike a liquid ink pen or marker you can actually get contrast in the line weights and with a little crosshatching you can get some decent shading.  Using this pen, here is a drawing that I did for our Taylor Christmas card this year:

Scott's Christmas card.

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Favorite designer item that I am saving up to purchase: Evans Products Company Plywood leg splint by Charles and Ray Eames

Evans Products Company Eames Leg Splint.

Commissioned by the US Navy these leg splints were one of the first examples of molded plywood in mass production.  Designed to be a medical device used to minimize movement in a patients leg during transport, it has become a highly sought after sculptural artifact.  If you have one laying around your attic that you’d like to get rid of please give me a call.

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Favorite car: BMW 2002

In high school, one of my friends dad had a bright yellow BMW 2002.  I remember getting to ride around in it from time to time – until the day my friend took it to school and totaled it.  It looked a lot like the picture above except the front was all smashed in and there was some broken glass and tears streaming down my face.  There is something about German engineering and simple yet sophisticated design that makes this a classic.  If you have one laying around your attic that you’d like to get rid of please give me a call.

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Favorite poster: Lebowski Fest, Richard Nixon Bowling by Shepard Fairey

Lebowski Fest Shepard FaireyThis is a two-fer, meaning it combines the talents of one of my favorite artists (Shepard Fairey, “Obey Giant” and “Obama Hope” fame) with the essence of my favorite movie, The Big Lebowski.  These posters were limited to an edition of 300 hand pulled and signed by the artist and I was lucky to grab one for $30. The jpg above doesn’t do it justice….it is a crisp graphic beautifully presented with deep red and gold paint and it really ties the room together … does it not?

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Favorite Architect: Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa

If you don’t know who this man is, please, please, look him up.  Carlo Scarpa was a visual poet who created masterpieces on the macro and micro scale.  His projects show an unmistakable understanding of the clients needs and of the craftsman’s hand, designing details that are exceptionally unique and appropriate. If you are ever in Italy, I highly suggest you make a point to see some of his work.

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I hope these images give you a better understanding of who I am and what inspires me.  I am very appreciative of the creativity, skill and sheer brilliance that these object and people represent.  I can only dream that someday maybe one of the things that I am doing now will end up on someone else’s list.

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-Scott

 

 

even better

  • http://twitter.com/QuarlesVpq Valerie Quarles

    That chair.. I see it everywhere now from nickelodeon shows to the art institute… thanks scott

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  • http://buildipedia.com/ Ryan Carpico

    Thanks for the insight into the mind of Scott! I look forward to more of your posts…and I’m equally impressed with the amazing ‘penmanship.’

    Scarpa rocks! He was indeed a master craftsman and I especially enjoyed touring the Castlevecchio in Vernona. But, I am a bit more partial to one of his compatriots, Giovanni Michelucci. The Church of the Autostrada outside Florence is amazing – and to think the organic, plastic curves and forms were designed and engineered without the help of modern computers – it’s poetic genius. I most appreciate his knack for creating architecture that feels modern and at the same time ancient.

    As for Lebowski, I have a theory that there is a quote from that movie for almost every situation in life…as in the case of preparedness – “The Uzi! Uzi? You didn’t think I was rolling out of here naked, did ya?” 

  • http://businessofarchitecture.com Enoch Sears

    Welcome Scott! Enjoyed the list!

  • melkus

    Doodle wars! My brother and cousins and I did the same thing, except they were huge because my dad (being not rich and a scrounge) would get rolls of old newsprint from the local newspaper, so we could roll a three foot wide sheet of newspaper down the hallway and draw on it for days.  Usually WWII airplane battles set in the South Pacific for some reason, but also cities, space stations, anything that you could just keep expanding down the newprint roll.  I wish someone had saved even one of those! (Parents always say they will but never do).  On regular paper, we’d draw two castles on each end sitting on cliffs separated by a bottomless ravine. Soldiers from each castle were in the process of building a bridge across the ravine to attack the other castle, which was trying to destroy the opposing bridge (but also building its own).  The vicious circle of absurdity said a lot about the futility of war, but I don’t think we got it at that level at the time.  We did tons of them. There were precise parameters about how to draw them, but they’re mostly forgotten. Anyway, TMI. Good article. Glad to know I wasn’t the only person who played war on paper.

    • Scott Taylor

      Those drawings sound awesome! Did you ever get to use red ink?

  • Hawk from the far east

    Your pen and you = awesome.

    • Scott Taylor

      Much appreciated!

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  • Carl

    Scott,
    I used to have a 72 2002. Your picture brought back many memories. Wish I’d kept the thing!

