Monday, January 5, 2009

Recession Question: Now what do we do?

Left, The Eames chair, an enduring classic;
Right the Vermelha chair, by the Campana Brothers.

Few pictures better epitomize the gap between the modernist promise and the state of current design. The NYT helps us look at where we are and consider the way forward in its article "Design Loves a Depression."

This quote from the article sums up a prevailing thought:
The old paradigm — epitomized by shelter magazines like Architectural Digest and Dwell — that found romance in single-family homes, each with its own lawn, detached garage and septic system, may crumble under the weight of its wastefulness. One challenge will be for designers to coax us to a more efficient way of living, as the architect Lorcan O’Herlihy is doing with his light and airy schemes for multifamily dwellings in Los Angeles, a city where backyards and driveways are all but a birthright. Fewer buildings will go up, and the stock of mid-century buildings nearing the end of their lifespan will be thoughtfully reworked to make them efficient and in keeping with principles of sustainability.

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