Lou Dorfsman’s genius in corporate design is legendary, and so is the project he considered his opus: Gastrotypographicalassemblage, the 33-foot-long installation he created for the cafeteria of the Eero Saarinen-designed CBS building in Manhattan in 1966. Inspired by the partitioned type drawers known as California job cases, Dorfsman envisioned the monumental collage of letterforms, kitchen utensils, cans of food, recipes, and other notions including a pair of carved bare feet crushing grapes. It inspired diners and designers in the cafeteria for more than 25 years. But when CBS remodeled in 1991, it was unceremoniously torn down and thrown away. Nick Fasciano, who created its original hand carvings, rescued it and hauled the nine panels to his basement, where they languished for another quarter-century. Dorfsman died in 2008, before the story’s happy ending. In February 2014, after a painstaking five-year renovation, it was moved to the Culinary Institute of America campus in Hyde Park, N.Y. When The New York Times asked Fasciano what the famously perfectionist Dorfsman would say if he could see it today, Fasciano replied: “Nick, the ‘w’ in ‘wheat’ is a little crooked.” Photos: Courtesy Nick Fasciano
TASTY TYPE, HAPPY ENDING
eg magazine — 11
eg is the magazine of choice for creative professionals working at the intersection of communication design and the built environment.