The Thickening of Time, a new book by senior SCI-Arc faculty Coy Howard, continues the school's tradition of innovation by challenging the current status of digital architecture. Published by SCI-Arc Press in collaboration with the architect, the 288-page volume features Howard's exploration of the aesthetic implication of seductive insinuations, mysterious withholdings, liminal indirections, and subtle allusions in the design of three urban rooftop villa projects. The book features more than 100 carefully constructed and choreographed digital images embedding the deep cultural terroir of the three cities of Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York. Each of the images is constructed to engender a mood and sense of place rather than depict or illustrate an architectural concept. Fusing the avant-garde and the traditional, the designs of the villas create a poetic sense of serenity, where the desires for the future and the memories of the past are sensed simultaneously. Critical essays by Dr. George Rand, Jeffrey Kipnis, and Larry Rouch position the work in a broad range of topics, including the current critical discussions on the impact of digital imagery on architecture.
"Way back in the late 1970s I became aware of those projects for houses that detached Coy Howard's work from those other clever young men in Los Angeles. It was through their solemn depiction of a majestic but slightly spooky presence. By the time he was in our Exhibition at the Architectural Association in 1983, I was able to observe that his 'Drawls' 'were saying something about human mannerism as well as graphic representation.' As time has gone on, his very particular sensibility has wonderfully meshed together with the ability of digital manipulation to present a world of atmospherics that do not demand physical justification. In a sense they say more about physicality than reality: for they are not constrained by logical sequence, or programme, or the tedium of consistency. I had not realized the connection with Perry Kulper until I read this book: but it suddenly makes sense. If Kulper's method is a graphic juxtaposition of the unlikely alongside the unlikely, Coy is able to take such alchemy a stage further: he can melt the vision. He can take his wonderful 'eye' and take things to a (still often rather spooky) edge, where few of us have dared to go.
It is haunting stuff, and no wonder many of the most recent students continue to value him so much and refer to his insight. For me, he is more fascinating than ever."
-Sir Peter Cook, 2002 RIBA Gold Medalist, Founder of Archigram
"Enigmatically beautiful, resisting traditional architectural explanation, Coy Howard's 'The Thickening of Time' seduces us with his 'felt-rather-than-thought' work filled with strange suggestions and littered with the playfully unexpected, engendering a rich phenomenal presence, reflecting his 40 years of research into the essential psychological processes of a deep and resonant architectural experience."
-Thom Mayne, 2005 Pritzker Prize Winner, 2013 AIA Gold Medalist, Founder of Morphosis
"This is a book on architecture where the subjective is dead serious.at a time when far too much architecture is too literal.a much needed and pure celebration of the power of the subjective."
-Steven Holl, 2012 AIA Gold Medalist