20 January 2010
Posted by Paul Anater at 6:27 AM
The brilliant and stunning Nancie Mills-Pipgras from Mosaic Art Now sent me a link yesterday. This isn't unusual, people send me links all the time. As is usually the case, Nancie's link was designed to get a rise out of me. Well, a rise is precisely what she got.
Check this out. The image at the top of this post is the newly re-designed lobby of the President Hotel in Times Square. The link from Nancie took me to the website of Interior Design magazine and a profile of this hotel's renovation. The President Hotel is Best Western's flagship property and they spent 15 million dollars to have 334 rooms, a fitness center, a business center, a conference facility and a lobby redesigned by the New York firm Stonehill and Taylor.
Stonehill and Taylor chose the two party political system of the United States as its theme and in a lot of ways theirs is a successful design. Successful in the sense that they managed to celebrate US politics as an idea, rather than the acrimonious practice it is. It's also successful because I had an interior design magazine to explain the theme to me. If I found myself in the lobby of The President Hotel without knowing what I was looking at I'd probably turn around and walk out.
Clever is one thing, but when clever comes at the expense of a harmonious interior I have to draw the line.
I can appreciate the thought that went into this, really. But at the same time, really? Am I missing something?
I've been thinking a lot about echo chambers lately. By being in an echo chamber I mean that someone so afflicted spends all his time listening to his own voice and voices that sound just like his. It's an easy rut to fall into. Who wants to listen to criticism or dissent? But life in an echo chamber gives anyone who spends too much time in one a pretty skewed view of the world. I get it that the grillwork in the lobby is a deconstructed US flag, but that lobby is not somewhere I'd like to hang out. I mean, how could anyone sleep in those bedrooms?
What do you guys think? Too advanced for a simple man like me to understand? Or is this an example of too much time spent in an echo chamber? Would you spend $389 for a Saturday night in one of those rooms? Tell me things.