WELCOME TO MAY SPANGLER’S WORLD
OF ARCHITECTURE AND LITERATURE
May spangler is an architect from the Beaux-Arts School in Paris, and a Ph.D. in French from Emory University in Atlanta, who combines her interest in architecture and literature in her writing and illustrations. Her books in French and English include a monograph, Monstrer Diderot, a memoir, Papa a dit, Maman aussi, a student textbook and teacher manual, Paris in Architecture, Literature, and Art. May is now working on an upmarket romance, The Architect’s Eye.
New Book in Progress
THE ARCHITECT’S EYE
The Architect’s Eye, an upmarket romance based on a true story, tells the unlikely love story between Parisian May and native Georgian Dickie, as she comes to study architecture in the United States in 1978. May has grown disillusioned with life and envisioned her trip as an opportunity to redefine herself, because it is all about perspective: to see, to be seen, and to see yourself in the eyes of others. In the 1970s, few women studied architecture, and while she survived the abusive hazing of the Beaux-Arts School, it left her cautious of men. In contrast, the American students welcome her into the studio, but when she falls in love with Dickie, she still can’t put her trust in him.
Although Dickie and May grew up worlds apart, they have the language of architecture in common and engage life with the same eagerness. But May’s past also left her disillusioned with love, and she knows she’ll never love a man with her whole being. When May finally perceives through the American eyes that her blasé attitude may be another postmodern byproduct of the May ’68 cultural revolution, she still keeps her distance. She leaves the United States thinking that her infatuation will not survive an ocean. But love stays just as strong, threatening to make the rest of her life miserable. Can she overcome her cynical views on life and take a chance at love with Dickie?
“Less is more.” ― Mies van der Rohe, 1947 “Less is a bore.” ― Robert Venturi, 1966
The Architect’s Eye features the 1970s postmodern debate as the bland functionalism of modern architecture was under the siege of a postmodernism that promoted complexity, plurality, and language games. The debate is presented through students’ discussions and vignettes giving background information with which the reader may not be familiar. The vignettes include twenty-eight ink drawings by the author, such as in the samples below.
“LESS IS MORE”: Minimalism and Functionalism of Modern Architecture
Fig. 9. Mies van der Rohe, Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1956.
“LESS IS A BORE”: Complexity and Historicism of Postmodern Architecture
Fig. 12. Charles Moore, Piazza d’Italia, New Orleans, 1978.