Published Writings 4 - as referred to by *
(Designed my first year as Faculty, part of the Architecture at Rice series)
KAHN Louis I. KahnTalks With Students
the original, designed in 1970, and its position situated within a didactic history.
KAHN the title simply states; refer to my statement on page: WORK- Idea as Architecture/Architecture as Idea.
The design reflects many of the Principles that drive my approach to a multivalent mode of reforming and reiterating them.
Inversions, Layers, Transparency, Opacity, Reversal, Symmetry, Balance.
The original title was a deliberate reference to a 1943 book by LeCorbusier (apparently the re-issue some 30 years later, was not aware of the connection), and a series of translations/appropriations at the time validated the parti of using the form of 'Blank Verse' to capture the pattern of Kahn's speaking (which he acknowledged to me).
Lou Kahn had visited the University the year before, and I was handed a transcript of 2 days, and photos. My Design was to create a sequence of 'layers' and oppositions. This involved literal 'layers', initially by way of "seeing through" die-cut holes.
Back cover (L) and Front (R) are graphic inversions of grey/black. The Back's circle is graphic, the Front's is the first die-cut hole.
Through the Endpaper, the image of Kahn appears.
Lou Kahn liked the Design, commenting "To Peter, in deep appreciation for the good interpretations in spirit". The page was a transparent sheet, extending the idea of 'layer'.
Turning to the Credits reveals a second transparent sheet, a reversal of Kahn's image, extending both the "layer" idea, as well as Inversion.
The first printed page, Kahn's "Talk With Students". The layout was constructed as 'Blank Verse', based on the rhythm of his speaking. It was this which LK was referring to.
The end of Day 1, with another transparent sheet picturing LK speaking, like Socrates, to the students (all in white shirts) under a tree.
The segue starts the Second Day, in which students asked LK questions.
At the time, there was no comprehensive citation reference on LK, so I decided to assemble one to put his thoughts in context.
The list of the Team continued the Circle motif, a constant image in LK's work. Again, positive/negative inversion. (The student who assembled the Bibliography was sent to LK as an Intern when he graduated 3 years later).
A "reversal" photo taken of LK 'completed the concept' of an ending, linking back to the initial images of him holding hands behind his head as he spoke. The grey endpaper was another die-cut hole.
The die-cut Endpaper juxtaposed the final "inversion", which carries through to the Back cover as yet another iversion.
My design 'Louis I. Kahn – Talks With Students' was my oblique reference to Le Corbusier's 1943 book of the same name.
Re-issued some 30 years later; if "Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery", the use of the referential circle/photo is taken as such. In changing the title to "Conversations with Students", I only assume the designer was unaware of my reference to the book by LeCorbusier. My remarks refer to the Generation which had passed. Read the Introduction I wrote, the title of which is a Pun: LOU ICON.
Shortly after publication, BAUWELT reproduced in translation to German, the entire text of KAHN Talks with Students. Read the Introduction I wrote.
Taiwanese students were excited to reprint the text: they wrapped the package with images from Chinese culture . . . verifying the essentially transcendental nature of Kahn's philosophy.
Even the Italians took on a translation which followed the 'blank verse' layout exactly.
Subtitled "Writings Lectures Interviews", the content was a fat 'anthology' . . . however, the Credit date was a misattribution, some 5 years BEFORE I actually designed it.
'CLICK' on images for Caption and to review in Sequence.