The dissonance between the overwhelming American landscape and bland architecture
Daniel Kaven is an American artist working in architecture, painting, film and photography and co-founder of the multidisciplinary design studio William/Kaven Architecture.
In Kaven’s new book, Architecture of the Normal, he explores the dissonance between the overwhelming American landscape and the disappointing architecture of its shopping malls, fast food chains, motels and collective housing. Part travelogue, art book, and architectural survey, the book traces the patterns created by prevailing modes of transportation and examines how we have come to accept the bland, scarred boxes that line America’s streets and highways. .
Beginning with a portrait of ambulatory Native American societies and the introduction of horses by the Spaniards, Kaven discusses the built environment as it has been shaped by trains, cars, planes and rockets, and turns to a future architecture defined by self-driving cars and air taxis. . This highly visual narrative includes many historic photographs and Kaven’s art.
Kaven’s architecture has won numerous awards, including an Architecture MasterPrize; an International Architecture Prize from the European Center for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies; and several honors from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).