Presentation delivered at Common Ground: International Conference on The Image Conference. Venice, Italy. Fall 17.
Beatriz Colomina stated that architecture becomes modern through its relationship with media, an assertion that can be quantified. Certainly most of our experience with canonical works of design since the beginning of the twentieth century has been through photographs, affording us access that continues to grow. This mediated access transmits a set of cultural values that require examination and critique for both consumers and producers of design. The Case Study House program (1945-1966) offers a unique opportunity to examine this phenomena. Sponsored by Arts and Architecture Magazine, these commissions offered contemporary design luminaries a chance to propose and build prototypical housing models to address post-war housing shortages; it also offered a built-in opportunity to disseminate and promote those projects in a lush image-dense publication. The magazine stood in for the client, as all projects were to be speculative. These projects have been extensively documented in other magazines and monographs up to the present day; each frames the project differently. This presentation examines comparisons of CSH projects across different publications with an emphasis on photographs and layout (produced by graduate Interior Design students at Pratt Institute). It is often a granular analysis that reveals point-of-view, encompassing a range of definitions of home, domesticity, and privacy.