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Volume 33 Ansuya Blom Jimenez Lai Shane Krepakevich Inara Nevskaya Philippe Rahm Klara van Duijkeren Vincent Schipper Andrés Jaque Ignacio González Galán Ronald Rietveld Erik Rietveld Petra Blaisse Mark Pimlott Adam Frampton Jonathan D Solomon Clara Wong Simona Rota Ernst van den Hemel Rob Dettingmeijer Agata Jaworska Dirk van den Heuvel Brendan Cormier James Khamsi Ethel Baraona Pohl Anna Puigjaner César Reyes Nájera Hans Venhuizen Jessica Bridger Carrie Smith Vincent van Velsen Lin Ying Tzu Mehruss Jon Ahi Armen Karaoghlanian

Playboy Architecture inside

Interiors | fall 2012

Still from Barbarella. Copyright Dino di Laurentiis Cinematografica, Rome

Archis 2012 #3 Per issue € 19.50 (nl, b, d, e, p) Volume is a project by Archis + AMO + C-Lab …

To beyond or not to be

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SUBSCRIBE NOW www.volumeproject.org/subscribe

Archizines. Exhibition World Tour Autumn 2012

Osaka 1–17 September 2012 design museum de sign de >

Tokyo 21–23 September 2012 KUAD · TUAD gaien campus

Bratislava 5 – 23 November 2012 Slovak Technical University

Curated by Elias Redstone

Paris 6 – 27 September 2012 Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture

Brussels 5 October – 3 November 2012 Faculté d’Architecture La Cambre-Horta (ULB)

Dublin 15 November 2012 – 12 January 2013 Irish Architecture Foundation

A showcase of new architecture magazines, fanzines and journals from over 20 countries around the world.

Helsinki 12 – 29 September 2012 Artek Helsinki

www.archizines.com

Volume #32 Centers Adrift Centers are on the move: are you in or are you out?

Volume #31 Guilty Landscapes The creative use of guilt

Volume #30 Privatize! We are all individuals

Volume #29 The Urban Conspiracy The grey take-over of city and society

Volume #28 Internet of Things When things start talking back …

Volume #27 Aging Life beyond the nursing home

Volume #26 Architecture of Peace How can we materialize peace?

Volume #25 Getting There Being There Living on the Moon

Volume #21 The Block Housing for the billions: mass-produced, custom-made

Volume #20 Storytelling Another way of understanding our era

Volume #19 Architecture of Hope Design for a multicultural society

Volume #18 After Zero A new contract with ecology

Volume #17 Content Management Collecting, organizing and sharing information through architecture

Santiago de Chile 17 October – 11 November 2012 Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre Library

SOLD OUT!

Volume #24 Counterculture How protest informs architecture

Volume #22 The Guide Architect as guide, guide as architecture

Volume #23 Gulf Cont’d The Gulf inside-out: forces, experiments, influences

SOLD OUT! SOLD OUT!

Volume #16 Engineering Society New options for social engineering

Volume #15 Destination Library Method and canon for the architecture of library 2.0

Volume #14 Unsolicited Architecture Unsolicited Architecture: the pro-active practice

Volume #13 Ambition Architect’s ambitions in a landscape of misguided purpose

Volume #12 Al Manakh History, culture and architecture of the Gulf region and beyond

Volume #11 Cities Unbuilt Architectural dimension of destruction – special focus on the Caucasus, Kosovo and Lebanon

Volume #10 Agitation Agitation as vitalizing condition for architecture

Volume #9 Suburbia On opportunities for suburbia after the crash

SOLD OUT!

