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TitleTwenty Over Eighty: Conversations on a Lifetime in Architecture and Design
PublisherPrinceton Architectural Press
ISBN 139781616892814
File Size11.7 MB
Total Pages225
Table of Contents
		Ralph Caplan
		Seymour Chwast
		Bob Gill
		Milton Glaser
		Michael Graves
		Charles Harrison
		Richard Hollis
		Phyllis Lambert
		Lora Lamm
		Jack Lenor Larsen
		Ingo Maurer
		Alessandro Mendini
		Jens Risom
		Richard Sapper
		Ricardo Scofidio
		Denise Scott Brown
		Deborah Sussman
		Jane Thompson
		Stanley Tigerman
		Beverly Willis
	Image Credits
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Twenty Over Eighty

Page 112


When did you first realize you had an interest
in design?

I have always had this urge to create, even when
I was a very small boy. I always had some kind of
toy and was playing with little twigs and things like
that; you know, always creating.

But I was very uneducated because I came from
a generation that fought in World War II. I was
fortunately not in the war, but the schooling was
terrible. So I became a typographer, which turned
out to be very good because you have to look and
see very precisely.

How did you become a typographer?
Our father died, our mother died. I couldn’t finish
school and was forced to learn a profession and
make a living, because there were five kids in our
family. We were really five kids trying to make it.
When there was a little more cash flow through my
work in typography, I attended the graphic
academy here in Munich for three years. And that,
of course, gave me a new perspective and outlook;
training, joy, and pain, all of these things together.
I was an apprentice for four years, which I didn’t

enjoy much at the time, but later on felt and saw
how important it had been. It taught me discipline,
and a way of looking at things carefully.

And typography has a lot to do with light. I enjoy
recognizing that in my work.

How do the two mediums relate, in your mind?
Lettering can be so beautiful, with all the spaces
between the letters that create a kind of light—a
rhythm—that you can observe in both lighting and
typography; I enjoy this very much. In typography,
you also have to be enormously precise in your
perception. And perception, of course, is extremely
important not only in work, but also in life.

How did you shift from typography to lighting

My first lamp was the Bulb in 1966, but I’ll tell you
how I really came to light: I was in Venice working
with glass, and I had taken a siesta. After I drank
a whole bottle of red wine by myself with spaghetti,
I went back to my little room and lay on my back,
looking up. Suddenly, this light bulb really
presented a sort of magic to me. At that very

Left: Ingo Maurer alongside his 1970 design
Light Structure, produced in collaboration
with Peter Hamburger.

Above: Maurer with What We Do Counts,
an LED-integrated lamp released in 2015.

Page 113


moment, I jumped up on the mattress and knew
what I wanted to do. That’s where my career started
as a lighting designer—I had this vision, I started
to produce the design and went around to show
it to people, and they liked it. I wanted it to be
commercially viable and successful. I had a family
already, with two kids, and I had to pay for diapers.

In your twenties, you lived and worked in
San Francisco and New York. What led you
to America, and how did your time abroad
influence you?

After the war, as a young man in Germany
witnessing all these speeches about America and
reading literature about America, I got very excited
by what I heard about the country. I always wished
to leave Germany and maybe even Europe, because
I felt very fenced in. Being in America opened
me up tremendously. I could have stayed longer,
but my wife wanted to go back to Europe, and I was
very stressed by that. To this day, I’m still saying,
“I’m going back!” Afterwards, we wanted to live in
London, but at the time didn’t have a working
permit and it was difficult, so we finally came back
to Germany for the first time. I suffered for at least

three or four months after that. But I somehow
made it so I could come back to America to stay.
I swore I’d be coming back, and I did.

How did New York’s emerging pop art scene
affect your approach?

Well, I was mostly impressed by America. I was
impressed with the architecture that I saw, but of
course pop art gave me a big, big lift.

You also traveled frequently to Japan in
the 1970s and met a traditional fan maker,
Shigeki-san. How did his work influence
your own?

