Michele Saee (November 25, 2002)



Italian critic Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi discusses contemporary architecture in Los Angeles and Italy as an introduction to a presentation by Michele Saee. Saee outlines his background: born in Iran, educated in Italy, working and teaching in Los Angeles. One of the most important influences on his work is his connection to SCI-Arc which he sees as a response to the state of architecture on the international level. In 1972, the year SCI-Arc was founded, Kenneth Frampton’s Five Architects appeared, establishing East Coast hegemony over architecture discourse for the rest of the decade. This changed in 1980 when an issue of Domus appeared with Frank Gehry on the cover,
featuring a group of young Los Angeles architects connected to SCI-Arc. It seemed to proclaim a new movement. Saee discusses a house on Linnie Canal in Venice, California which had a very small site. The client who was a poet and an artist wanted something that reflected a distinctive lifestyle. He describes the Cellular Fantasy Store as the project in which his own architectural thinking and language began to show itself. He wanted to create a new kind of work space, where people together with very little separating them. He discusses a competition he won for a Center for Comparative Cultural Studies in Sardinia, where he wanted to make non-architectural space that derives from the topography of the site.

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