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Imperfect Utopia, a Park for the New World, Museum of Art, Raleigh, Caroline du Nord

Imperfect Utopia, a Park for the New World, Museum of Art, Raleigh, Caroline du Nord, 1987-1996

Smith-Miller + Hawkinson
  • Architects

The New York architects Henri Smith-Miller and Laura Hawkinson are very involved in contemporary architectural issues, their intent being to weave together theory and action, design and execution, praxis and teaching. Their architecture draws both from an art of construction, which is sophisticated and well-proven (Glass Museum, 1994), and from an openness, and an availability to contemporary culture in all its forms. Smith-Miller and Hawkinson’s markedly transversal praxis thus looks for fertile associations in other areas of thought and in other disciplines: with the artist Barbara Kruger and the landscape artist Nicholas Quennell (Imperfect Utopia: A Park for the New World, Raleigh Museum of Fine Arts,1987-96; Elliot Bay Waterfront, Seattle, 1989), with the artist/writer Silvia Kolbowski and the architect/historian Kenneth Frampton (MAXmin House, 1993). In 2004, in New York, they installed their Freedom of Expression National Monument, a gigantic red megaphone, produced in collaboration with the artist John Malpede.

It was in 1983 that the New York architect Henri Smith-Miller (1942), a former collaborator with Michael Graves and Richard Meier, and Laura Hawkinson (1952) , fresh from Berkeley, and then Cooper Union, where she trained as an architect, formed an association. Established in New York under the name of SMH+, their agency today is involved in many different activities, for public and private construction projects, one such being the House for A Film Producer (Los Angeles, 2010), published in international architecture magazines.