The premature release (noted by Bill Drenttel below) of Michael Arad and Peter Walker's World Trade Center memorial design sans
explanation, for one day at least, was refreshing. It's worthy to make design more understandable -- this site is dedicated, among other things, to doing just that -- but in the end it must speak for itself. At the WTC site, the amount of rationalization has been dizzying. Have we gotten too good at it?
Daniel Libeskind is a great architect but may be almost too great an explainer...
Vladimir Nabokov: Father of Hypertext?
It was too cold to even think about going out in the sunshine, and I had spent about two hours at my computer, following links from blog to blog. Moving irresistibly from gawker.com
and on and on, it's easy to lose track of time. Finally, fatigue set in, as well as a bit of disgust that I was wasting an afternoon meandering through a lot of barely connected ideas.
I turned to my chores for the weekend, which included putting away a bunch of books that my wife had been piling up...
The Forgotten Design Legacy of the National Lampoon
In a bookstore over the holidays I happened to come across a new edition of something had thought I would never see again: the legendary National Lampoon 1964 High School Yearbook
. Originally published in 1971, the publication has at its heart what purports to be the yearbook of the fictional C. Estes Kefauver Memorial High School in tragically woebegone Dacron, Ohio. What struck me anew was the astonishing level of graphic detail that the Lampoon
design staff brought to the task: every aspect of the yearbook (as well as other documents such as a basketball program, literary magazine and history textbook) is rendered with awful, pitch-perfect fidelity, from each badly-spaced typeface to every amateurish illustration...