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Archives: November 2005

We Want To Read The Works, This Time In A Well-Lighted Space


It’s been a time of books and learning over here: Humble Masterpieces in New York, Elements of Style Illustrated at our door, and now, The Works, first at St. Mark’s and now in our inbox.

We have the interest in how things work that a five-year-old does. Can’t really think of anything more exciting than learning how bridges get put into the river floor (apparently divers with single bricks are not involved?) or contemplating the awesomeness of airplanes. So we were psyched psyched psyched to stumble across The Works, an illustrated compendium of explanations about the city. Things like the subway. The life of a California carrot from seeding to New York restaurant. What a “humpyard” is is also explained.

It’s written by Kate Ascher and designed by Alexander Isley. And it looks awesome.

We Love Schadenfreude


Which is why we love Pitchfork Media’s feature on The Worst Record Covers of All Time. Via our standard bffs. Highlights include The Cranberries’ Bury the Hatchet, Genesis’ Foxtrot, and Chumbawumba’s Anarchy, which just hurts.

The Ganzfeld Looks Sweet, Even If It Isn’t Paranormally Inclined


We were blithely (as everything we do is) checking our email this morning, when we received a missive from our friend Phil Patton, subject line dollar store paintings, body See The Ganzfeld.

Being philistines, we had no idea what he was talking about, why we’d gotten this email, or what the Ganzfeld might even be. A click to every journalist’s favorite source later, and we discovered a site devoted to discussing the ganzfeld experiments, which provide “scientific proof of telepathy or clairvoyance.”

We were totally psyched and in the middle of setting up our mock sensory isolation chamber when we googled a little more and realized that Phil probably meant The Ganzfeld, the publication, which has returned from an eighteen-month absence with The Ganzfeld 4: Art History?, a “mammoth exploration of art history in questionable taste.” They describe further:

A special section is devoted to “artists on artists”, for which three generations–Peter Saul, Karl Wirsum, David Sandlin, and Marc Bell–drew stories about their influences: Salvador Dali, Dick Tracy, H.C. Westermann, and Philip Gustun. Also featured is a lengthy, brilliantly funny examination of Led Zeppelin’s Presence album cover, and features on thrift store paintings, obscure animators, Renaissance inventions…

It’s $30, so it’ll take a couple days of “working” for us to be able to afford it, but we’re looking for a copy. You should too.

Partying At Ground Zero Sure Does Add An Extra Kick To The Silverstein-Sponsored Chardonnay


We swore we’d never lose our critical integrity; never be bought, only to be sold and bought again; never succumb to the seductions of free lunches and the occasional bit of swag.

It was precious.

And true only before the Architect’s Newspaper sponsored our Friday night fun on the 48th (or 49th?) floor of 7 World Trade Center, developer-renamed into the completely acontextual 250 Greenwich. Got there around 7:15, walked past the monolithic (yet faceted!) base that hides the ConEd power station, into the lobby that was lit so that every single person looked like they’d come down with a horrific case of looking like shit, signed off on the list (we lied; we didn’t crash), got through the metal detectors, and up to the top.

Where we got out of the elevator and thought to ourselves, you know, UnBeige, looking out the windows from back here, it looks like there’s a pretty sweet view. So we went close to the windows. And looked down. And were like Oh. Right. That happened.

So we felt a little weird about it. And so did a lot of other people. But then we forgot, once we started seeing every single person who’s ever looked at a mayline and lives in New York. In the order in which we can remember:

Anthony “I Run Cooper” Vidler, Andy “Big Andy” Bernheimer, Ray “I’ll Take Manhattan” Gastil, Karrie “Quite Contrary” Jacobs, Philip “Sidekick” Nobel, Joanna “This Building Is Awesome” Rose, Michael “We Can Be Friends Now Even Though You Wrote That Thing” Arad, Larry “Drinks On Me!” Silverstein, Jesse “Competition” Reiser, Jason “Competitions With Reiser” Scroggin, Liz “SOM” Kubany, Nicole “CSJ” Oncina, Matt “LTL” Roman, Mary “ARO” Voorhees, Tom “The Man” DeKay, Andrew “Space Place” Blum, Anne “Constant Gardener” Guiney, Debbie “Articulate” Ganz, Kristen “ArchNewsNow” Richards, Tucker “Studio Red” Viemeister, Chee “Everywhere” Pearlman, Allan “So That’s Who That Is” Temko, Bill “This Is My Party” Menking, Diana “Bill, This Is My Party Too” Darling, Cathy “This Is So Also My Party” Ho, Ari “Pundit” Kelman, Julie “ID” Lasky, Julie “Elle Decor” Iovine, Sara “Awesome” Hart, Sara “Bitchin’” Moss.

