Pioneer of ‘Architecture Against Death’ Dies

05.21.10 Marina Galperina

3 Japanese-born, New York-based artist, Arakawa, died yesterday at 73. Together with wife Madeline Gins, Arakawa was dedicated to “counteracting” the “immoral” destiny of death with zany home architecture. Their main project was thwarted when they lost their investments with Bernard Madoff mid the fraud sitch.

The artists previously drew income from Maddoff’s investments to create homes designed for immortality. Believing that people die mostly because of “degeneration” from living “too comfortably,” Arakawa and Gins designed homes like psychotic jungle gyms. Their garishly painted habitats had rounded, door-less rooms and sloping, bumpy mounds for floors. Pole climbing to electrical outlets and constant disoriented waddling was meant to “challenge” the residents into near-immortality (supposing you don’t fall out of your laundry area.) Their own residence is quite an optimistic lark of conceptual design:

The Maddoff scandal prevented the transhumanist couple from building their “reversible destiny” village. Although Arakawa’s own death is a few years short of average life expectancy in the US and his native Japan, the two have successfully rented out a few lofts and their residents reported feeling younger. |WSJ|

Images: NYT, WSJ