Brute Cosmetics
UCLA 2011 | Instructor: Craig Hodgetts

In general things that are cosmetic by definition are not iconographic. Cosmetic entities in architecture deal with notions of thinness as opposed to volume, field quality as opposed to object base, materiality as opposed to immateriality, simplicity as opposed to organizational strategy, and allure as opposed to communication.

However can cosmetics be so effective in the juxtaposition to iconography that it becomes an icon in and of itself?

I explore these ideas in Brute Cosmetics, an innovation center celebrating DIY culture in Southern California. Located in Culver City, the center is comprised of independent work sudios, galleries, and manufacturing shops. As one enters there is a gradual shift from a tranquil outdoors area to a hectic manufacturing floor, then finally to private studios.

The iconic nature is represented by the large glass canopy and solar field that wraps up and around the entire structure. Upon approaching the center from the west you are confronted with a massive smart glass wall that reads more as image than building. This glass system then wraps up and over the building creating an airy central courtyard and obscuring main building components with translucent solar panel technology, thus emphasizing ideas of thiness, materiality, simplicity and allure, hereby using the language of cosmetics to create an icon of DIY culture.