Lebbeus Woods, Architect
November 1, 2012 7:28 PM   Subscribe

“I’m not interested in living in a fantasy world. All my work is still meant to evoke real architectural spaces. But what interests me is what the world would be like if we were free of conventional limits. Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules.” Lebbeus Woods, a brilliant, visionary architect, has passed away.

His work was rarely built, but the power of his ideas, presented with stunning draftsmanship, was hugely influential.

Perhaps fittingly, Woods, a resident of Lower Manhattan, "[who] may be best known for his radical re-imaginings and re-constructions of cities in crisis," is reported to have died during Hurricane Sandy.

His passing is a great loss to anyone who appreciates pure, unfettered human imagination at play.

His excellent blog went on hiatus earlier this year, hopefully it will stay up as an archive of his work and writing.

More obits:
Architects Journal
Remembering the Futuristic New York of Lebbeus Woods

More of his work:
Lebbeus Woods: Early Drawings on Exhibit in NYC
Without Walls: An Interview with Lebbeus Woods
(and of course, the "12 Monkeys" concept art)

Previously on Mefi
Previous Mefi post on Woods' work on Alien 3
posted by Bron (22 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
. I've always wanted to build one of his 'flower pod' structures; it's a little room on the top of a tall I-beam stuck in the ground....would be great for my backyard. And his vision for Sarajevo was amazing. RIP
posted by ergomatic at 7:43 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by Flashman at 7:51 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by Mblue at 7:54 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:58 PM on November 1, 2012

He created awe-some worlds.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:01 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by One Thousand and One at 8:04 PM on November 1, 2012

We had his monograph lying around the studio while I was in school, and one of my classmates made a half-serious joke that all the forms in the book were derived from drawing his airbrush nozzle from different angles. His work was still breathtaking though, and my favorite works of his are the decayed looking things like the inspiration for the 12 Monkeys interrogation room. Those things, and their constructed ruination evoked something that I guess would be similar to the notion of the "sublime" in the gothic revival period.

posted by LionIndex at 8:26 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by IvoShandor at 8:32 PM on November 1, 2012

I know him through his book covers for Roger Zelazny, and I love his illustration and rendering work.

posted by migurski at 8:41 PM on November 1, 2012

"Outside-the-box thinking has become a cliché used in advertising, corporate strategy and politics, Mr. Moss said, but Mr. Woods took it to another level.

"There’s another box, and he’s outside it, he said, He’s outside all the boxes."

Well, all but one.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:45 PM on November 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

I really admired his work, it's a shame he could not have left more structures as a legacy. But I guess he was never seriously about that.

posted by bashos_frog at 9:43 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by Smart Dalek at 10:10 PM on November 1, 2012

posted by quazichimp at 11:26 PM on November 1, 2012

Archive Team will catch a copy of his blog and whatever else we can find.
posted by jscott at 1:08 AM on November 2, 2012

So, he's not interested in living in fantasy worlds, but he designs elaborate, wildly impractical buildings and architectural concepts which he knows will never be built, in large part for the purpose of exercising...fantasy?
posted by lodurr at 2:31 AM on November 2, 2012

posted by tychotesla at 3:28 AM on November 2, 2012

Never heard of him. But after reading the obit, this seems like a terrible oversight on my part.

I know he was an architect, but I would have loved to see him illustrate some of China Miéville's work - esp. Perdido Street Station.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 9:14 AM on November 2, 2012

Generally I'm pretty hard on architecture as a discipline, but Wow, having just the barest glimpse of his work, I'm an immediate fan. Definitely I am poorer for not being aware of this man and his work before today.

posted by newdaddy at 9:34 AM on November 2, 2012

posted by paulg at 9:55 AM on November 2, 2012

posted by mumimor at 12:47 PM on November 2, 2012

Copy grabbed. It will eventually go into the wayback machine. Long may we remember this brilliant fellow.
posted by jscott at 3:51 PM on November 2, 2012

posted by one teak forest at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2012

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