Volume #8 China New ideas about the future of the Chinese city

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Volume #7 Power 3 On architectural thinking as foundation of power structures

Volume #6 Power 2 Power at the scale of the building

Volume #5 Power 1 A photographic essay focusing on the relationship between power and architecture

Volume #4 Shareware A portable exhibition of ideas to break through architecture

Volume #3 Broadcast On methods and potentials of broadcating architecture

Volume #2 Do less! An analysis of the architectural will and how to decide on the right dose

Volume #1 Beyond On going beyond the office, the school, and the magazine

Archizines Live: Publishing Provocations at the Venice Architecture Biennale, hosted by Salon Suisse 21 November 2012

The touring exhibition was initiated in collaboration with the Architectural Association, London, and Folch Studio, Barcelona. For more information about the tour and related events visit archizines.com.

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Volume 33 Interiors Table of Contents

For years, the interior played second fiddle to ‘proper’ architecture, but there are signs a shift is taking place. Stagnant economies, shrinking populations, environmental imperatives, all signal that there is less reason to build, and more reason to make better use of what we have. Digging deeper, we find the interior is a powerful marker of who we are and what we want to be; ‘lifestyle’ in other words. Political ideology, social norms and psychology all get played out on the inside. The interior relates intimately to the society we live in, and it’s up to us to understand this dynamic, provoke it. Like the old adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, let’s ‘open up’ architecture and take a closer look inside.

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Editorial – Arjen Oosterman

Fashion Shoot 81

Big Exit – Simona Rota

Letter to the Editor 4

Memory is Hunger – Ansuya Blom

Deep Thoughts 92 The

Table Talk 6 Character Plasticity – Jimenez Lai 9 Domestic Climates – Philippe Rahm 12 Growing and Cut – Shane Krepakevich 14 Soft Dimensions – Inara Nevskaya 18 Notes Towards an Imperfect Interior – Klara

van

Duijkeren and Vincent Schipper Encounters 22 Society Building Interiors – Andrés Jaque Interview 29 Designing with Vacancy – Ronald and Erik 34 39

Rietveld Interview Chance and Control – Petra Blaisse Interview Interiority Complex – Mark Pimlott Interview

Porous Space of Conviction – Ernst van den Hemel 96 The IKEA Dream – Agata Jaworska 101 Privacy on Display – Rob Dettingmeijer 106 To Imagine (an Image of) a World of Images: The Dream Houses of Andreas Angelidakis – Dirk van den Heuvel 111 Misbehaving: Radical Behaviorism and Counterculture Environments – James Khamsi 116 City Planning the Interior – Brendan Cormier 118 Blurring the Kitchen Work Triangle – Ethel Baraona Pohl, Anna Puigjaner, César Reyes Nájera 123 Inside Architect: Public Space from the Inside – Hans Venhuizen 126 Control, Lifestyle and the Supermarket – Jessica Bridger

Travelogue

in the Sky – Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon, Clara Wong

Volume 33

44 Streets

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Playboy Architecture 1953 – 1979 Beatriz Colomina, editor

At Your Leisure 130 Plants and Twees – Carrie Smith 134 The Neo-Liberal Make-Over Take-Over

– Vincent van Velsen and Lin Ying Tzu 140 2001: A Space Odyssey Analysis – Mehruss Jon Ahi and Armen Karaoghlanian 144 Colophon 144 Corrections / Additions

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Domestication BY arjen oosterman

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of interviews and reviews, but also with the right spatial surroundings, the correct setting for such a life. Furniture, apartment, and house were all part of a particular profile that the urban man and reader of Playboy would want to identify with. One of the interesting finds is that this was an almost exclusively interior world. In the early 1970s, the Dutch Goed Wonen merged with an architecture magazine and shifted its atten­ tion to the social dimensions of the city. This was not by coincidence as it was the period in which interior space became contested, as expressed by squatting. This movement revolutionized not only received ideas of property and (spatial) rights, it also revolutionized the very notion of living. It didn’t take a Rietveld chair, Pastoe cupboard, or a Bruynzeel kitchen – not even a three-room apartment – to live a decent urban life. The aesthetics of the house and its spatial arrangement were as subject to revolt as ownership, fashion, and looks. We don’t have to spell out all the events since. The interior became subject to fashion society-wide and fully part of consumer logic, aggregating more and more ‘capital’ inside. On average, westerners spend most of their lives indoors. These internal worlds (home, office, leisure) have become almost transparent and intermingled to a considerable extent, but they still exist and will do so in the near future. We’ve seen inventions like the open kitchen, the loft, the flex office, and more. We’re witnessing a major shift in architecture from

