Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 52: Dictator Style

On this episode, Jessica and Michael talk about an Peter York’s column for Politico about Donald Trump and the design tastes of autocrats, which tend toward Versailles grandiosity. In contrast, Michael says, at the White House

the rooms are actually surprisingly modest. It’s, like, a very small scale, modest, almost domestic kind of building that’s not really designed to have interior spaces. If you say, “Oh my god!” it’s just because of what the White House symbolize conceptually.

Also mentioned:

Peter York, Dictator Style: Lifestyles of the World’s Most Colorful Despots
The Observatory, Episode 1
Sunday in the Park with George on Broadway through April 23
Jake Gyllenhaal sings Finishing the Hat
D.A. Pennebaker, Company: Original Cast Album
BBC News, Children Interrupt BBC Interview
Ben Thompson, Breaking Down the Father on BBC Being Interrupted by His Children
Jessica Dimmock, The Convention

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Posted in: The Observatory

Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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