When Eli Broad first invited starchitect Renzo Piano to enter the competition to make sense of LACMA’s chaotic cluster of buildings in 2001, Piano declined, adding that “it’s very frustrating to play a good piece by a string quartet in the middle of three badly played rock concerts.” Ouch, take that, weird clump of old LACMA buildings. Soon after, Rem Koolhaas’ design was chosen, a ballsy plan that involved demolishing most of LACMA’s existing structures and building new galleries. Luckily, Broad and Co. came to their senses, threw out Koolhaas’ ridiculous idea and begged Piano to reconsider.
“Why Design Now?”, the latest exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, poses a pretty silly question. I can’t think of a single reason not to design now or ever, for that matter. But if there are any skeptics out there, the plethora of good ideas and amazing, major-problem solving solutions in the form of everything from product design to community planning will surely shut them up.
The invisible streetlight wraps around branches, integrating itself into the surrounding environment.