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Eavesdrop: Aric Chen
The latest dirt from our very own gossip columnist, Aric Chen.

At this point, it seems even our Uncle Vinny has been tossed around as a candidate to take over Terence Riley's post as chief architecture curator at MoMA. So, could Riley's successor be Netherlands Architecture Institute director Aaron Betsky? Nope. (Betsky said so himself.) The historian Jean-Louis Cohen? Categorically not, Cohen told us. Former Wexner Center curator Jeffrey Kipnis? We hear Peter Eisenman, at least, wouldn't mind. Word has it that MoMA wants someone young(ish) who practices as wellljust like Riley, who was a relative unknown when he first took the job. Nevertheless, the latest rumors have UCLA architecture chair Sylvia Lavin as a major contender. One source went so far as to say that she's already in negotiations, though Lavin flatly insists that she's not. But is she a candidate? I think they've been talking to a lot of people,, is all she'd say. However, one thing seems for sure. None of the professional architecture curator types are on the list,, a well-placed source tells us. That means no Aaron Betsky, no Brooke Hodge, no Joe Rosa..

We've heard of toxic workplacessbut none quite like Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Disturbing reports are trickling in from the front lines at 36 Cooper Square, where eyewitness accounts tell us of unspeakable crimes against the olfactory. For about four months last year, we hear that a laser-cutting machine installed on the lower level of the firm's two-story office emitted such noxious fumes that staffers had to be outfitted withhbelieve it or nottGAS MASKS! No, not those little muzzly things that pop up during SARS outbreaks but full-facial, World War IIIstyle gas masks,, reports our spy. Everyone would come to work but find themselves preparing for chemical warfare instead.. And yet the haze was but a prelude to the firestorm. Eventually enclosed, we're told the fume-spewing machine later caught fire, setting off sprinklers throughout the entire building, where the offices of the Village Voice also got soaked. When asked about their gas problems, a snarky firm rep told us we do in fact use gas masks, quite often actually, regardless of noxious fumessSome people seem to have really taken to it.. Others, however, found the situation less funnyyincluding an apparently unsympathetic Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, whose personal offices were above the source of the problem. Anyone who left Liz and Ric's windows open, allowing the fumes to come in, would get a real screaming,, our Eavesdropper continues. But [Diller and Scofidio] seemed perfectly OK knowing that others had to wear gas masks downstairs..

Which high-profile, and sometimes toxic, office had such a problem getting its minions to clean up after themselves that we hear the firm's namesake female partner threatened to install a security camera above the kitchen? For the answer, see the item above.


Aric Chen