  • michel

    1. Excellent drawing.
    2. The dube abides.
    3. I have the wooden splint.  Not sure if’s a real one or a knock off. Do you know how to identify either or?

    Thanks.

    • michel

      Actually I just found out that it was given to our company for making a rather large purchase of Eames furniture…..so i think its the real deal.

      • Scott Taylor

        I was going to say that I haven’t heard of any “knock offs” of the splint. From some of my internet research it appears that there was another splint made (possibly in competition for the contract with the US navy) from another company.  Either way… I hope you have it proudly displayed with security lasers surrounding it!

        • michel

          Well, I’am currently trying to keep my kids from using it as a sled while I make some wall space for it! I hope that didn’t make you cringe too hard!

  • http://twitter.com/Alexandrafunfit Alexandra Williams

    Wow, you sure can draw. The only thing I can draw are conclusions, and I’ve come to one – you seem pretty cool. Except for the battle scenes thing

    • Kyle

      I think the battle thing is awesome. The only not cool part is his restriction to red.

  • K-rankin

    I’m in hs and still draw epic doodle battles. Usually with a building being destroyed or something.

  • http://www.hawkinsarch.com/ Andrew Hawkins

    That is certainly my favorite chair of all time. It is the photo on my debit card. It has been for about 4 years. I often get some questions about it and it makes me laugh. “It’s what? A designer chair? Did you design it?”  Ahh it’s the little things.
    Pretty sure I can agree with your pen choice. But that is a very very nice sketch.

  • Anonymous

    No lie mayne. That papermate pen is my favorite pen of all time.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/benjamindockter Benjamin Dockter

    I used to do the same drawing exercise with a friend of mine when I was a kid. We’d draw epic stick figure battles with black pens, but in ours there would always be a USPS mail truck being blown up or falling from the sky in flames. I think we just hated how long it took to get stuff in the mail. It was our “where’s waldo” hidden feature… 

  • http://twitter.com/mlehoopah Emily Hooper

    Where is your marmot? 

    • Scott Taylor

      The nihilists are watching him for the week.

      • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

        that doesn’t even make sense…

        • http://twitter.com/mlehoopah Emily Hooper

          Obviously, you’re not a golfer

          • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

            or a bowler…

            I forgot that I am dealing with 2 people who are both hardcore Lebowski fans … I suppose I need to watch that movie

          • Scott Taylor

            Bob, I’m not going to lie…I’m a little disappointed.

          • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

            this is Dennis

  • Alex Kathilu

    Life of an architect has become an addiction and i will be looking forward to your contribution here. thank you for sharing your thoughts and letting us tag along your psyche ….i will definitely explore Carlo Scarpa poetic genius…cheers

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to the blog, Scott.  You’ve GOT to be kidding, that somebody left an Eames Lounge Chair (and ottoman too?) out on the curb for trash.  You lucky dog you.  (I suspect it wasn’t as pristine as the photo….but still.)  Sorry, I don’t have any of those other things you lust for laying around my attic.  Although I DO have a ’57 Nash Metropolitan convertible sitting in the driveway waiting these past few years to be fully restored (much to MY wife’s chagrin).

    I also have to say, what an amazing ballpoint pen illustration.

    But mostly I wanted to comment b/c Carlo Scarpa’s work truly is incredible; hard to describe how evocatively cool it is.  First time I saw his Brion Cemetery as a cover story on Landscape Architecture magazine in school a couple of decades ago, I was mesmerized.  Later, being able to explore several of his projects in my study-abroad year in Italy was one of my life highlights.   

    • Scott Taylor

      Ted, I apologize if I have mislead you about the Eames chair on the curb.  I meant for it to read that the lounge chair was my favorite piece of MCM furniture that I’ve seen or picked up on the curb.  Although I haven’t scored an Eames lounger on the curb I have picked up a Broyhill Sculptra china cabinet, a coffee table and more chairs than I can count (that I’m sure I’ll never get around to reupholstering).

  • http://twitter.com/cupboards Nick @ Cupboards

    Nice to get to know you, Scott… and I’m 100% on board with the 2002. Easily one of the finest automobiles to ride the roads!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-Beverley-Burton/563132619 Rachel Beverley Burton

    I did not know the Richard Nixon Bowling poster….thanks for the education

    • Scott Taylor

      Yeah, it’s a reference to an actual photo of Richard Nixon bowling in the White House….If you’ve seen The Big Lebowski you’ll notice that the photo hangs over the dude’s bar.

  • http://twitter.com/remarchitect Robert Moore

    Thumbs up on the 2002(I keep it on my ebay motors saved searches) and I had never heard of the leg splint, wow. That’s about as nice a Papermate drawing as I have seen.

    • Scott Taylor

      Thanks for the kind words.