Portrait by Ari Marcopoulos
“… the sort of architectural spaces we inhabit are enormously important — they are powerful. If every member of the human race were to vanish, our successors from another planet could reconstitute the psychology of the people on this planet from its architecture.” — J. G. Ballar
& Carol Moukheiber
make up architectural Studio (n-1). Both graduated from Cooper Union in 1993, then they completed work at various international architecture firms including Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Rem Koolhaas’ OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture). After entering numerous international urban design competitions, the husband and wife team was featured in the 2000 Venice Biennale and their designs were included in the House Archive collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They are currently working on a residence in Whistler, B.C., for former professional snowboarder Marc Morrisset that features an interior built directly into the mountainside, and an exterior which allows the inhabitants to ride down the roof and into their home.
Christos Marcopoulos and Carol Moukheiber design living and working spaces with a great deal of nostalgia for the future. The team has been dismantling suburbia from their base in the San Francisco area for several years now. They founded Studio (n-1), an architecture, urban planning, and design firm in 2000. The Domestic Appendix, shown here, is part of “Domestic Research Archive.” This archive is an accumulation of projects dealing with the domestic environment. The projects range from house designs, research, essays, photography, industrial design, and other manuals. SF MOMA recently acquired four projects out of that archive.
Architects frequently consult design reference books like the Architectural Graphic Standards to aid in their design activity. These books largely deal with how the body occupies space efficiently; however there seems to be a rigorous absence of certain human activities which has been collectively ignored. The “Domestic Appendix” investigates those activities, which form a significant part of domestic life. The Appendix is a manual which can be used by design professionals to re-engage the domestic environment. The home has largely been subject to the regime of 20th-century pragmatist notions of mobility and efficiency, where spaces have been dimensioned for bodies to go about their daily business in the most efficient way. There is however another track to follow: the home as the experiment of the future, as an unexplored landscape of eroticism, luxury, and other benign forms of psychopathological deviances. The inherent potential of architecture is used to engage the domestic environment more fully with one’s senses and desires.