Lebbeus Woods 5/30/1940 – 10/30/2012

Bullet Shih Nov, 2012 0
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Lebbeus Woods the artist and architect known for his unique post apocalyptic architectural renderings recently passed away at age 72.  Woods whose recent exhibition at Friedman Benda we reviewed in March 2012 was a visionary whose futuristic works had a loyal following in both the architectural community as well as the Sci-Fi community.  Woods  studied architecture at the University of Illinois and engineering at the University of Purdue and upon graduation worked with legendary architect and popular crossword puzzle clue Eero Saarinen.  It was his interest in both architecture and engineering that would allow him to produce works which were quite popular among Hollywood studios and helped shaped the perceptions of futuristic architecture for countless millions.  His  Neomechanical Tower (Upper) Chamber was appropriated by Unversal Studios in the 90s as a set design for their film 12 Monkeys leading to a lawsuit that was settled in Woods’s favor.  The Guardian has a wonderful obituary with reminisces by many prominent contemporary architects and critics.  Joseph Grima, the
Editor of Domus magazine writes,

Lebbeus was a man of many gifts. He was an incisive, razor-sharp thinker, who sought out the flash points of political and social conflict and made them the bricks and mortar of his architecture. He was the most talented draughtsman of his generation – more than drawings, parallel universes flowed from his pencil. But his rarest gift – one that he cultivated throughout his life – was his generous, absorbent and humble mind. He didn’t just teach; he never stopped learning. He was happiest with a crowd of young people around him, deep in conversation, every generational barrier cast aside: happiest not because they worshipped him as a hero, but because new worlds were unfolding in front of him. When we invited him to take part in Postopolis NYC, the first of a series of bloggers summits organized with Geoff Manaugh at Storefront gallery, he was so excited by the possibilities of the web that when he returned home he set up his own blog. The conversation that began that afternoon in Storefront will continue long after the sad day of his passing.

 

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