I was interested in licensed production in Japan,
went there, and really loved it. I was looking
for something special, and in Japan there was
a movement back to nature. I found Shigeki-san
and I worked with him.

When and how we met is a long story. I was
looking for him, without speaking a single word of
Japanese, and I didn’t have a translator. When I
finally found him, we stood in front of each other
and we looked into each other’s eyes—that was
the foundation, the basis of our interaction. He was

Comic Explosion, designed in 2010 with limited production.

Page 224



To Alice Twemlow, for introducing us to the field of design criticism
and each other; to Alexandra Lange, for helping us grasp the
responsibility of this assignment, and for her ongoing encouragement;
to Adam Harrison Levy, for teaching us the true art of the interview;
and to Judith Ramquist, for her warm friendship and enthusiasm
for our project.

Thank you to Michael Carabetta, Kevin Lippert, and Jennifer
Lippert for entrusting us with this book, and to Paul Wagner for first
presenting the idea, as well as designing the book’s pages; and to
Megan Carey, Tom Cho, Jenny Florence, Marielle Suba, and Lindsey
Westbrook for their editorial support and guidance in shaping this
project. We are also grateful to Jenn Miller and Lauren Palmer for their
tireless assistance.

For the many gracious colleagues and friends who helped us track
down, connect with, or lead us closer to our twenty interviewees,
our thanks to: Emily Alli, Nicoletta Ossanna Cavadini, Rob Giampietro,
Kind Company, Sheila McCullough, Polimekanos, Vera Sacchetti, Paula
Scher, Jonathan Stephenson, Scott Stowell, Joe�rey Trimmingham,
Chris Wu, and the team at Project Projects.

To Peg Bull, Helen Risom Belluschi, and Henny Risom of the
Risom family for welcoming us with open arms, and introducing us to
their family mantra: “If you’re going to do a job, do it right.”

Thanks also to the numerous individuals who aided in our visual
research and image selection: Eliza Alkire, Anna Ballard, Dan Bates,
Alessia Contin, Greg D’Onofrio, Luca Farinelli, Beatrice Felis,
Sal Forgione, Marissa Glauberman, Angela Guevara, Thomas Happel,
Katherine Herzog, Isabelle Huiban, Alexis Hyde, Mark Jespersen,
Vicki Matranga, Claude Maurer, Camille Murphy, Mary Kate Murray,
Nancy Nguyen, Roberta Prevost, Carola Sapper, Dorit Sapper,
Olga Viallet, and Taber A. Wayne.

To our partners, Brad Engelsman and Josh Primicias, for their love
and support, as the project filled our extra hours, nights, and weekends
over the past two years.

Not least of all, our utmost and immense gratitude to our
interviewees—Ralph Caplan, Seymour Chwast, Bob Gill, Milton Glaser,
Michael Graves, Charles Harrison, Richard Hollis, Phyllis Lambert,
Lora Lamm, Jack Lenor Larsen, Ingo Maurer, Alessandro Mendini, Jens
Risom, Richard Sapper, Ricardo Scofidio, Denise Scott Brown, Deborah
Sussman, Jane Thompson, Stanley Tigerman, and Beverly Willis—
for o�ering their time, interest, support, and sage wisdom, and without
whom this book would not have been possible.

Page 225

Image Credits

Michael Pateman photo, published in United States by

Thomas Y. Crowell, Publishers 13
Herman Miller 14
Fairchild Publishers, by permission of Bloomsbury

Publishing Inc. 14 (2)
Courtesy Ralph Caplan 17, 18 (4)
Courtesy of Alvin Lustig Archive. ID Magazine, An F+W

Publication 17, 183 (2), 184
Alvin Lustig Archive 17
Greg Preston photo 21
Courtesy of Seymour Chwast 23, 24, 25, 27 (3), 28, 29, 30 (2),

31, Harry N. Abrams 24, © Seymour Chwast, 2011, Used
by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. 24

