How has the history of architecture informed your work?
New York-based architect Lee Mindel received his Master of Architecture from Harvard after obtaining his B.A., Cum Laude with distinction at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked for the New York architecture firms of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and then Rogers, Butler, Burgun, before forming the firm Shelton, Mindel, & Associates with Peter Shelton in 1978. Since the formation of Shelton, Mindel & Associates in 1978, the architects have strayed from the dictates of their modernist training to avoid the trappings of a signature style. Their formal explorations steadily oscillate between the "modern" and the "traditional," directed in each cast toward a carefully wrought simplicity. In addition to the firm’s architecture and interior design expertise, it has a product design division with collections for Knoll, Waterworks, Jack Lenor Larsen, V’Soske, and Nessen Lighting. Shelton Mindel & Associates is the recipient of 17 AIA awards for interior architecture, three design awards from the Society of American Registered Architects, a Progressive Architecture citation, three Roscoe awards for product design and most recently the 2004 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum. The American Institute of Architecture, the National Academy of Design, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts have exhibited the firm’s work in both traveling and permanent exhibitions. Both Peter L. Shelton and Lee F. Mindel have been inducted into the Interior Hall of Fame, and in 2000 Mindel became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Question: How has the history of architecture informed your work?
Lee Mindel: Well. I don’t think we can participate in history if we don’t understand history and so --- and it’s not just architectural history, its art history, political history, economic history and all those things make you a responsible person who in your own demeanor and field can then respond, but I feel like if I didn’t know from Stonehenge or hatchet are up through a piece of flying shrapnel. If I didn’t understand the process the evolution and the instincts of architecture then I wouldn’t be responsible. I wouldn’t understand how to go about it, but knowing your place and that you exist in a certain time as part of a kind of continual is so key to being a member in good standing.
Recorded On: 6/1/07
You can't participate in history without understanding what it is.