Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine June 2010


Size Matters

The first cubicle, Robert Propst’s Action Office for Herman Miller, was introduced in 1968. Ever since, workstations have been shrinking while the employees that occupy them have swelled. Women between the ages of 20 and 74 gained an average of 24 pounds between 1960 and 2002, after which their weight leveled off. Adult men have had a more dramatic climb,…

Student Power

With their famously interconnected ways, young activists show how teams can address complex problems.

James Irvine

talks about bossy clients, waiting for the royalties, and the “virtues” of Sarah Palin.

Greening the Urban Skyline

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING New York City America’s iconic skyscraper gets a retrofit aimed at cutting energy use almost 40 percent. Forty-three percent of New York City office space was built before 1945. So if the city stands a chance of significantly reducing its carbon footprint, it must begin retrofitting existing buildings. And perhaps there’s no better place to start than…

Retail Gold

A Brazilian program pairing designers and artisans produces covetable crafts—and a precious source of income.

Lights On

Even if you’re not yet familiar with the iGuzzini name, you know its work. The Italian lighting brand manufactures Piero Castiglioni and Gae Aulenti’s 1993 Cestello design, which the company’s president, Adolfo Guzzini, says is “the most copied light fixture ever, for sure!” And iGuzzini also collaborates with that other great Italian architect, Renzo Piano, most notably on the California…

From the Rooftops

Pitched-roof houses have an eternal appeal. Children draw them, and architects, it seems, like to stack them. Herzog & de Meuron’s retail building in Weil am Rhein, Germany (see page 28), opened just weeks before this oddly similar Inntel hotel in Zaandam, the Netherlands. To reinforce the notion of the hotel as a temporary home, WAM Architecten piled up what…

Family Tree

When George Nakashima’s daughter, Mira, stumbled across some of her father’s drawings from the early 1940s, she decided to make them into furniture as “an insight into his early creative process,” she says. She updated the designs, substituting maple for poplar and tweaking the scale to meet today’s standards. The resulting Shoki collection, which will be shown this month during…

Our Haus

Vitra’s new building by Herzog & de Meuron cleverly showcases the manufacturer’s residential designs.

Back to School

Education experts tell us that kids today learn in fundamentally different ways. Why haven’t our classrooms changed to reflect this shift? A new student chair and learning lab from Steelcase look to bridge the gap.