Volume 33

If I say ‘battlefield’, do you think ‘interior’? If I ask: “who shapes society?”, would you answer: “The interior architect”? Less than sixty years ago, the battle for eman­ cipation and class education was fought on private territory: inside the apartment. Today one’s house is supposed to be an expression of one’s individuality, but in those days the interior was subject to ideology and class struggle. During the first phase of the industrial city, newcomers in Western European cities had to be educated to behave like citizens: clean the house, manage waste, mind the children, in short conform to urban social rules. The right to live in a social rental apartment would be the reward for disciplined and confirmative behavior. After the Second World War, the focus of attention shifted to how to live a modern life: clean, healthy, and there­fore happy, with simple, well-designed modern pro­ducts in spartan, light, efficient spaces. One of Archis’ predecessors was dedicated to this very task. Inspired by social-democrat and modernist ideals, monthly magazine Goed Wonen [Good Living] showed what a good interior should look like as part of a program of education and emancipation. On the other side of the world a magazine with a seemingly different focus had a similar goal to educate via the interior. Included in this issue is research on Playboy’s role in creating ‘the bachelor’, a new ‘specimen’ in society at that time. Beatriz Colomina’s research shows that Playboy actively promoted and in part even invented this ‘man of the world’. It came with the right products as repre­ sented by its advertisers, with the intellectual profile

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constructing new to re-using existing spaces over the last years (again, in the western world, but other regions will follow) due to the economic crisis, but also stimulated by the whole sustainability debate (on average, it’s more sustainable to maintain than to construct). But despite this history and despite recent developments, we hear little or nothing from archi­ tects about the interior as subject for research and design. We hear very little from interior architects in general. Well for those with really good ears, some quarreling over professional boundaries can be over­heard. In some countries an interior architect is something other than an interior designer. And the interior designer (who shouldn’t touch construc­ tion) is not the same as the interior decorator. All three have their specialty, but apart from make-over TV shows, their status is relatively low, certainly in comparison with architects, urban designers, and urban planners. Maybe related to this status issue is a tendency among interior architecture schools to include the ‘urban interior’ in their curriculum. Curiously these departments are predominantly part of art schools, and rarely connect to technical uni­ versities, which separates interior architecture from the larger scales. This move ‘into public space’ could be thought of as defensive or flight forward, it can also be seen as forward-looking, in the sense that this fusion of public and private is played out in both domains. So instead of moving into new territory and leaving old territory behind, interior architecture could claim and create a pivotal role.

Volume 33

It would certainly be a good thing to include the interior in our thinking about society and its futures. And also to realize that the private interior is just as political as the town square or the internet. Archi­ tecture has ‘always’ claimed to do more than accom­ modate function and program, so now it’s interior architecture’s turn to provide more than comfort in private space; a more inclusive approach would be needed. There is a world to be had in creating arrangements that take flexibility and temporariness serious and start from interaction. 

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1.

A “I like your apartment.” B “It’s nice, but it’s only big enough for one person – or two people who are very close.” A “You know two people who are very close?”

B “When I look in the mirror I only know that I don’t see myself as others see me.” A “Why is that, B?” B “Because I’m looking at my­ self the way I want to see myself. I make expressions just for myself, I don’t make expressions other people see me make.” “I want to look in the mirror A

Jimenez Lai is sitting in a gallery space at the London Architecture Foundation drawing furiously. He is occupying his own installation, Three Little Worlds, living there for eighteen days as an experiment in performance, framing, exposed domesticity and, what he calls ‘character plasticity’. At its root the installation looks at the degree to which an architectural situation affects our behavior. The ‘caveman’ paintings he’s working on start to fill up the space, while from behind a plate-glass window that separates him from the street, people watch.

and see nothing. People are always calling me a mirror and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see? I like that I don’t exist today.”

