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Eavesdrop Issue 13_07.27.2004
The latest dirt from our very own gossip columnist, Aric Chen.

The Cooper-Hewitt has had its difficulties in the past few years, but we had no idea how serious its e-mail problem was. And we're not talking about viruses or spam. It seems a bout of emailitiss recently prompted the design museum's administrators to schedule a somewhat infantalizing employee workshop on e-mail do's and don'ts.. With an excruciatingly thorough, 13-slide PowerPoint presentation obtained by EavesDrop, staffers were instructed on such matters as how to use the Reply-All function ((judiciouslyy) and the proper length of a subject line ((223 wordss). Reminded that E-mail is NOT an outlet for emotion,, they were also told to Avoid unnecessary repliess such as Thank youu and You're welcome.. And in case you're wondering, before sending any messages, one should ask oneself: Does it make sense?? Some of this is obvious,, acknowledges the museum's rep, Jennifer Northrup, who put the presentation together. But a lot of staff said they appreciated it and saw the need.. The presentation was subsequently e-mailed to workshop attendees (and then to ussoops!), with a note admonishing them to review it again and implement changes to [their] email habits.. It also announced yet another meeting in September to evaluate our collective emailitis.. There was no update on proposed potty training classes.

There's perhaps nothing worse than depriving Angelenos of their parking spaces. Especially when a big bad developer is to blame, and the victims are a bunch of architecture students who don't seem to like what said developer wants to build. Indeed, things are getting ugly between the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and developers Richard Meruelo and Daniel Villanueva. As first reported two weeks ago in the Los Angeles Downtown News, Meruelo and Villanueva plan to build two residential highrises on a 15-acre parking lot adjacent to the school, currently used by SCI-Arc students and staff. They're also reportedly trying to buy the land on which the school itself sits (which it currently leases). Needless to say, SCI-Arc doesn't like either proposallone faculty member we contacted disparagingly describes the towers as Miami-stylee?and filed suit to block the latter. The developers' response? In a classic tit-for-tat, they erected a fence around the parking lot, which locals have since dubbed the Berlin Wall.. They built it right against the building,, the outraged instructor says, so we not only lost our parking, but we couldn't even exit the building on that side.. We're told the fence has since been moved a few feet, but the battle rages on.

We hear Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote, who are also design- ing the main installation at this fall's Venice Biennale, are working on a top-secret project for Alessi. Rashid confirms that a collaboration with the celebrated design manufacturer is currently in its prototyping phase. However, he would only say that it will be an extension of what Alessi is known forr that also ventures into new territory, just as the kitchenware- and tabletop-maker has done with recent forays into bath fixtures and small appliances. When asked whether the commission has sparked any sibling rivalry with his ubiquitous brother, Karim, Rashid chuckled, No, he's a very busy guy and has lots of other clients..


Aric Chen