Several years ago Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel gave Duke University her catalog of videotaped interviews with artists, architects, and other cultural figures from the 1970s and 80s. They are now available on the web. Among them is a wonderful interview with Charles W. Moore, Centerbrook’s company forefather (or ancestor, perhaps).
Charles Moore is at his best. Bright, amusing, and slyly serious between wisecracks, he addresses his favorite topics – populist culture and architecture, participatory design, the “choreography of the familiar and surprising,” and the revolution of lively architecture that he led. The recording reveals his quiet demeanor (filled with “ums” and “ubs”) and at the same time his intention to turn the world of architecture in which he grew up upside down. He likes rooms over endless modern space. He promotes human comfort over beauty, which still must drive mainstream architects mad. And he says that buildings “speak” and should use all the colors of feeling available to them, not just the single minded aesthetics of the moderns.
It is a powerful reminder of the values that continue at Centerbrook.