B “Maybe you make better expressions when people stare at you.” A “Or maybe I really don’t enjoy being stared at all day, or sitting by the windowsill with strangers glaring or tapping on the glass.”

B “Oh, A,” [said impulsively] “You should be an actor! That way you’ll never feel this way. You’ll always be some­ one else, and always with better expressions. Imagine that, a grown man running around pretending to be dif­ ferent people.” A “Sure. But I can’t do unattractive things in public – nose picking, slouch on the couch… I just don’t feel I can be myself here.”

B

“Isn’t it great to be someone else sometimes?”

B folded her clothes as she packed. Her cleanliness was making me a little jealous. 2.

We attempt better facial expressions when we have the awareness of being watched. In private, people generally don’t desire to make better facial expres­sions, groom their hair, sit with good posture, or dress well because no one is watching. Being watched transforms a person to become a slightly different character, with an appli­ca­ tion of man­ners, depending on who is watching. Whether the watcher and the watched are love interests, pro­ fessional affiliates, or simply strangers, the dynamic will influence the behavior. As well, the position, distance, and location between the watcher and the watched will contribute to the bond. This is to say, the relation­ ship between two people can encourage character plasticity, and architecture can directly establish such relationships. Frames, platforms, stairs, and windows are some of the ways that architecture can directly induce character plasticity. A plat­form, for example, can elevate

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someone to a higher ground than other people – this simple act establishes a social hierarchy, where the person on the pedestal becomes the spectacle and can no longer be anonymous among the masses. Conversely, stairs can reverse the height relationship by making the lower position the spectacle. This type of engaged performance demands the watched person to heighten their notable at­ tributes and diminish the unat­trac­ tive ones. Windows, on the other hand, can partially frame a person and create a mystery narrative. If a person is only framed around the foot, this reveal leaves many clues to the watcher as to what kind of shoes, socks, gender, and size the person behind the window is. This can only invite the watcher to curiously imagine the rest of the picture, and project their own fantasies. In doing so, the weight of character plasticity shifts heavier to the watcher than the watched, as the watched may or may not be aware of an external surveillance. The watcher now transforms into a voyeur, or a flâneur, a wanderer partaking in the fragments of the city and its culture. Three Little Worlds, my installation in the London Architecture Foundation, is ingrained in the abovementioned thoughts. The relationship between perfor­ mances, public/private, framing, exposed domesticity, and character plasticity form the composite core of this exploration. Furthermore, this project wants to con­struct a stage for stories – the frames are physical comic book frames that a person can walk into to become a different person. The visitor stepping into the frame will be fully aware of its transparency to the outside, since they saw the frames from the storefront before entering the gallery. The visitor inside the frame completes the piece, as the awareness of surveillance transforms the visitor into a performer. At the same time, the glass barrier and dis­ tance erases the immediacy, as the exchange of stares can be gratuitous with little consequence. I lived inside the piece for eighteen days as an experiment to decon­ struct privacy and break the typical domestic diagram. In addition, I painted ‘cave paintings’, remembering the plans and sections of buildings that I like and then cartoonishly reenacting them. The windows that frame the three frames also frame the cave-painting mural, with a transformed character swerving between the layers. Initially conceived as a previous working title, Hefner Beuys House, this project also wanted to ask the question: who is the extrovert between Hugh Hefner and Joseph Beuys – who represent two different kinds of perfor­ mance artists – when Beuys took himself out of context and staged his life, whereas Hefner merely invited people to his own house?

