2014 Meet our Residents: David Pellish

2014 Meet our Residents: David Pellish

A Creative Ideas Guy

A Creative Ideas Guy

David Pellish at his DeskIntricate geometrical compositions fill the walls of David Pellish’s comfortable Landow House apartment; his designs appear to twist and sway. The perceived sense of micro-movement stems from Pellish’s unique artistic approach, a blend of his expertise in art, architecture, technology, and science. 

“You were always a creative ideas guy, Dad,” says daughter Madeline Pellish with admiration. Her father David, 91, has been recognized for his work in the field of energy sustainability, as well as for his own artistic pursuits.

Majoring in art and art history at Brooklyn College, Mr. Pellish advanced to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning graduate degrees in architecture and city planning. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement’s focus on the interplay of art, technology, and science, and influenced by MIT Professor György Kepes, a leading theorist in avant-garde design, Mr. Pellish began tinkering with methods to construct stationary patterns that produce a sense of micro-movement.

To explain his creative process, he leads us to a large drafting table in his apartment; measuring instruments, coloredDavid Pellish: Swirls pencils, and other tools are within easy reach. Each of Mr. Pellish’s designs takes up to three months to complete and is painstakingly crafted as a collage of hundreds of tiny pieces of crisp paper. A clear layer of thin, tightly-spaced parallel lines is then placed over the collage to produce a fluctuating moiré effect. View a selection of his mesmerizing designs in motion and set to music on YouTube.

Prior to beginning his prolific career as an architect at the Department of Energy in 1977, Mr. Pellish, an expert in housing architecture, served as technical advisor for the President’s Commission on Urban Problems (appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968). He also helped write the Housing and Community Development Act, which established the National Institute of Building Sciences in 1974. This organization brings together representatives of government, industry, labor, and consumer interests with regulatory agencies to resolve issues that hamper construction.

As an architect, Mr. Pellish’s goal was to generate innovative approaches to efficient energy usage in buildings. David Pellish. fishHe would come up with a basic idea and then bring together scientists to study what he proposed and to devise cost-effective ways to implement it. One example is the energy-conserving “Smart Window” that can capture and absorb sunlight in cold weather and do the reverse in hot weather.                                                                        

The features of assisted living at Landow House have provided a warm, supportive environment for Mr. Pellish to enjoy life and to continue his creative pursuits. Call 301.816.5050 to learn how Landow House may be the perfect residence for the creative ideas guy or woman in your family. 


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