Hadrian Predock, "Remixed"
Hadrian Predock, "Remixed"
On April 1, 2015, Hadrian Predock, Director of Undergraduate Programs, presented “Remixed,” a lecture covering a number of projects realized by his firm Predock Frane Architects, going back to 2004. Spanning small-scale art projects, installations, cultural institutions, public infrastructure, and single/multifamily residential work, the lecture presented a method of working, an ethos, a way of capitalizing on the “biases” inherent in each of the partners—a productive tension that enriches and challenges their practice.
The creative tension of their practice also comes from the fact that both Predock and his partner, John Frane, consider themselves products of what they call the “digital/analog cusp generation,” which is neither exclusively devout to digital tools and processes, nor fundamentalist about using their hands and following more “messy” analog approaches. For Predock, it’s about having the freedom to use the tools that best fit a project and, as he said, “having feet in both analog and digital worlds.”
Organized around themes or “chapters” like “Zen and the Art of Building Maintenance,” “Two Trips to the Getty Center,” and “The House that Consumes Geometry,” the lecture presented a number of projects the firm has undertaken since its founding in 2000, including the Family Room at the Getty Center, a net-zero spiritual retreat in New Mexico, and Twin Houses in Pacific Palisades, California.
Some of the more experimental and whimsical work included “Glow,” a temporary installation that was staged on the beach in Venice, California in 2010 and used luminous wire to construct an immersive atmosphere of light. “The project took six months to design, three days to install, and was up for just one night,” said Predock. A related project, “O(h),” designed for the dance troupe Casebolt and Smith, also used luminous wire to frame the dancers on stage. The frames were designed by mapping dancers’ movements.
Predock likened these projects to the 1980s video game, Tempest, which he noted as an influence because of the immediacy of its “lo-fi” qualities. Unlike Tempest, however, these luminous wire projects exhibit a looseness, a sketch quality, or “messiness” that betrays the underlying precision of a digital design process. “We didn’t want this to be too perfect,” noted Predock. “That wasn’t the goal. This was about creating an atmosphere, an experience.”
For Predock, remixing is an outlook that seeks new ways of thinking about and generating new agency for projects. A good example of this is how they took their site-specific 2004 Venice Biennale exhibit, Acqua Alta, made up of 5000 translucent filaments arrayed to evoke the patterns of flooding in Venice, Italy, and re-scripted it as a traveling show when it came back to the United States as Acqua Alta 2. “It’s an approach to remixing a project itself, remixing the thinking and presentation of the work, a way to not be too fixed,” said Predock. This is what keeps Predock Frane Architects nimble and responsive, always ready to take on interesting work at varying scales.
“Tensions are productive,” Predock said. Between the digital and the analog, what tends to be too perfect on the one hand and too sloppy on the other, lies a space where a balance between control and losing control can take hold. This is the place where Predock Frane’s work emerges, the in-between place of possibilities.