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Posts Tagged ‘Nicolai Ouroussoff’

UnBeige Looks Back: The Year In Those People Who Aren’t Men

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We closed last year out with the bonus question asked at the now-famous panel on book design at the 92nd Street Y: What about that glass “cieling” in design?

This year it seems we were able to discuss the issue in a much more civil manner. Nicolai Ouroussoff had his theories about why it’s not happening for female architects, Zeldman covered women in the web design world, yet, on the other hand, we wondered why the entire craft industry seems to be populated exclusively by ladies.

Then all of a sudden–and completely by accident, they insist–mediabistro.com put together a panel on the future of design that featured five speakers, all women. Was it really that hard, then?

UnBeige is counting down our biggest stories of 2007, all day, right here.

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Nicolai Ouroussoff Tackles the Gender Debate for Women Architects

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The question “Is there a glass cieling [sic] in architecture?” was not asked per se at “Women in Modernism,” a panel held at MoMA last week, where architectural historian Gwendolyn Wright (and Modernist junkie) led a discussion about women who have had an impact on Modernism.

But reviewer Nicolai Ouroussoff has his own theories about that unscratchable glass ceiling, and they don’t sound so different from what we’ve heard from male graphic designers before:

A young architect with serious creative ambition is routinely expected to work endless hours for little pay. Recognition and high-profile commissions, if they materialize at all, typically arrive in an architect’s 50s–well past the typical age for starting a family. Not surprisingly, many of the most famous men in architecture today–now in their 60s and 70s–depended heavily on the support of their wives as they rose through the ranks. The wives ran their offices, raised their children and loyally bolstered their egos. But you won’t find their names on the front door.

He also points to another phenomenon, which definitely holds true for architects, perhaps less so for designers of other kinds: husbands and wives are working as teams in greater numbers than ever. Even though this working arrangement brings women much-needed prominence, it’s not necessarily preferable for minting female superstars:

And if it’s true that this cliche has now been mostly supplanted by another–the husband-and-wife team, working side by side at the computer screen–how does this help a woman striving to make it on her own? Who are her role models? In New York Lindy Roy, Annabelle Selldorf and Winka Dubbeldam are all important architects who are just starting to leave a mark on the city–without, I should add, husbands to balance their books and stroke their egos. But such examples are few and far between–and even they are still relatively unknown.

Herbert Muschamp Dies at 59

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We were hearing a few reports that design writer and former architecture critic for the New York Times Herbert Muschamp died last night, and the paper has just posted an obit by Nicolai Ouroussoff:

As the architecture critic for The Times from 1992 to 2004, Mr. Muschamp seized on a moment when the repetitive battles between Modernists and Post-Modernists had given way to a surge of exuberance that put architecture back in the public spotlight. His openness to new talent was reflected in the architects he championed, from Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel, now major figures on the world stage, to younger architects like Greg Lynn, Lindy Roy and Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto.

Thanks to our new all-access passes to the NYT archives, you can curate your own Muschamp tribute from his hundreds, maybe thousands of articles.