Future sand, a new book by Justin Beal, is, according to its editor, MIT Press, “a story by (World Trade Center) architect Minoru Yamasaki that leads the author to consider how (and for whom) the history of architecture is written “. Metropolis recently spoke with Beal, a Brooklyn-based artist who also studied architecture at Yale, about the book and the WTC.
Jane Levere: What does the title of your book mean?
Justin Beal: The title is intentionally ambiguous. The book was published by MIT Press, which as we all know is an academic press. I was trying, with the encouragement of my editor, to really push the mode of architectural writing to the frontiers of academia, so we made some conscientious choices because of that, both in terms of size and size. layout of the book, and also with the title, so as not to give it an academic title, as in a subject-colon-thesis title. Instead, we wanted to give it a title more like what you would find with a novel. future sand does not mean anything in particular.
JL: What is the concept of your book?
JB: The concept kind of developed as I worked on it. When I had been in the project for several years and was really researching Yamasaki’s life, I learned that someone else was writing a book about him. At first this sort of thing sent me into a spin and I was totally disheartened and decided that I had sabotaged my artistic career for no reason. But what I realized when it happened was that in a way it was a huge weight on my shoulders – it took away the responsibility of being accountable for everything in the job and Yamasaki’s life and allowed me to write the book I really wanted to write instead, which I think has more to do with how I experience architecture.