What is your creative process?
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: What is your creative process?
Lee Mindel: There is no recipe to the creative process, but I think that first of all we are in the service business. So we can’t be so arrogant to think that you just kind of draw, scribble and that’s the end of it and those things that look like they are scribbles in the end are not really scribbles. The process is first of all understanding the parameters of the job who your client is, what the program is, what the financial situation is, what the context is, what the building code is and then synthesizing that ingesting all of that and then throwing that all out the window because if you don’t ingest that and make that part of your system you are not free to move on from that, but you need to understand that to move on and so we spend a lot of time trying to get that into our blood stream. So we are freed from it and then something may happen.
Recorded On: 6/1/07
The first part is understanding the client's parameters, says Mindel.
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