Table Talk

By Jimenez Lai

Volume 33

Character Plasticity

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Three Little Worlds, installation at the London Architecture Foundation

Volume 33

Photos Daniel Hewitt

Table Talk


05:00 am

sleeping

05:00 am

stumbling home

06:00 am

working

06:00 am

sleeping

06:00 am

sex

07:00 am

leaving

07:00 am

sleeping

07:00 am

coke + sex

08:00 am

sleeping

08:00 am

dancing

08:00 am

3.

Another accompanying facet to Three Little Worlds was the drawing Cartoonish Metropolis, where an urban section through a set of towers reveals an interior with episodic and pluralistic rooms, where no one room is alike. The physical installation Three Little Worlds can also be thought of as an excerpt of the drawing, a frag­ mented physical blow up of this reality. This drawing is a counter-argument to Koolhaas’ article Typical Plan; perhaps it is true that towards the end of the twentieth

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century, there was a spirit of the times that yearned for the stacking of generic spaces. However, we are now witnessing the aftermath of such a spirit – typical plans encourage typical behaviors. It encourages monoculture: a world where being crazy is rare and striving for the typical life is the expected way. The ongoing mutation of culture, however, needs more crazies. It is through misbehavior that newness can be uncovered, rehearsed and emerge out of sameness. 

Table Talk

waking up

Volume 33

Three Little Worlds

05:00 am

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Travelogue

Streets in the Sky By Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon, Clara Wong

Shun Tak Centre & Sheung Wan .............................p. 36 IFC & Exchange Square ............................................p. 38 Central.........................................................................p. 40 Graham Street & Soho ..............................................p. 44 Admiralty.....................................................................p. 46 Wan Chai.....................................................................p. 50 Lockhart Road Municipal Services Building .........p. 52 Causeway Bay ...........................................................p. 54 Taikoo Shing & Quarry Bay ......................................p. 56 Olympic .......................................................................p. 66 West Kowloon.............................................................p. 68 Tsim Sha Tsui West ....................................................p. 70 Tsim Sha Tsui East .....................................................p. 72 Hung Hom ...................................................................p. 74 Temple Street .............................................................p. 76 Mong Kok ....................................................................p. 78 Mong Kok East & Bird Street ....................................p. 80

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1887 Coastline Current Coastline

76 Kowloon

Drawing Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon, and Clara Wong

While in the eighties Hong Kong took the Asian spotlight for its vibrant film industry, bustling street scenes, and accessible brand of capitalism, since then attention has drifted to Shanghai, Beijing, and beyond. But worry not, Hong Kong has kept its cool; and still has plenty of curb appeal for the intrepid urban voyager. Take for instance its vast network of elevated pedestrian streets, footbridges, and escalators. The city has taken three-dimensionality to heart by adding extra layers of infrastructure to manage what is one of the most congested cities in the world. Lucky for you, there’s a guidebook out there to help you manage these streets in the sky. In Cities Without Ground, Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon, and Clara Wong take you through the vast interior public world of Hong Kong’s pedestrian street network. With this guide you can travel for miles and miles without ever touching the ground: an interior world superimposed on the city. In an age of rapid urbanization and unstable climate, might this be a model for the future?

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Current Coastline 36 1887 Coastline 56

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1 km

Volume 33

Hong Kong Island

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...IFC mall is a hub for more ferries from outlying islands, more trains from the airport, and buses from all over the city...

Central Star Ferry Pier

Sunday Organic Farmers' Market

Ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui

Expat Convergence

Travelogue

IFC & Exchange Square

Red Bar

Isola Ferry to Peng Chau, Mui Wo

002

Permanent Air Quality Protest

Rooftop G Ferry to Cheung Chau Ventilation Stack Clinique Ferry to Yung Shue Wan, Sok Kwu Wan 3 stories

