Design for the Other 10 Percent
We had to chuckle when we got the invite to the Ingo Maurer show at the Cooper-Hewitt: It is a big slab of Plexiglas, more suitable for use as a cocktail coaster than as entrée to a party. Not very sustainable, ladies and gentlemen! Apparently, the folks over at the museum didn’t get the memo that Maurer is a major hippie! Like, totally into being green and stuff! During a Q&A there, he raved about the freedom and experimentation he finds at Burning Man, the temporary city for 49,000-cum-arts festival in the Nevada desert. (Eavesdrop also went, and should add that it is also a great excuse to take off your clothes, though we were very, very modest.) To make matters worse, this year’s event was called Green Man! Because he was prepping for his show, Maurer couldn’t make it. Bummer, dude, but let’s meet at Center Camp next year!
Just an Old-fashioned Love Song, In Three-part Harmony
And from parts north comes word of an event we would have cut off a leg to have seen, that is, if we were ever organized enough to get on Metro North: At the Yale Art Gallery Auditorium, Peter Eisenman restaged a 30-year-old debate with Tom Wolfe on the merits of modernism as dean Robert A. M. Stern looked on. A wheezing Eisenman chided Stern for his use of ornament, to which Wolfe added, “I have seen him sin in that way.” Hey Tom: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!
The lovefest, however, quickly turned into a quarrel about campus architecture. Of Yale’s Collegiate Gothic buildings, Wolfe pronounced, “Everyone who has ever spent a year at Yale feels immensely grander because they have lived within the most spectacular example of conspicuous consumption.” Eisenman retorted with a jab aimed at both school’s new temporary swing space by Kieran Timberlake and the construction schedule for Gwathmey Siegel’s addition to Paul Rudolph’s A&A building, which will take its place. “We don’t feel richer in that building,” Eisenman said, “that building we’re going to be in forever.”
“You’re shooting yourself in the foot,” snapped Stern, who has banked a significant part of his legacy at Yale on the A&A renovation. “I don’t have any feet left,” replied Eisenman.
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