Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I have a whole bunch of posts in the works, many of which are waiting for one thing or another to go up, but in the meantime, a couple of interesting items.

First of all, definitely check out Charlie Rose's interview with Ada Louise Huxtable. I haven't agreed with everything she's said, but there's no question she is the preeminent architectural critic in the United States and possibly this entire hemisphere. It's a wonderful and charming conversation they have, and it's delightful to listen to her.

I found a few interesting connections in my research for work. Her late husband was the industrial designer Leonard Garth Huxtable (1911-1989). It's that he designed the Opera Café at the Metropolitan Opera House, which was allegedly replaced by their live broadcasting facilities in the late-1980s. He started out working with the Immortal Norman Bel Geddes. While with Bel Geddes, he was a member of the design team that created General Motors' landmark Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair.
--Photo courtesy the Discovery Channel.
He worked for GM for a while in Detroit, and then returned to New York to work at the office of Henry Dreyfuss, another colossus in the world of industrial design. Later he founded his own firm. He designed the delegate's desks and chairs and lounge furniture for the United Nations, a project led by Wallace Harrison (as was the opera house and to some extent the '39 World's Fair). He also created the glassware, china, and serving pieces for Philip Johnson's Four Seasons Restaurant. It's sort of very funny and ironic how much Ada Louise seems to hate Johnson's AT&T (Sony) Building. That's one thing I don't agree with; I think it's gorgeous and perfect.

Slightly related to my recent plumbing/ water purification rant, there's also this extremely interesting article about vertical farming in urban locations that recently showed up in the New York Times. I highly recommend it and hope the ideas put forth become a reality not too long from now.

I also had to show you the Corvette Rondine by Pininfarina, which debuted around 1963 and just recently came onto the market in California. It's absolutely exquisite:

Click them for slightly larger.
--Photos courtesy the New York Times.

©2009, Ryan Witte

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