Penguin Random House LLC 29
Courtesy of Bob Gill 33, 35, 37 (2), 38 (3), 41, John Cole

photo 33
Logo used with permission by the New York State Depart-

ment of Economic Development 43
Milton Glaser 44, 46 (3), 48 (2), 49, 51 (3), Michael Soronoff

photo 46
Brooklyn Brewery 48
New York Media 48
Courtesy of Michael Graves Architecture & Design 53, 54, 55

(2), 56 (3), 59, 60 (2), 61, 63 (2), Target Corporation
photo 60, Peter Aaron/OTTO photo 61

Courtesy of Charles Harrison 65 (2), 67, 68 (2), 71, Joeffrey
Trimmingham photo 71

Richard Hollis 73, 76, 77
Pelican Books 75
Courtesy of Whitechapel Art Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery

Archive 77 (2)
Modern Poetry in Translation 78 (2)
Indiana University Press 80
Pluto Press 80
African National Congress 80
Fonds Phyllis Lambert, CCA, Montréal 83, 84, Ed Duckett

photo 87, © United Press International 89, The House of
Patria, December 1956 89

© Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal 83, Ezra
Stoller © Esto 88, © Naoya Hatakeyama 90, Gift of the
artist on the occasion of Phyllis Lambert’s 80th birthday
© Naoya Hatakeyama 91

© Italo Rondinella. Courtesy: la Biennale di Venezia 90
Courtesy of Lora Lamm 93
Leonard Zubler photo 93
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, ZHdK / Museum für

Gestaltung Zürich, MfGZ / Plakatsammlung 94, 95,
96–97, 98 (2)

Courtesy of LongHouse Reserve 106 (3), 107 (3), 108 (2),
Dorothy Beskind photo 101

Balthazar Korab photo 103 (2)
Courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy,

Christopher Little photo 105
Ingo Maurer GmbH 111 (2), 112, 113 (3), 114, 115, 116 (2),

118 (2), 119, Tom Vack, Munich photo 115 (2), Engelhardt
Sellin, Munich photo 116 (2)

Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum,
Tom Vack photo 117 (2)

Atelier Mendini 121, 122 (2), 123 (2), 124 (3), 125, 126, 127
Carlo Lavatori photo 127
Courtesy of Jens Risom and the Risom family archives 129

(2), 134, 135 (3), 136 (3)
Knoll, Inc. 130, 136
© Richard Avedon photo 131
Courtesy of Marvin Koner Archive, Marvin Koner photo

Courtesy Richard Sapper 139, 140 (3), 141, 142 (2), 143 (2)
Serge Libiszewski photo 140, 141, 143
© Aldo Ballo 141
Giorgio Boschetti photo 142
Courtesy of DS+R 147 (2), 149 (2), 150, 152, 153, 154, 155,

Abelardo Morrell photo 145, Iwan Baan photo 151 (2)
Michael Moran/OTTO photo 147
Courtesy of VSBA 157, 160, 168
Denise Scott Brown 159 (3), 160, MIT Press 162 (2), 163, 165
Maria-Marcella Sorteni photo 160
MIT Press 162
George Pohl photo 166
Jim Venturi photo 166
Jiro Schneider photo for Riposte Magazine 171
Sussman/Prejza 173 (2), 174 (2), 176–177, 178 (3), 179 (2)
Courtesy of Jane Thompson 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, © Richard

Pousette-Dart photo 181
City of Long Branch, NJ, photo 188
Kathy Pick photo 191
Tigerman McCurry Architects 191, 192 (2), 195 (2), 196, 199

(2), 200, 201 (2), 203
Margaret McCurry photo 196
Rafique Muzhar Islam photo 200
Balthazar Korab photo 202 (2)
Beverly Willis Archive 205, 206, 207 (2), 209, 212–213
Michael Kanouff photo 207
National Building Museum 209
Peter Aaron/OTTO photo 211


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