ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
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Lawrence R. Armstrong
An ongoing in-depth exploration of the concept of
layers informs both my progression as an architect
and my growth as an artist. To me, layers are not
only spatially physical, but also emotional, spiritual,
sensory, intellectual, and philosophical.
In approaching an architectural commission, I try
to draw layered influence from the immediate
environment surrounding a building site, as well as
the programmatic functions that are intended for the
project. Layers are provided by the client’s philosophy
and collaborative input, and by the contractors, users,
and jurisdictional agencies. Moreover, light, sound
and ambiance naturally provide influential layering in
a structure. Derived axes emanate externally, describe
the facade, and penetrate through the work.
In similar ways, layers inform my artistic studies.
Although I am freer from client or jurisdictional layers, the physical layers in my work tend to take on an architectural and
structural quality. This is manifested in the way that the materials are composed in three dimensions, and geometries are
again perceived to penetrate through the work. Solid/void and figure/ground compositional qualities become very critical.
Atmospheric layers become more important.
Layered Architectural philosophies pervade my artistic work.
Layered Artistic philosophies have begun to free my architectural compositions.
Anders Lidholm
My thesis for my Masters degree in Architecture focused on “Decoration And Ornamentation In Architecture.” In this, I tried
to scientifically see the different functions of decoration and ornamentation in architecture. For example, I look at them as
points of attraction for the human consciousness, as collective stories told, as expressions of emotions and as adornments on
constructions. I discovered that there were a lot of layers in the definition of the subject. I never found a single definition for
decoration and ornamentation, and that is equally true for defining architecture and art in general. The complexity is far too
great. I discovered that, although architecture can be treated as a science and technology, the true essence of architecture is
art. Since then, I have relied on intuition when creating art as well as in the early stages of architectural planning.
My art-making process is one of discovery where I apply brushstrokes, colors and forms, constantly asking myself — Does
this feel right? It is a process of trial and error relying on an inner critical consciousness as well as momentary impulses.
The process is the same when I am designing architecture; however, more considerate of collective, practical and functional
requirements. As an architect, I want to expand the purely functional, pragmatic part of creating buildings into art. The main
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