Craig Hodgetts, Playmaker

In 1978, architect Craig Hodgetts was commissioned to design a sustainable utopia of the future based on the book “Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston,” by Ernest Callenbach. Some credit the book with anticipating the use of videoconferencing (one of the technologies of the future the characters use selectively so as to not interfere with man’s relationship with the natural world). Whether or not this is true is much less interesting than the drawings Hodgetts created: washed-out landscapes that are at once 70s sci-fi and museum-worthy renderings.

Hodgetts is the co-founder and Creative Director at a design and architecture firm in Los Angeles. His firm designed The Hollywood Bowl, The Brooklyn Park Ampitheatre, and the American Cinematheque. He’s one the leaders in Urban Design today and is a professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA. His Ecotopia drawings, along with other projects from 1965-78 (like vacuum-formed models and cardboard furniture), are part of the exhibition “Craig Hodgetts, Playmaker,” at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles until the end of the month. What began as science fiction has now become a career based on creating innovative and sustainable design.