The Big Idea uses an autobiographical approach to explore issues of how large theoretical ideas influence day-to-day architectural practice. Architect Scott Johnson has, over the last few decades, been privileged to work in rarified environments in Berkeley, New York and Los Angeles when big ideas of architectural theory were emerging. This is an account of how one architect has made sense of his time and place.
Younger architects, for whom the unraveling of modernist orthodoxy and the emergence of various alternative ways of thinking about and designing architecture is already a chapter in the history books, will find Johnson’s account particularly interesting. His professional experiences with some of the most important names in the world of architecture are both informative and entertaining in this very personal journey through the overarching themes of contemporary architecture and the discovery of professional practice. Ultimately, The Big Idea is Scott Johnson’s testimony in defense of architecture as a life-affirming art.