Girard the Magnificent
Alexander Girard was interested in important areas many architects eschew: texture, shape, tiny accessories, while simultaneously being a master of layered, gridded orthogonal space.
This diversity, which seemed strange at the time, now seems like a virtue, and makes the publication of the first monograph on Girard all the more timely. And what a monograph it is!
Reinventing the Thermostat
It is not just the iconicity of Henry Dreyfuss's 1952 Honeywell Round that the new Nest thermometer reinvents, but a number of Dreyfuss's insights about intuitive interactions and Honeywell's marketing insights about the place of the thermostat in the home. A hat-tip to Dreyfuss isn't just common courtesy, it's revealing.
When Modernists Get Crafty
What's the difference between a textile, a door, and a screen? At the Museum of Arts and Design's Crafting Modernism
only the material. The argument of the show is that modernism wasn't a one-way industrial street, and that, during the 1950s and 1960s, there was a great deal of back-and-forth between craft and design, the rough and the smooth.
Lunch With The Critics: Second-Annual Year-End Awards
From Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press)
How will 2011 be remembered in architectural history? A year in which the public reclaimed public space? The last hurrah of starchitectural extravagance? After long deliberation, our intrepid interlocutors offer you their awards for the year. The Silver Star Award
: Michael Kimmelman
, for his conversation-shifting debut as The New York Times’s
new sheriff in town. [ML] Old[er] Dog, New Trick Award
: Paul Goldberger, for his engaging engagement with the architectural masses on Twitter
. [ML] Best Impersonation of Jane Jacobs Award
, tweeting news on planning, neighborhoods and public space, and exploiting social media, just like her namesake would have done. [AL] Pauline Kael Critical Evisceration Award
: Esther Zandberg, for her cri de couer
on the moral and aesthetic bankruptcy of so much formalist architecture, and those who theorize it, in her review of Preston Scott Cohen’s new Tel Aviv Museum
Cooking with the Eameses
Turning a fiberglass rocker into a turtle. Surfing a molded plywood coffee table. Sleeping a baby in the drawer of an ESU. Once upon a time Eames designs weren't icons, and the new book Eames + Valastro: Design in the Life of an American Family
offers a look at growing up modern.