Next month, visitors to the Elmhurst Art Museum in Chicago will be able to see Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979. On show at Elmhurst's McCormick House, a fitting venue designed by Mies van der Rohe, the exhibition will display the luxury decor and modern architecture often showcased in Playboy Magazine throughout the twentieth century. A Chicagoan himself, Hugh Hefner will likely be one of the few unsurprised to see the sizable effect his magazine had on contemporary aesthetic tastes. With addition of a few bunnies, Playboy magazine used mid-century modern furniture and modern architecture to form the dream bachelor pad. In the process, it created a look that appealed to millions across the country. The style portrayed in Playboy, essentially linking architecture and erotica, has mainly influenced cinema and TV. This influence can be seen in the Bond movie Diamonds are Forever (1971) where Hefner's bachelor pad is used in a scene. Further evidence rests in cult hit The Big Lewbowski (1998) where John Lautner's modernist Sheats Goldstein Residence, owned by pornographer Jackie Treehorn, is prominently shown in one scene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpZmyC49P64 Praise for Playboy's style has also come from high up in the architecture world. Architectural historian Reyner Banham said that it was “one of the greatest gifts to America and to Western culture” and “I will crawl a mile for Playboy.” Fellow historian Sigfried Giedion was slightly less complimentary. He commented that Playboy architecture was the epitome of the times, describing it as “Rushing from one sensation to another and rapidly bored.” As for the exhibition, photographs, films, architectural renderings, and decor will be on display alongside intricate scale models of the Playboy Townhouse. Naturally, Hefner's notorious mansions are a key figure in the exhibition, and scenes from films (as mentioned before) are shown as well. Also on display will be the "Big Bunny," the luxurious and extravagant aircraft was designed by Elmhurst resident Daniel Czubak for Mr. Hefner at the height of the Playboy era. Jenny Gibbs, the Executive Director of Elmhurst Art Museum, spoke of the role Chicago's architecture scene played with regard Playboy's development. “Chicago's modern architecture and design influenced cities around the world. Chicago-based Playboy magazine played no small part in that by championing Chicago architects like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright," she said speaking to Chicagoist. Originally curated by Professor Beatriz Colomina and Pep Aviles in collaboration with the Ph.D. program of the School of Architecture and the Media and Modernity program at Princeton University, exhibition has already been seen overseas, though this will be its U.S. debut. It will run at the Elmhurst Art Museum from from May 7 to August 28.
Posts tagged with "Lifestyle":
Tonight, Monday, November 9, at New York's AIANY/Center for Architecture, AN Senior Editor Matt Shaw will be moderating a book talk between Janette Kim and Erik Carver, the authors of The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform, a new book released by Princeton Architectural Press. Stop by at 6:00p.m. tonight for light refreshments and beautiful drawings alongside a discussion about the future of ecologically minded architecture and urbanism. The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform is equal parts architect's handbook and toolbox for effecting environmental change with the built environment. The book maps different approaches to energy management and performance to examine their implications for collective life. Underdome catalogs a spectrum of positions argued for by a diverse cast including economists, environmentalists, community advocates, political scientists, and designers. In turn, it highlights in architecture questions of professional agency, the contemporary city, and collective priorities in the face of uncertain energy futures. Check it out on our events page here.
Over time, architects, designers, and engineers have demonstrated how the structural significance and quality of architectural design impacts the built environment and the quality of life of people residing within it. To drive that point home, the AIA has released an infographic showing architecture's key role in the enhancement of individuals' physical and mental well-being. The interactive charts explore how design plays significantly more than an aesthetic function. It is not solely about linear or convex shapes, about geometric structures or innovative materials. Rather, the importance of architecture lies in the choices that architects make when designing buildings in order to positively affect the quality of life of its users. The infographic entitled "Designing Community, Shaping Health" was designed by Link Studio and depicts how diligent architectural decision-making can impact human life. The graphics show a variety of objects that the user is able to scroll over or click on in order to see their function and impacts. For instance, clicking on a staircase will explain in great detail how buildings that are not equipped with elevators ultimately benefit individuals through exercise. In fact, stair-climbers have a 20 percent lower risk of stroke or death than elevator-users. The AIA makes a point that architects are not just instrumental in the modeling of a building, but rather, how they contribute to the shaping of our happiness and unhappiness as well. AIA’s message is that design doesn’t just impact our lives. It can save them. View the infographic here.