Archives For Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Just when we thought we had turned the corner and made drastic progress against racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, in comes Donald Trump, Blue Lives Matter, ISIS, the mass shooting at the gay club Pulse in Orlando, and all that noise on the Internet. Today, these subjects are very present in our national consciousness and violently argued about in social media, from people with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Reddit that we’re not even sure are real (it could just be one angry racist with one hundred accounts, or a thirteen year old who gets a kick out of seeing adults get angry), but we’re sure they do upset others. In the academic world, and the architecture world, these topics can feel somewhat childish, like it’s beneath us to even debate something as ridiculous as racism. But there still is so much bigotry in this world.

And then there’s this—a video called “What Made Me” of architect Charles Renfro, partner at the superfirm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which shows that there’s still so much beauty too. In the interview Renfro describes his experience growing up gay in a small town outside of Houston, Texas. He had been bullied and bullied and bullied, until one day he couldn’t take it anymore, and he said to his mom, “I didn’t want to go to school anymore.” His mom, clearly a wonderful and supportive woman, says, “Well ok. So what do you want to do?”

Eight-year-old Charles Renfro, just a little boy in nowhere Texas, who has no idea that in about thirty years he’s going to design some of the world’s most important structures, goes to his spirit, his instinct, and his future for the answer, and says, “I want to go to look at buildings.”

Show this video to anyone who is facing adversity, has faced adversity. Show them the advice that Renfro says to his eight-year-old self, “You’re really scared, but don’t worry.”

By: David Plick

Via flickr by Jay Sterling Austin

Via flickr by Jay Sterling Austin

Located at 221 South Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, the Broad Museum is one of the most highly anticipated architectural projects of 2015. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the NYC-based firm who brought us The High Line, there was great hype with The Broad Museum due to its pivotal location in LA’s architectural scene. After all, in addition to being right around the corner from MOCA Grand Avenue, who’s The Broad’s other loud and impolite next door neighbor? No one other than Frank Gehry’s divisive Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Overall, the reviews lean towards the positive. Architectural Record’s Sarah Amelar called the building “exciting yet incongruous . . . the belief-suspending exhilaration of a theme-park ride . . .” How do the other critics weigh in?

LA Times, Christopher Hawthorne

“It . . . has moments of real charm . . . [yet] for all its imaginative talent, is still figuring out how to shepherd its boldest design ideas through a challenging construction process, so they emerge fully and powerfully intact.”

Curbed, Alexandra Lange

“Critics searching for what the Broad looks like aren’t searching the skies or the waves, but the supermarket aisles . . . [It] is a fascinating museum experience, but one which doesn’t quite achieve the ends of its architects or its patrons. I see its design as a move toward a completely artificial, hands-free architecture, but as a construction culture we are not quite there yet.”

The Washington Post, Philip Kennicott

A space for art that respects the experience of looking and engagement, as a thing apart, and something worth leaving the world behind to do on its own terms.”

Wall Street Journal, Julie V. Iovine

“Though too eccentric to be an enduring touchstone work of architecture, the building deserves to be celebrated for a bravado and smart urbanism.”

The Broad is a FREE museum open everyday except Monday and houses works from such artists as: Carl Andre, Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, Roy Lichtenstein, and Chuck Close.

By: David Plick