02.13.20
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 120: Federal Style


This week, Jessica and Michael discuss a draft executive order that would amend the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture written in 1962 and require many new federal buildings to resemble classical architecture.

The president, first and foremost a real-estate developer, is used to imposing his specifications on his “huge, beautiful buildings,” Michael says, however, that whether it’s the Trump administration’s mandate for the classical or Prince Charles’s “monstrous carbuncle” speech decrying contemporary architecture,
Any attempt to, at the end of the day, legislate and codify taste is always going to be suspect.… Subjugating everyone else to your personal taste is the ultimate expression of control.

Also mentioned this week:

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Posted in: Architecture, Arts + Culture, The Observatory



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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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