Point of View

The METROPOLIS Blog

December 2011

Q&A: Herve Descottes

12/23/11

Q&A: Herve Descottes

For our Leading Luminaries story, Barbara Eldredge and Derrick Mead interviewed eight of our top lighting designers. To create the article that appeared in our December issue, we pulled together all of their interviews and edited them into a group conversation. I think it represents a kind of state-of-the-union for the discipline. The following is an edited version of Eldredge’s lively conversation with Hervé Descottes, the founder of L’Observatoire International. –Martin C. Pedersen About five years ago, we identified day lighting as the next big thing in the field. So what’ today’s next big thing? It’s LESS. (laughs) Less? Less is definitely a lot more. What do you mean? Less color, less uniformity. Be more customized. It’s about precision. I think lighting...

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In Defense of the Incandescent

12/21/11

In Defense of the Incandescent

Jennifer Tipton's lighting design for "Spectral Scriabin" at the Lincoln Center in November 2011. Photo: Ruby Washington/The New York Times If you talk to lighting designers about new technology—as we did recently—it’s hard not to conclude that the incandescent bulb is headed for almost certain extinction. The reasons seem obvious: LEDs are a lot more energy efficient and much (much) longer lasting. What’s not to like? Well, for now, price. But once economics of scale are achieved and the cost of LEDs come down, then it’s simply a matter of time before the incandescent—at one time, a radical breakthrough in its own right—shuffles off into obsolescence.  And that has Jennifer Tipton, the legendary theatrical lighting designer, worried: “My biggest concern is that the...

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Frontiers of Design Science: The Network City

12/19/11

Frontiers of Design Science: The Network City

Cities rich in connections are more economically productive.

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Better Art for Better Living

12/15/11

Better Art for Better Living

Jonny Robles It was just another bright day in uptown Miami Beach, when the first art movers loaded in paintings to the 1950’s Morris Lapidus golden “Temple of Curves,” The Deauville Resort, for the Nada art show in preparation for Art Basel/Design Miami Beach. The neighborhood shop attendants at Rite Aid, Pizza Hut and bodegas, adorned with murals of neon flamingos that morphed into sexy girls, took their cigarette and mobile breaks and quietly watched the event unfold. Would they even enter the show? Imagine your town. Imagine a gold dusting and buzzing of high stakes international art dealers, collectors and celebrities drawn to the honey of private dinners, streets teaming with pilgrims jumping from alcohol to car and fashion brand-sponsored events, mobile phone touring...

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Eames: The Writers

12/13/11

Eames: The Writers

A documentary on the Eames team missed out on their most integral collaboration.

Posted at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

Places that Work: Welcoming Canine Companions

12/12/11

Places that Work: Welcoming Canine Companions

Recently while visiting The Shops at the North Bridge mall in Chicago, I came across a kind gesture: an amenity for people’s canine companions. This pet comfort station provides water and treats and clean-up bags for the responsible parties traveling with their pets. If you visit The Shops’ website before planning a trip there, you’ll find mention of the pet comfort station. In fact, it looks like people at the mall know this stop well and bring their dogs with them regularly. These days people seem so attached to their pets that they’re taking them on many different leisure jaunts. This makes good sense, according to researchers. You want a happy pet. After all studies have shown that there are positive psychological repercussions of pet ownership and being near small,...

Posted at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

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Examining contemporary life through design, architecture, interior design, product design, graphic design, crafts, planning, and preservation.