2, 4X, 15, 25, 94, 94X, 511, 722, 780, 780P, 962A

Ferry to Discovery Bay

ZARA

Palace IFC Cinema

Yo Mama Y-3

CitySuper

One

Club Monaco

Commuter Convergence

High-En Ferry to Park Island

Four Seasons Hotel

Teenager Convergence

621, 681, M47

Amateur Fishermen

2, 12, 4X, 780, 780P, 94X, 722, 962, 948, 948P, 307

Harbour Building Sunday Domestic Workers Gathering

Tung Chung Line to Kowloon

Questionable Water Quality

“Save the Children” Activists

Shun Tak Centre & Sheung Wan p. 36 38

N

Infinitus Plaza

Volume 33

Airport Express Line to Kowloon, Tsing Yi, Airport, and AsiaWorld-Expo

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Drawing Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon, and Clara Wong

Travelogue

Sunday Domestic Workers Gathering Central Harbourfront Two IFC

Tourist Convergence

Red Bar

002

“Greenpeace” Activists Rooftop Garden Professional Musician Performs

Religious Activist Central p. 40

Brooks Brothers Jill Stuart

Jardine House

Clinique

3A, 7, 71P, 91, 94, 621, 681

Exchange Exhibition Hall Businessmen Banter HSBC Premiere

IFC Mall

Exchange Squares 1&2

Lunching Shopgirls

ce IFC Cinema

8, 22, 54, 55

Y-3

The Forum

In-Town Check-in

Sunday Domestic Workers Gathering

One IFC Exchange Square 3 High-End Flats for Sale

Tourist Convergence

Hang Seng Bank Headquarters

C

001

Central Market p. 42

ung Chung Line to Kowloon

Hong Kong Station

100 Queen's Road Central

Amateur Musician Performs Graham Street & Soho p. 44

Tung Chung Line to Kowloon

Volume 33

1887 Coastline Approx. 460 m to Current Coastline

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Cities Without Ground, Oro Editions, 2012 Adam Frampton, Jonathan D Solomon, Clara Wong For more information visit: http://citieswithoutground.com/

2, 4X, 5X, 6, 6A, 7, 11, 12, 15, 25, 30X, 66, 70, 70P

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Volume 33

Travelogue

Photo Cyrus Penarroyo


Architecture 1953–1979

2–5 Beatriz Colomina Radical Interiority: Playboy Architecture 1953–79 6–7 Yetunde O. Olaiya The Mobile Pad: Automotive Interior Design in Playboy 8–9 Britt Eversole The Chairman’s Pad, or the Problem of the Playboy Architect 10–11 Enrique Ramirez The Playboy Jet Age 12–15 Daria Ricchi Playboy Mansion West 16–17 Pep Aviles Interior Attire, Exterior Style 18–19 Marc Britz The Grotto: Playboy’s Geology of Morals 20–23 Margo Handwerker Planning Playboy’s Pads in Chicago 24–25 Margo Handwerker Buckminster Fuller and Playboy 26–29 Vanessa Grossman Chrysalis's Pneudome, a Bubble-PadSurvival-Kit or London Meets L.A. Federica Vannucchi Playboy Architecture: Voyeurism and Surveillance 30–31

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© Burt Glinn/Magnum/HH.

