Despite the fact that Antoine Predock, FAIA, wears his arm in a sling after suffering an injury in a motorcycle accident, he is committed to ridingand keeping bikes as design objects. He says they've played a role in his life since his childhood and recalls riding them around Europe as a student. "Inanimate objects can have a meaning far beyond their technology. Certain bikes do that," Predock says, noting the Vincent Black Shadow and Ducati F1 among his favorites. "They're inspiring to have in the studio for me. There are lessons in them."
The workstations in Predock's Albuquerque, N.M., studio, which accommodates a staff of 11, include desks made from 2x4s and solid core doors. The emphasis on natural simplicity is key to Predock's embrace of modernist materials and metaphors. One of the 2006 AIA Gold Medalist's favorite metaphors inspired the title of a new monograph of his work: Roadcut, which refers to "a sectional diagram of the earth ... revealed through man's intervention." Roadcut author Christopher Mead and Predock's graphics director, Mira Woodson, curated a corresponding exhibit of Predock's work for the University of New Mexico Art Museum.
Since he opened his office in 1967, Predock has acquired adjacent commercial properties to build out his campus. Greenery is a significant feature of the complexs six buildings, which feature both indoor plants and outdoor gardens. In that sense, Predocks campus sticks out in a neighborhood populated by "Midwestern, front-porch typologies"—buildings that Predock describes as evocative of a California bungalow look from the '10s and '20s. The designer says that he did not have a scheme for the studio's accretion, which is characterized by walled enclosures that link the buildings together. "I never had a particular master plan," he says.
"There are models everywhere. The practice is 3D from the beginning," Predock says. One of the galleries in the exhibition at the University of New Mexico Art Museum (on view through May 22) is dedicated to Predock's models and design drawings; the model shown is of the ballpark he designed for the San Diego Padres. "I make clay models that evolve into digital models. Models are the essence of the studio, always have been, always will be."