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Eavesdrop: The Editors

Yes, They Can!

So never mind all that about the economic slowdown because it would appear that a win for Barack Obama and Joe Biden is a win-win for all American architects! Not only does their platform address infrastructural improvements and green-tech upgrades, Obama and Biden have both expressed that if they had not become politicians, they would have wanted to be architects (which, we hope, elevates the Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Awards to Academy Awards status). But Biden took his architectural aspirations a bit further, designing his own Wilmington, Delaware home! In 1997, Biden designed his family’s three-story Neo-Colonial-style home located on four lakeside acres. According to lore, there are even tales of him sketching plans during his daily Amtrak commutes to Washington.

Torching T Squares

In the Great Hall at Cooper Union, the culminating lecture on current work by some of the world’s most frequent-flying architects was delivered by Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Wolf Prix. The flashy three-screen powerpoint had some in the audience recalling the yesteryears when Prix said he wanted to be the Jimi Hendrix of architecture. It was hardly a surprise then that the woolly Austrian reacted fiercely when asked by someone in the dark (or obscured by a figurative if not actual column) how he would compare his work to that of Santiago Calatrava. Prix rejected the comparison barking out that the dove-drawing Valencian architect’s work is “Kitsch! Three-dimensional kitsch!”

Critical Condition

Which New York architecture critic showed up at a luncheon with an arm in a sling? “No, it wasn’t a disgruntled architect,” quipped the critic when asked what happened. The Pulitzer Prize–winning scribe, whose name we won’t mention (it rhymes with “old burger”), had been startled by a man from behind on the street, and thinking for a moment that it could be a friend, turned around and got a knock. Things happened so fast “that before I knew it he had slipped off my watch.” If you have the watch—we hear it is a Casio CA53W-1 calculator watch, very important to said writer for calculating the heights of tall buildings in reviews—please return it to AN c/o Eavesdrop Blind Item Victim Protection Program, 21 Murray Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10007.

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