Sunday, April 19th, 2020
Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
What a gorgeous country revealed in this photo essay of contemporary life in Iran.
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
The Smithsonian Magazine excerpts Paul Hendrickson’s Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright. Among the gems:
- “…[Wright’s] 72-year career as an architect and egotist…”
- “…[Wright buildings] come magically out of the American ground looking for the light…”
- “…[Wright,] the old shaman…”
- “…There are certain moments, standing in [Wright homes], if the light is falling right, when it will begin to seem as if Whitman is singing to Emerson, or vice versa…”
Will the author spoil it for me though? Among the crisps are tonal annoyances such as beginning sentences with “Heck,”…
Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
Pictures of the glorious Soviet metro stations, a photography book by Christopher Herwig.
Monday, September 9th, 2019
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
The 1953 Bergren Residence, on the market for $2m, is a pretty Wrightian Lautner, especially around the fireplace.
Monday, October 8th, 2018
Saturday, May 12th, 2018
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
I keep referring back to this article by Kyle Chayka — beautifully and ironically illustrated by Daniel Hertzberg — and in a nice homologue I keep forgetting the term it coins, airspace:
It’s the realm of coffee shops, bars, startup offices, and co-live / work spaces that share the same hallmarks everywhere you go: a profusion of symbols of comfort and quality, at least to a certain connoisseurial mindset. Minimalist furniture. Craft beer and avocado toast. Reclaimed wood. Industrial lighting. Cortados. Fast internet. The homogeneity of these spaces means that traveling between them is frictionless, a value that Silicon Valley prizes.
The title says it’s sterile but is it? The word never appears within the article. Isn’t airspace more a vocabulary? Here in Brighton there are nasty pastiches of it (Tortilla: Real Californian Burritos and Tacos), lovely expressions (Gails Bakery) and sophisticated extensions (Smallbatch Coffee).
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Friday, October 13th, 2017
This is a video of a talk by Pamela Jerome on restoring the metalwork on both Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Guggenheim Museum together with a transcript. What an honor, to have worked on both masterpieces.
Friday, September 15th, 2017
A photo essay by Dan Frommer on attending Apple’s iPhone X event — its first at the Steve Jobs Theater.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Peggy Noonan opens and shuts the case on statues. To me it’s all very Taliban.
Saturday, June 24th, 2017
He had me with his first-paragraph mention of Trattoria Da Enzo, my favorite. I’ve forwarded to visitors this panegyric to Rome by the incoming New York Times’ bureau chief. A lot of attractive restaurants mentioned and described. [via Juan Carlos Bronstein, who was unimpressed by the tone, as are many others in the comments]
Sunday, June 11th, 2017
This fresh Los Angelino perspective on Frank Lloyd Wright tries to build the case that the somber Mayan style of the four homes he built in the city reflects the devastation of the mass murder at Taliesin a few years earlier.
Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Thank you, earthhandsandhouses.org. May the movement flourish…
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Francis Fukuyama coins and explains vetocracy. The intricacies are bamboozling—which is the point. Seems to me that fixing this is the first domino.
Friday, November 18th, 2016
Some tentative optimism from The American Interest: If the new Administration can both push infrastructure and simplify the regulatory process, “it will have proven that the Trumpian earthquake can in fact break certain decades-long patterns of bipartisan paralysis…”
This article features a list by Dan McNichol of suggested public works projects throughout the USA. He is author of The Roads That Built America, a history of the Interstate highway system (of which I actually have a copy).
Monday, October 24th, 2016
The New York Times sassily brings us up to speed on the revival at least in interest of Brutalist architecture.
Thursday, February 18th, 2016
Anyone who goes to [Beethoven’s] Ninth Symphony then sits down and designs a wallpaper pattern is either a confidence trickster or a degenerate.
Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Monday, March 9th, 2015
“Custome [sic] Granite Cuntertops [sic, no joke!] And New Sink Gives This Remodeled Kitchen A Modern Look.” These 8 photos by the proud illiterate builders are the first time I’ve seen such a travesty documented as they dismantle an original Frank Lloyd Wright kitchen and replace it with something that would be nice enough in a regular home but here is gruesome. The homeowner should be prosecuted.
Sunday, August 24th, 2014
Apprentice to Genius: Years with Frank Lloyd Wright
I ploughed through this. It’s the most vivid portrait I’ve seen of the apprenticeship itself. The chronology is a bit confusing at first—perhaps the book design could have made more clear that he’s jumping back and forth between his own beginnings and FLLW’s. The traffic cop encounter with Alexander Woolcott, the travels in the car as FLLW’s driver—great stuff. There could be more from Tafel as an architect—he was there on the great ones, such as Fallingwater and the Johnson Wax HQ.
Sunday, August 10th, 2014
My Father, Frank Lloyd Wright
John Lloyd Wright
Originally entitled My Father, Who Art on Earth, there are gems here that you can’t get from any of the other masses of FLLW books. I welled up when in Venice, when entering St Marks, it reminds John Lloyd of nothing else but his own childhood playroom. Just how great we can get?
Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Lots of good thought and results in Vincent Kartheiser’s (Mad Men) tiny Hollywood home.
Saturday, June 14th, 2014
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Frank Lloyd Wright: The Heroic Years: 1920 – 1932
Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer
A tad hagiographic but this one left me with a good feeling that unlike most Rizzoli books the text actually matters as well. Gorgeous drawings.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
The squat, the perch—a reminder that we are not designed to defacate in seating position.
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Saturday, January 19th, 2013
The 20 Most Popular Homes in Dwell. Many of these homes are small so encourage ingeniousness and are in general encouraging.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Gadamer’s Floor by Jacques Herzog, in which the Swiss starchitect relates designing the Tate Modern. Actually, forget it, it gets boring, drifting off to installations within the museum and other projects, as if the job itself wasn’t interesting enough to warrant an entire little article.
Given that this is the second time I’ve ended up at this story, I can’t miss adding it to the Trail: The best houses of all time in L.A. by the LA Times.
Monday, January 14th, 2013
Friday, December 7th, 2012
The 21st century’s first great house?
23.2 by Omer Arbel, in rural Canada.
I think Frank Lloyd Wright would have approved.
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
The changing face of London. A series of aerial photographs by Jason Hawkes posted as a slideshow in The Telegraph. Exciting.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Dutch scientists are testing self-healing concrete. The method is bacteria that produce limestone when wet.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Frank Lloyd Wright
Vincent Scully, Jr
As an architectural scholar, Scully writes less about the man than the buildings.
Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Frank Lloyd Wright’s House Beautiful
Maddex has made a career out of recycling and reordering Wright’s own writing, commissioning some nice photos, and presto, another book. It’s coffee-table, as the Amazon reviewers say of her stuff. Nonetheless, I did learn here that the magazine House Beautiful had an ongoing relationship with Wright.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
The Frank Lloyd Wright archives are moving to New York, reports Arch Daily; paper to Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library , models and prototypes to MoMA.
Saturday, September 1st, 2012
I’ve not understood why Frank Lloyd Wright houses sell for roughly the same as those next door. This New York Times article on real estate as art fobs off the question by discussing high-priced status apartments in New York, only obliquely mentioning a few FLLW houses.
Thursday, August 30th, 2012
I still can’t decide which is simpler: a single wall interrupted by a door, which is arguably three things, or a door next to a wall, which is definitely two.
Sunday, July 1st, 2012
Exhaustive and wonderful list of what Alli Magidsohn expects to miss upon leaving Israel after 7 years, published by the impressive David Horowitz’s new The Times of Israel. (Not so sure about “the ferocity of celebration here” though, at least among the non-religious.)
Monday, June 25th, 2012