We know we’re totally forgetting people, but we’re remembering others that we forgot before, so we’re assuming karma intact.

Can’t wait for Round 3.

The Starchitects Have Entered LA


We woke up this morning in a big of a state: party at the mass grave on Friday (full report TK), similar on Saturday, unbridled awesome last night. So we were a little put off to find an article in LA Downtown News (via ArchNewsNow) about celebrity architects and why they kinda suck sometimes.

Because we were kind of there already. And so, we thought, was the rest of the culturescape. Apparently not.

Sam Hall Kaplan writes

Developers looking on with interest also want to know if there is any basis to the gossip that, whomever the star architects selected, they all tend to be more temperamental, moody artist than stoic practitioner.

Gehry, check. Mayne, check. But we’re still a little confused about these stoic practitioners. We can’t see them. We can’t touch them. And we certainly can’t believe in them.

Yay! Drinking! At Ground Zero!


Apologies for the extreme paucity of bloggery today. We were on the road, Kerouac-ing to our frozen little hearts’ content, and just couldn’t make it to the interwebs in time. But we’ve learned a few things in the past two days that we’d like to share. One, New Orleans is pretty much fucked. Two, most studio architecture projects, while fascinating, can’t fix it. Because of a little thing we (don’t) like to call reality. Not that we’re anyone to throw a wet blanket at the glories of architectural pedagogy. Nope. We loved ours.

But we’ll drink to drown our memories, and make new ones to forget. Tonight, at the TAN second anniversary party. Which, in a stroke of party planning brilliance, will be overlooking Ground Zero. We can’t give the exact coordinates as we (and pretty much everyone else know) hasn’t actually been invited, but we’ll give a full party report once we make it past the pathos.

House & Home, Bloodsucking Version


We’re about to step off into the sunset of our pedagogy, but we couldn’t let a Thursday morning go by without a look at House & Home. Something about green building (which, we have to admit, we find only slightly fewer boring than the latest Quark features) which almost kicked us off the reading train until we saw the headline “I Vant to Drink Your Vatts.

Households across the land are infested with vampires. That’s what energy experts call those gizmos with two sharp teeth that dig into a wall socket and suck juice all night long. All day long, too, and all year long.

Okay. So we understand newspaper circulation is down. And it’s hard to get people interested in socketry. But going to the vampires? Somebody call Buffy.

Thinking About New Orleans


Today’s gonna be a short day; we’re up in Boston for a GSD review with none other than our drinking buddy/favorite THINKer Fred Schwartz, so we’re going to have to run. Internets in Massachussets aren’t quite as reliable as the ones in our busted walkup. But, because the studio is all about the rebuilding of New Orleans, we thought we’d share this fairly recent Metropolis story, “Rebuilding New Orleans: Twenty Big Ideas and a Postscript.” Which includes ideas like “use both sides of the river” and “build a broadband and wireless city” and “design for people to live where they work” and, our favorite, “bring back the music.”

There’s nothing like the joy of a studio takedown. We’ll try and fill back in later but we might just be rocking way. too. hard.

Bombay Sapphire Wants You


Every year the Bombay Sapphire martini glass competition rolls around, and every year we thank that great big marketing genius in the sky for giving us yet another shot at drinking for work.

It’s time again. Deadline is December 1, and they’re looking for a glass that can represent the US at April’s Salon del Mobile in Milan. Previous winners include Karim Rashid, Yves Behar, and the very tall Marcel Wanders.


Hey Award-Givers, If You Love Cameron Sinclair So Much Why Don’t You Marry Him


This is all getting a little ridiculous with the Cameron Sinclair awards, although it is heartwarming given that he signs his emails “eternal optimist.” Glass is always half-full for Cameron, founder of Architecture for Humanity, and now it looks like it might be inching up towards at least 50%. News just came in that he’s won the RISD/Target Emerging Designer Awards, which were announced at the Athena Awards two nights ago. And of course, because he [REDACTED] (rhymes with bears),

Upon receiving the award, Sinclair said, “it’s only fitting that half of this prize money goes to getting families back into their homes in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the other half to developing earthquake-resistant housing in Kashmir.”

Yeah, um, we’ll have what he’s having.