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Edition 12: Commerce & Design

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Page 7 of 310

EDITORIAL A nne Eisenhower and her daughter dined at my apartment during a high point in the 2012 fray surrounding architect Frank Gehry���s proposed design for her grandfather, President Eisenhower���s memorial in Washington, D.C. For several hours, our small group discussed the pros and cons of Gehry���s proposal. There seemed to be a consensus that aspects of the design were brutal, others kitsch, and still others disjointed. Strangely, life can be that way. Perhaps Gehry was on to something, but was the setting appropriate? Was Gehry���s genius fully expressed in this design? Before and since the dinner I have randomly asked acquaintances their thoughts on the proposed design, receiving more often than not a skeptical reaction. Generally, I have respect for Gehry���s architectural derringdo. Few critics, however contrary, would fail to realize the sheer audacity of his Guggenheim Bilbao Museum or the imposing presence of the Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall. Bilbao seems to represent the inaugural moment leading to deconstruction, the moment just before apparent entropy. His Eisenhower Memorial seems architecturally to represent the moment after, so diffuse and disconnected are its many components: fragmented. Gehry���s approach is best described as Presidential memorial qua museum exhibition, a bricolage of artifacts Image courtesy of Gehry Parterners, LLP, 2012 HYLAND

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