October 20th, 2011
By Gene Ely, AIA, LEED AP
Tom Kundig, principal in the firm of Olson Kundig in Seattle, Washington, and winner of national and international design awards too numerous to mention, led off the recent biennial Monterey Design Conference with a provocative talk about his work and the influences that inform it. Those influences include everything from physics to rock climbing to hot rod cars, but perhaps his most interesting statement came in his characterization of the nature of architects. He described them as being “professional voyeurs,” but far from being negative, he sees this as being one of their strongest assets. Kundig characterized architects as being voyeurs of time, culture, fashion, and landscape just to mention a few. He went on to say that the more outside our realm of architectural design that we are able to draw inspiration from, the better our work can be.