Design Criticism

There Is Something About Pier 17

The South Street Seaport is close to the Financial District, whose silver teeth mark the edge of Manhattan. However, the Seaport is a world apart from the Financial District in terms of its architecture. The Seaport area features some of the oldest, 19th Century commercial architecture in downtown Manhattan. These are low humble buildings in [...]

Washington Square Park

Written for Akiko Busch’s Spring 2013 Class Reading Design.

Diamonds in the Jungle

For the winter holidays, Bvlgari, Harry Winston, and Cartier decided to design their Christmas decorations with the idea of creating exciting gifts for those who can’t afford the experience of owning expensive diamonds. The three jewelers have turned part of the Fifth avenue sidewalks into a whimsical Jungle Wonderland – there is one snake, two [...]

The Beauty of a Cat and a Cup

Beauty. It’s a simple word, only six letters in length. For such a small word it does the work of a plethora. Beauty as a descriptor is as much about the object it is attributed to as the story the object tells. It incorporates physicality with memories and associations, denoting the qualities of those things [...]

It’s Personal

My grandmother, like many other aging ladies, happens to like fake flowers. She believes that they are beautiful and has a good collection of them decorating her apartment. When asked to explain her love for the artificial flowers, she says real flowers are too expensive. I argue that she could easily pick some from my [...]

Phenomenal Beauty

Shopping for an object of beauty seemed like a simple enough assignment. But that day at Muji and Pearl River amidst thousands of objects — a virtual beauty pageant of stuff — it was not coming easily. I wanted to select an object that was not just a token. I didn’t want a metaphor. I [...]

Fly-By Worship: The Typology of the Airport Chapel

Airports have often been characterized as “non-places.” Their architecture may differ on the outside, but the skin merely conceals the same combination of restaurants, shops, restrooms and gates on the inside. While the building itself serves as a connector between you and your destination, one space transcends the otherwise transient airport: the airport chapel. Approximately [...]

Letter From Detroit

I was sitting in the Telway diner around the edge of midnight. The Telway is a story in itself: a chrome island built during the 1940s, floating on a blighted stretch of Michigan Avenue. Telway is staffed by the Appalachian whites who long ago moved to Detroit for work and, more [...]

On Frozen Pond

Before setting foot or skate on the ice at Bryant Park’s Citi Pond, it’s important to put aside any notions of what skating outdoors should be. This is not the place for nostalgic laps under the open sky, or a chance to clear your head from the hectic hustle of the holiday season. This is [...]

Low-Fat Industrial: The Mochi-Moderne Phase of the Frozen Yogurt Vernacular

One of my favorite places in the sprawling, desert suburbia of Reno, NV was , a self-serve Las Vegas-based frozen yogurt chain.  I often frequented the place with a group of college girls, whose obsession with the low-fat, choose-your-own-adventure fro yo experience was infectious.  I soon found myself suggesting we “go get uSwirl”, something that [...]

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