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Archives: December 2005

We’re Stuck In Columbus With Peter

Today’s gonna be a short day. Transit strike almost stopped us from getting to the airport, security almost stopped us getting through the airport, and Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio, is trying its best to keep us from the Wexner Center. That’s right: we’re doing a little original reporting on Peter Eisenman’s latest nine-brazilian-dollar snafu. We’ve got a couple doozies to post but the Apple store wireless isn’t treating us as well as it should. Stay tuned. Hotel-blogging TK.

This Is What Happens When The Infrastructure Breaks Down

rage_pg_34.jpgThis morning we, along with every single other blog in the city, asked for you, our dear and beloved readers, to write in with thoughts on how the change in New York’s infrastructure has changed your day. Because, you know, space and urban scale influences your life. This is what we got:

when my infrastructure breaks down, i need a soy peppermint latte and something that vibrates or i get REALLY CRAZY AND WANT TO HURT PEOPLE.

but otherwise i’m a nice person, i swear.

where is my helicopter?


‘Tis The Season… For Getting Advice, Redux

We’d just finished trolling through the Architect’s Newspaper’s gift guide when we came across Metropolis’ foray into the more generous spirit. In a total twist of reality that we’re still getting our head around, though, the Metropolis list comes from design blogs. It’s just. so. meta.

GeodesicCurtainHannahAllijn.jpgIdeas include a bamboo bike (from Treehugger), a geometric curtain (from design*sponge), and bitchin’ gadgets like this crazy new thing called the iPod (from Gizmodo.)

We’re bustedly broke — no holiday gifts from us. But we’re accepting just about anything. So long as it’s hot.

Get Trigger-Happy


We’re staying at home today. But if we weren’t, we’d go check out trigger, an exhibition at the Center Gallery at Fordham University. Why? Because it’s all about graphic design. Which we love. According to curator Jacqueline Thaw,

trigger considers what graphic designers create from own interests and inspirations when they work without clients — when the designer is the trigger. These projects demonstrate a range of possible modes for graphic designers: personal, political, artistic, entrepreneurial, curatorial and hypothetical. Within this wide divergence of self-initiated work, there are recurring concerns with language, symbols, information and subject matter that tends to be more public than private. “In the service of commerce” describes how graphic design most often operates, but doesn’t define what it is. By looking at what graphic designers develop on their own steam, trigger reveals something about the essential nature of design. The exhibit celebrates this uncommissioned work, broadening the rubric of design to include it.

Artists include Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, Carin Goldberg, Matthew McGuinness, Illegal Art, and others.

Center Gallery, Fordham University at Lincoln Center, 113 West 60th at Columbus, M-F 10-8. Through February 3.

New York City A Different City Today

disaster-movie-new-york.jpgNews of the transit strike reached us this morning, half asleep and fully out of it, so we’re just now ramping up to understanding what it means for New York City. We’ve heard reports (Gawker’s keeping a running tab on what’s going on), but we’re curious in a sort of urbanistic way.

We’ve always been fascinated by infrastructure. But we’ve got no idea what happens when it breaks down. Anyone have any deep thoughts? Send them in. unbeige at mediabistro dot com.

Corporate Talked To Maira Kalman And She Rocked

a1407.jpgLast time we saw Maira Kalman she was playing the eggbeater at the Rose Reading Room, accompanying her Elements of Style Illustrated opera. This morning we saw her on the internets. Corporate (picked up by Ron the Galleycat, who explains the above image choice) interview.

Mediabistro: You discovered Strunk & White’s Elements of Style in a Cape Cod thrift shop–what was it about the book that made you want to illustrate it?

Kalman: It was an immediate “Aha!” moment, and it was reading a book that was clearly written by someone who was a wonderful writer. That was foremost. The book was also very funny–it was written with a lot of humor. It was humorous, and personal, and human–the exact opposite of what you expect a grammar book to be. It had the voice of the writer in it from the very first line. And it was very humanistic. I also love things that are disjointed, where one sentence just jumps to another sentence. And for me that kind of jumping from one thing to the other is really wonderful.

You Ever Seen 278 Square Feet? You Ever Seen 278 Square Feet Turned Awesome?

apartment051219_400.jpgThis week’s New York Magazine is a heartwarming, soul-melting roundup of reasons that they do and we’re supposed to love New York. Many of them we agree with (Lizzie Grubman?) and some of them we wish applied to us. Like Number 46: “Because two adults can make a chic and spacious home out of 278 square feet.”

You know, sometimes, it’s crazy when design can, like, change the way you live.

The Year In Architecture, As Funny As It Sort Of Was


Thanks to our bff at ArchNewsNow for pointing us in the direction of Small Practice Architects’ year-end summary of the highlights and lowlights of 2005. In case you forgot, things that happened in the last year included:


Protests halted development at the World Trade Center. Christian fundamentalists complained that East River elevations were facing Mecca. Grief counsellors pushed for weepier detailing. Security advisers insisted on integrated laser cannons and a moat filled with razorwire. Bird lovers said the ‘Species Fascism Tower’ would kill ‘thousands of innocent civil avians’. Donald Trump demanded a rebuilt Twin Towers with tighter skin, ‘smart wigs’ and a really good catchphrase. Victims’ families were advised by angels to employ their own lawyers.



America’s Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Katrina, prompting a record 9,500 masterplans for New New Orleans. All called for solar-powered jazz water taxis.

An informal charrette exploring issues of affordable housing was organised by the surviving occupants of a collapsed three-storey timber frame slum in Bangladesh.



Royal Gold Medallist Toyo Ito was freed by rescue workers after becoming trapped in an aesthetic of lightweight, permeable membranes.


More Dirty Dishes For Your Buck


A month or so ago we stumbled across James Victore and fell hopelessly in high opinion of his work. Mostly the more salacious bits, we’ll admit, but no pirate is perfect. Which is why we were glad to hear that Design Within Reach has extended his show, Dirty Dishes, through “the holidays.”

Design Within Reach, 408 West 14th St. Go.

‘Tis The Season… For Getting Advice

book_12.jpgWe’ve always tried to boycott the giving of Christmas (sorry, holiday) presents, and more often than not it works. This year, though, we’re trying to usher in a new era. A more sensitive, thoughtful, considerate one. Which is why we read the Architect’s Newspaper’s gift-giving guide, which includes spectacularities like the solar backpack, the Corb plans, and… Humble Masterpieces.

Because nothing says I love you like a story about a slinky.