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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Architectural Eyewear and Curatorial Facial Hair

Last Sunday's Times Magazine focuses on the preservation of modernist architecture--something we bring up here every couple of months.

Anyone who has even a passing interest in architecture knows that it's impossible to talk about the topic without discussion eventually coming around to the ultra-important subject of architects and their eyewear. The Magazine doesn't let its readers down here.

First up is Deborah Solomon's Q&A with Oregon-based architect Brad Cloepfil who is leading the effort to transform 2 Columbus Circle (the topic of one of the recent Best of From the Floor features):

Can we look forward to seeing any lamps or other consumer products [a la Michael Graves] designed by you?
There's a lot of design energy going into eyewear. I'm designing glasses for Amy Sachs, a company based in Portland.
If there's so much creativity going into glasses, how come men and women are now wearing exactly the same frames, those overly small rectangles?
It's as if everyone wants to look like an architect. It must be. But if every banker tries to be hip, it kind of ruins hipness.

Actually, wouldn't making bankers more hip be an admirable undertaking?

The Magazine follows with a visit to the Greenwich Village studio apartment of MoMA architecture and design curator Terry Riley. It's nice to see that the ultimate taste-maker lives in the same boring, parquet-floored urban box that the rest of us do. And it's interesting to note that he has replaced his oven with a microwave. You do get what this means, don't you? When he's not eating at a benefit somewhere, Riley is warming up a Lean Cuisine at home by himself. You've got to wonder how many who got that e-mail are actually his nearest and dearest if he's never cooking dinner for anyone at home. But I digress. The zinger of the piece is this:

Pet peeve about architects:
It is a character flaw of many architects that they try to express themselves through their eyewear. I strongly urge them to work on this.

Ditto for curators and facial hair, Terry. Ditto for the facial hair.

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