The warning comes early, in the editorial of the very first issue of Playboy magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover and the promise of her naked body inside: “We don’t mind telling you in advance – we plan on spending most of our time inside. We like our apart­ ment. We enjoy mixing cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph, and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discus­sion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.”1 The playboy man is an indoors man. But why “we don’t mind”? Why would they mind? What’s there to mind? The editorial is clear. Other magazines for men “spend all their time out-of-doors – thrashing through thorny thickets or splashing about in fast flowing streams.” The playboy is a different kind of animal. He is also a hunter but the metropolitan apartment is his natural habitat. He knows everything about it and keeps adjusting it to better catch his prey. In fact, he cares more about the lure than the catch. It is the apartment itself that is the ultimate object of desire. The playboy and his magazine are all about architecture. This philosophy is embodied in the figure of Hefner himself, who famously almost never left his bed, let alone his house. He literally moved his office to his bed in 1960 when he moved into the Playboy Mansion on 1340 North State Parkway, Chicago, turning it into the epicenter of a global empire and his silk pajamas and dressing gown into his business attire. “I don’t go out of the house at all!!!… I am a contemporary recluse”, he told Tom Wolfe, guessing that the last time he was out had been three and a half months before and that in the last two years he had been out of the house only nine times.2 Fascinated, Wolfe de­ scribed him as “the tender-tympani green heart of an artichoke”.3 Even when Hefner went out, he was not really out, but wrapped in a succession of bubbles, all designed to extend his interior: the specially outfitted vehicles; the Big Bunny jet, a stretched DC-9 designed by Ron Dirsmith, the architect of the mansion, with a gourmet kitchen, a dancing floor, a living room/conference space, discotheque, a wet bar, state-of-the-art cinemascope pro­ jectors, sleeping quarters for sixteen guests, and Hefner’s suite with shower and an elliptical bed covered with Tasmanian opossum skins; the home away from home of the Playboy clubs, starting with the Chicago club in 1960 and rapidly grow­ing from seven Playboy clubs in 1963 to seventeen by 1965 and ultimately thirty-three around the world. Playboy is produced in a radical interior and is devoted to the interior, devoted like a lover. The magazine was filled with interiors from the very first issue. No detail of domestic space is left untouched, from the furniture, lighting, hi-fi, and dress code, to the mixing of a good martini. The first page of the first issue of the magazine, facing the editorial, shows a cartoon of the proud playboy (a male bunny) at home in his pajamas and bathrobe, standing beside his modern furniture, high­ lighting the Hardoy Butterfly chair of 1940, which became a signature piece in the playboy interior, often acting as a kind of portable home for the Playmate. Already in the second issue, a feature on naked playmates keeps describ­ ing in detail the ‘modern’ design, flooring, and furnishings of the California ranch-style house where the models are photographed. “Some say you can judge a man by the way he furnishes his home”, the article sympto­matically begins, in what will become a kind of mantra in the mag­azine.4 Design is the key to the Playboy lifestyle. Frank Lloyd Wright and Wallace Harrison are praised in the fourth issue for bringing modern design to the house

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Beatriz Colomina

Radical Interiority: Playboy Architecture 1953–79

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and the skyscraper. “The exciting simplicity of modern architecture” stimulates Playboy. The role of design for Playboy becomes even clearer when the next issue provides a guide to the twenty-five steps of a successful conquest. The sequence is mapped in a modern apartment as if the layout and equipment itself choreograph the dance of seduction. As the playboy maneuvers his prey towards the bed, each detail of the apartment assists the movement. Not by chance does the journey begin with the lightweight curves of the butterfly chair and the deep sensuous folds of Eero Saarinen’s 1946 Womb chair, another signature chair of Playboy. It is as if the designers are in the room, helping out. The Playboy apartment is a cocktail of modern design, martinis, and music. Far from simply providing an array of seductive images, Playboy analyzes the architecture of seduction. It offers a kind of user’s manual to the reader. And in the end, the sophisticated playboy needs to know more about modern design than about women. Everything is seen through the lens of design. Even a spoof on psychoanalysis offers a detailed drawing of the couch and plan of the room. Likewise, the movement of furniture is broken down, as are the precise movements of the martini production. Playboy relentlessly dissects each dimension of the interior. This dedication to the perfected interior culminates in September 1956 with the Playboy Penthouse – the first Playboy designed apartment lavishly illustrated in an eight page spread, longer than any typical feature, and continued with another six pages in the following issue. Rejecting the convention in which “the overwhelming percentage of homes is furnished by women”,5 the point was to create an interior that is unambiguously masculine, with equipment that stays and women that come and go: “A man yearns for quarters of his own. More than a place to hang his hat, a man dreams of his own domain, a place that is exclusively his. PLAYBOY has designed, planned and decorated, from the floor up, a penthouse apartment for the urban bachelor.”6 Atmospheric renderings conjure up a continuous landscape of entertainment. Each successive space is descri­ bed in great detail with all the individual items separately identified, including designer, manufacturer, and price: Knoll cabinets, Eames and Saarinen chairs, Noguchi table, etc. The house is full of the latest electronics and media. A signature feature is the electronic entertainment center with hi-fi, FM radio, TV, tape recorder, movie and slide projectors. The entire environment can be controlled from the bed which is the epicenter of this idealized interior. The imagined occupant/driver of the space is the reader. In a canny seduction, the magazine describes the most ad­ vanced interior architecture design for “a man perhaps very much like you”. The reader, or the reader’s fantasy, is the client and is offered the keys to the apart­ment in the first page of the article. Architecture turned out to be more seductive than the playmates. The penthouse feature was the most popular in the magazine’s history, surpassing even the centerfolds.7 Architecture became the ultimate playmate, the only one allowed to stay. Playboy received hundreds of letters re­ questing more information on the house, asking for more detailed plans and where to buy the furniture. In response, the magazine started a hugely popular series of features on ‘playboy pads’, including the Weekend Hideaway (1959), the Playboy Town House (1962), the Playboy Patio Terrace (1963), the Playboy Duplex Penthouse (1970), and so on. In each case, the fantasy is the same: the bachelor and his

