Author Scott M B Gustafson

Preserving Modern Architecture: The Kaufmann House and Beyond


An undisputed masterpiece of residential architecture.

An undisputed masterpiece of residential architecture.

This past Sunday I traveled to Palm Springs with Monmark Agency founder Mona Telega. We made the trek to attend a Modernism Week panel session on the Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra’s residential masterpiece from 1947. Instead of just focusing on this single building, the panel covered some of the many challenges of historic preservation for Modern buildings.

Extreme Clarity


The wind will not stop. Gusts of sand swirl before me, stinging my face. But there is still too much to see and marvel, the world very much alive in the bright light and wind, exultant with the fever of spring, the delight of morning. Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness and simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each her and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand barren rock. The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Lover flowers best in openness and freedom.

Edward Abbey – Desert Solitaire

See more photos from my trip into the Mojave Desert here –

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Book Recommendations for Future Architects


Often I get asked by friends who have children that are thinking about studying architecture and want book recommendations to introduce them to the field. I put together this short list of books that stick out in my mind as great surveys on the discipline that are accessible to non-professionals.