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Saturday, September 30, 2023


“Productions” gives insight into interior design

For Studio MODO Creative Director Clay Odom, architecture and interior and exterior design are two sides of the same coin — a relationship that began in the early days of humanity.

“In many ways, I think it could go back to caves. (There is) this idea of the surface being applied to the caves to establish this ephemeral condition. There’s this ritualized kind of link to the outside world (from) these beautiful paintings that are in some of the French caves,” Odom said.

“That’s where these installations are quite nice, because they’re ephemeral. They certainly deal with how do you respond to the existing, but I’m really only interested into how it remakes the existing.”

Odom traveled to UH for “Productions,” Tuesday at the Gerald D. Hines School of Architecture on the topics of organization, production, the operational diagram driven approach, the concept of ephemerality and space and form.

Odom, an assistant professor in the interior design program at the University of Texas School of Architecture,  included his work as an in-house designer for the fashion house Luca Luca in New York.

“Even the idea of projecting into an existing box (and) projecting into corners of things, it destroys the box. If I project light into corner, all of a sudden that corner goes away. For me, right now it’s about that ephemeral condition.”

Interior architecture junior Sara Skinner appreciated Odom’s discussion of his installation work.

“It was really interesting for what we normally get here,” Skinner said. “We normally don’t get things so involved with the interiors. I liked that he touched a little bit on this idea that these things could fall apart, like talking about the idea between permanence and ephemeral.”

The students that attended found Odom’s lecture useful and insightful, but Texas A&M architecture professor Negar Kalantar said she was surprised by the lack of attendance at the UH lecture.

“For me, it was amazing that I thought more people would come,” Kalantar said. “That was one of my main concerns.” Emptiness of the theater aside, Kalantar said she thinks the lecture will be helpful for many students who are thinking of making a more specific transition.

“I think how he mentioned moving from architecture to interior design … those aspects are very useful for students to see how they can be more specific in their future about the part that they like,” Kalantar said.

Odom has completed building and interior projects around the country. He founded the design practice of Studio MODO in Austin, Texas after leaving POD DESIGN + MEDIA, which he co-founded in 2003 in New York City.

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