Eavesdrop: Aric Chen

Eavesdrop: Aric Chen


There was probably enough hair product and cologne to start a forest fire at the recent Miami opening of Aqua, developer Craig Robins‘ gated island community of upscale homes and condos by architects Walter Chatham, Alexander Gorlin, Alison Spear, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Andres Duany, and Gisue and Mojgan Hariri. However, despite the soiree’s salsa dancers, DJs, and various other entertainments, nothing got as heated as the elevator in Spear’s building. It seems that Spear was confronted by a rowdy reveler who’d bought one of her apartments and was unhappy with some of its details. "You’re a terrible architect," he said, not realizing that Spear had little to do with them. He then got increasingly belligerent and rumors soon ran amock that he punched Spear in the nose, that Spear asked Chatham to punch the man in the nose, or that Chatham offered to punch him, also in the nose. "Everyone thought I got punched," Spear laughs, insisting that she wasn’t. "They were ready to call an ambulance. I did, however, ask Walter to punch the guy in the nose." She could have asked Robins. When he heard about it, he joked, "You should have gotten me, I would have taken care of the guy."


Last month, the White House once again hosted a luncheon for the Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Awards (or, had the President been there, the NASHernuh DEEsign Awards), where honorees including James Polshek, Bill McDonough, Yves Behar, Amanda Burden, Milton Glaser, and Yeohlee Teng mingled with Laura Bush. "It was very nice and very efficient," reports one award-winner. The lunch was so efficient, in fact, that it was determined that guests could do without knives, and so none were provided. "You didn’t really need one," our source admits, referring to the bite-sized fare. "But there was some roast beef on bread that proved a bit daunting." It seems the knifelessness was a security precaution, as was the fact that all of the guests had to walk, rather than drive, to and from the White House itself. There was, however, one exception: at the event’s conclusion, a black limousine pulled right up and whisked McDonough away.


If you haven’t heard, the Dia is indeed planning to leave its home in Chelsea—a rumor we first reported a year ago—for a site in the Meatpacking District. So we decided to ask artist Dan Graham about the fate of his Rooftop Urban Park Project, a walk-in glass cylinder within a rectilinear glass perimeter wall that’s been a fixture on the Dia’s roof since 1991. "I like [Dia director] Michael Govan, so I’ll work with him," Graham told us. Nevertheless, while the Dia seems committed to reinstalling the work (though, last year, they also told us they were committed to staying in Chelsea), Graham has been hesitant because of its site-specific nature. Among other things, its cylindrical shape references an adjacent water tower, while its current views of the city are integral as well. He also complains that the Dia has never been entirely forthcoming about the work; for example, he says that the institution never kept promises that it could be used as an outdoor performance space for the likes of Thurston Moore and Laurie Anderson. "I’m in denial about the future of my piece," he told us. We’re in denial, too. The Dia in the Meatpacking District?

LET SLIP: achen@archpaper.com