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Michael Bierut
Essays | Biography | Interviews & Articles | 79 Short Essays on Design | Contact

Archive: June 2009


Spoiler Alert! Or, Happy Father's Day

Warning: the following article contains spoilers for the plots of Citizen Kane (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), Stalag 17 (1953), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Longest Day (1962), and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). Also, it is not, strictly speaking, about design. 

I enjoyed the newly released remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, but like many others, I like the 1974 original better: the gritty verite of 1970s New York, the terse understatement of Robert Shaw's Mr. Blue, and, best of all, the deadpan, sly performance of Walter Matthau
This was one of my father's favorite movies. He especially liked the clever way that the scriptwriters dispensed with the complicated expository material that explained the workings of the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority's command center...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (17)

When Design Gets in the Way

 
Times Square, New York, 2009, photograph by Fallon Chan

Readers of Design Observer may be sick of the High Line by now. I know that I sort of am. The product of a design competition with over 700 entries, designed to within an inch of its minutely cultivated life, and surrounded by some of the chicest real estate in town, the half-mile southern stretch of this elevated New York City park has been so deliriously popular that crowd control has become a serious problem.
Nearly as popular, but much less celebrated by design cognescenti, is an urban intervention about two miles north. At the beginning of the summer, New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan closed two sections of Broadway to traffic, including five blocks at Times Square, creating new pedestrian malls overnight...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (24)



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