The Seeds of Art in Childhood


The Eichler I lived in, Sunnyvale, California, circa 1969

I was utterly in the dark on this until yesterday, some 48 years later.

I came across a picture of an “Eichler” (houses designed by Joseph Eichler, mostly in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas like one of two we lived in when I was in the 3rd-6th grades in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale (the Peninsula). 


Atrium and bedroom off of it.

It w the house in Sunnyvale that was striking, and I realized yesterday looking at floor plans and old photos that it was this house that gave me my sensibilities about designing space, use of space, clean lines and the introduction of nature within living space, as well as a very strong Japanese minimalism that has always attracted me in a very strong and visceral way.

 Having lived for a time in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Eichler set out to make California Modern homes available for he masses — and he succeeded. These homes were incredibly well constructed and their design holds up today like true art. 


Visionary backside of an Eichler

My being in grades 5-6, this was a very formative time in all areas. But I had no idea until yeasterday that my design and artistic sensibilities were being formed in that little room off the atrium (it was magical having a sliding glass door into that protected outside space). The backyard was beautiful as well with a long line of windows floor to ceiling and a giant tree in the corner of the yard which, at the top, gave a long view of the entire area all the way to the Bay.


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