I was looking for some information on the landscape architect Michel Desvigne the other day. Of course, one of the first hits from Google was his website, and I was happily surprised to discover its a business card website. Contact information only, and no pictures.
It got me thinking- what other stubborn designers forgo a website? I remember doing research in undergrad on Herzog and de Meuron, back before their website went live. Because their books were always checked out, I had to search through the studios to see who had them. On the rare chance I was able to check one out myself, it gave me a certain amount of high status. I was the keeper of the book, at least for a little while. While I enjoy the ease of going to their website now, I remember being a little disappointed when it went live. Their books suddenly became slightly less precious.
Peter Zumthor recently published a website advertising two vacation cottages he rents out to tourists, but he doesn’t have a website for his practice. Eduardo Souto de Moura, despite also winning the Pritzker, also forgoes an official web presence. Rick Joy’s business card page has said “coming soon” on it for at least a decade. Of course, these guys were practicing long before the internet was a glimmer in Al Gore’s eye, so they don’t see the need for one. Will any prominent architects of our generation do without a web presence as a critical discursive decision?