ALL RIGHT THEN. The Experience Music Project is up. It's up, and we've all had a good look, and whatever we thought we'd think about it has been confirmed and probably amplified; befuddlement has hardened into disgust, flirtation into love. Without revealing (yet) what I think about it, I'd like to turn my attention to Frank O. Gehry: The Architect's Studio, an exhibition at the Henry.

This show--which takes you on a little ride through the architect's mind by re-creating the structured chaos of his studio--isn't going to change your mind about Gehry. If you like his work, you'll be thrilled by the variations and permutations of the projects you know well, the glimpses at future works, the man in his own words. If you think the EMP is a train wreck, you should probably still go, so at least you'll gain the language with which to lambaste it.

The gallery is less arranged than crammed full of stuff: maquettes, photographs, metal samples. It--the stuff--is ingeniously set out on the crates it was shipped in, with all the exotic labels (Rotterdam, New York) to remind us where we are not, and perhaps how lucky we are. I don't know if, in fact, Gehry's studio looks anything like this, but it does confirm my theory that architects get to play with the best toys--elaborate building blocks, shiny sheets of metal, even velvet, as seen in a variation of the EMP that shows a center building surrounded by draped fabric, another way of looking at the shape of the building in space.

There's a table full of wood-and-mesh models for the Nationale-Nederlanden Building in Prague, more familiarly known as the "Fred and Ginger building" on account of its tower forms, which appear to be caught mid-tango. This is one of my least favorite of Gehry's projects. I don't think it's aging well; the windows that float over the curved surface, almost at odds with their frames, have a kind of '80s eclecticism I don't particularly like. But the models are, for want of a better word, just dear, spinning like tops, flexible like a Gumby. They're lucky, in a way; they get to have a sense of fun and energy that gets lost in the translation from balsa wood to concrete.

Next to that, made of wire strips that describe a hollow ball, is a version of the huge rooftop sculpture called Medusa, which is located atop one of the Nationale-Nederlanden towers (Fred, I think). The model for this sculpture has a less architectural feel. Standing alone, it calls more attention to its construction and materials, and is more satisfying to look at, maybe simply because it's at eye level. The same is true for a model of the conference room for the DG Bank building in Berlin, which is still under construction. The room is known as "The Horse's Head," although to me it looks more like a bleached skull, something out of Georgia O'Keeffe. Nevertheless, it's a privileged view of a space, a view that won't be perceivable when you're standing in the completed room.

The most exhaustive look at Gehry's process is in the models and photographs of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Construction hasn't begun yet on this project (it begins in 2001), but what we have in front of us is a set of blocky brick buildings interrupted by Gehry's signature metal avalanche--it seeps out through the spaces between the square forms and flows out toward the street. Photo after photo shows the various permutations and variations on this theme, how the metal is more contained here, freer there. In the end, the brick elements face conservatively toward the campus, and the metal elements face (flow) away from it: a very wise nod, as I see it, to the difficulty the public has in integrating Gehry's architecture with their beaux-arts expectations.

As for my promise above, what do I think? For the most part, I like his buildings. I like the way they shake up the space around them, I like the aspect that tells me the disaster has already happened, and the result is shocking and also beautiful. Who knows what I'll think in 10 years, after the knockoffs, after the next big thing, and then the next. But I do know that I'd like to get into that studio and play with all the cool toys.