Re: What do you do?
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.
Well. I like to think of architecture as a kind of environmental art because architecture is a broad based synthesis of a lot of kind of problem solving and it has the potential to transcend solving the problems and become an art form and so that can include the architecture of the exterior, the architecture of the interior the interior itself, the landscape and the overall experience one has when they go to a place and how that place can be ---- has the potential of being extraordinary or interesting and so I like to think that may be when we address each of the projects no matter how big or small that you can give that level of thinking that pile of clay and those sticks that were on your desk a kind of what you start with every single time and how you can build the world is comprehensive.
I think the challenge of making a place, a person, a thing the best that can possibly be through synthesizing all that elements available to you and taking it to another place almost birthing an idea and the idea is so strong that it’s palpable and it can be developed on its own. It’s that rigor of birthing an idea and building an idea that’s the most rewarding thing.
Recorded On: 6/1/07
Mindel thinks of architecture as environmental art.
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