JENNIFER NEWSOM + TOM CARRUTHERS

Dark Matter

a mixture of the unknown and the tangible - by Jennifer Newsom

Mentors, Part III: Darell Fields

Darell Fields is an architect & theoretician whose AppendX journal was a key part of my research for Black Boxes. Since there were NO BLACK PROFESSORS teaching at Yale's School of Architecture, I traveled up to Harvard to meet with Darell (he's since moved to UT Dallas). I'm happy that a quick Google search revealed that Darell is still pursuing the dark matter of "Black Architecture." In my last post, I outlined three reasons why I believe the term does not exist, and Darell posits the same conclusion (~ minute 6:45) here. His research probes blackness within the history of aesthetics in order to bridge connections to architecture (and thus its latent black content). Brother Darell is a conscious man - perhaps overly so. He is brilliant, but sometimes I think he should be messier, willing to make more mistakes, and less pristine. Ah well, maybe I'm just jealous because he is so smart! Ha ha. But I do think the dense opacity of his arguments buffer them from common understanding - his presentation at Black Boxes was very interesting, but I'm not sure everyone "got it." Deep down, I get the sense that the obfuscation is part of Darell's point.

Nevertheless, I'm eager to reconnect with him and learn more about his Black Architecture Project and courses on Black Architecture Theory. Watch this space!