Woods studied architecture at the University of Illinois and engineering at Purdue University and first worked in the offices of Eero Saarinen, but in 1976 turned exclusively to theory and experimental projects. He has designed buildings in Chengdu, China and Havana, Cuba. In 1988, Woods co-founded the Research Institute for Experimental Architecture, a nonprofit institution devoted to the advancement of experimental architectural thought and practice while promoting the concept and perception of architecture itself. He was a professor of architecture at the Cooper Union in New York City and at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Lebbeus Woods, a New York architect who became a cult figure among students and academics for his signature drawings, died on Tuesday at age 72. His death was confirmed by his longtime friend and fellow architect Steven Holl.
Though he was trained as an architect and worked for Eero Saarinen, Mr. Woods became best known for fantastical illustrations of imaginary buildings and dystopic scenes, rendered in colored pencil and ink. His 1993 series in response to the war in Bosnia, for example, evokes sci-fi comics – with twisted cables, crumbling buildings and flying steel shards. On his website, Mr. Woods wrote: “At this stage in my life and work – I would optimistically call it a middle stage – I have a clear grasp of what it is that I want to achieve, though I am still searching for the best realization of ideas that have driven me all along.”
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