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Playboy Architecture 1953–1979 accompanies the exhibition with the same name at NAiM/Bureau Europa, Maastricht:

September 29th, 2012 – February 10th, 2013. All texts and research for this brochure have been produced by professor Beatriz Colomina and her students from Princeton University. All images from Playboy magazine, except where stated otherwise. Materialized by Irma Boom Office

Playboy Architecture 1953–1979 is featured as a supplement to Volume 33: Interiors.

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e r u tc e t i h c r A 9791–3591


Big Exit By Simona Rota

Volume 33

Photo Simona Rota

In a stuffy Madrid bedroom, photographer Simona Rota is posing for her camera. She is shooting a series that explores the relationship between an inhabitant and her apartment, in which the inhabitant tries to find escape. In so doing, we are invited to see a struggle take place in the various corridors, corners, niches, and openings that the apartment provides. For the shoot she uses both her own apartment, with the permission of her roommates, as well as the flat of a 70-year old friend. But a third, metaphorical scenario exists as well, that of a city consumed by a proliferation of apartment blocks. In her notes she writes a series of questions, asking who really rules: do we rule the apartment or does it rule us?

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Volume 33

Photo Simona Rota

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Volume 33 Ansuya Blom Jimenez Lai Shane Krepakevich Inara Nevskaya Philippe Rahm Klara van Duijkeren Vincent Schipper Andrés Jaque Ignacio González Galán Ronald Rietveld Erik Rietveld Petra Blaisse Mark Pimlott Adam Frampton Jonathan D Solomon Clara Wong Simona Rota Ernst van den Hemel Rob Dettingmeijer Agata Jaworska Dirk van den Heuvel Brendan Cormier James Khamsi Ethel Baraona Pohl Anna Puigjaner César Reyes Nájera Hans Venhuizen Jessica Bridger Carrie Smith Vincent van Velsen Lin Ying Tzu Mehruss Jon Ahi Armen Karaoghlanian

Playboy Architecture inside

Interiors | fall 2012

Still from Barbarella. Copyright Dino di Laurentiis Cinematografica, Rome

Archis 2012 #3 Per issue € 19.50 (nl, b, d, e, p) Volume is a project by Archis + AMO + C-Lab …

To beyond or not to be

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Volume #33 Preview  
Volume #33 Preview  

For years, the interior played second fiddle to ‘proper’ architecture, but there are signs a shift is taking place. Stagnant economies, shri...

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