Changing World

M any of the great accomplishments in art have developed in a period of great spiritual unrest, not at all unlike the present. The struggle itself has usually resulted in the birth of new ideas, in the development of new mate­rials and new methods, and in the beginning of an upward step in the prog­ress of humanity. Some of the drawing and painting on the walls of caverns in the Pyrenees Mountains made by Cro-Magnon men at least fifty thousand years ago have never been excelled in design and draftsmanship.211 They repre­sent drawing and painting under the most difficult conditions. It is interest­ing to note that in style they are as modern as any drawings being made to-day...


In Window Display the Play’s the Thing


I oo many display windows are cluttered with accessory paraphernalia when they are not overloaded with merchandise. That window is a failure which does not do three things in succession: arrest the glance; focus attention upon the merchandise; persuade the onlooker to desire it. The store window is a stage on which the merchandise is presented as the actors. The rules that apply to designing for the stage are in many ways true here. Keep the empha­sis on the actor, for it is he who tells the story. This is the principle applied for the two years that I designed the merchandise displays in the windows of the Fifth Avenue department store of Franklin-Simon.

Such treatment presumes, first of all, a definite choice from among many systems that are possible in the light of display principles...


Unexplored Fields For the Designer

I here are, in the main, five reasons why far-sighted manufacturers are eager to incorporate good design in their products:

Good design offers new advertising opportunities. Good design increases sales appeal in any object. Good design instills a pride of ownership which in­creases the value of the piece. It creates favorable discussion by word-of – mouth advertising (the most valuable kind) that is totally lacking in an object of mediocre design. Good design adds length of life to an object be­cause it takes longer to tire of it. Good design tends towards further simplifi­cation of manufacturing processes and hence to economies in production. Good design improves the merit of the product.

There are many fields offering great opportunities to the merchant and de­signer that are as yet u...


Product Design as Approached

І he artist’s interest in machines has laid the foundation for a new depart­ment in industry, in which the relations of product manufacturers and of consumers reach a new level of understanding and congeniality. The artist’s contribution touches upon that most important of all phases entering into selling — the psychological. He appeals to the consumer’s vanity and plays upon his imagination, and gives him something he does not tire of.

The designer of industrial products can only be successful if he is imbued with the conviction that machines, such as typewriters, automobiles, weighing scales, railway trains, electric fans, radiators, ships, stoves, radios are good to look at when the problems involved are properly solved...


What Price Factory Ugliness?

gliness, in varied forms, was the outstanding characteristic of the beginnings of the industrial age — exploitation of the workers, oppressive hours, inhumane conditions, dirt, poorly organized buildings. Factory ex­istence was a nightmare. Gradually, throughout a half century, conditions improved. With this improvement came the recognition that light, cleanli­ness, ventilation, and even agreeable surroundings were advantageous not only to the employees but to the profits and peace of mind of the employers. As the dawn of modern factory architecture arrived, I hasten to add that the dawn’s early gleams escaped the attention of the architects themselves.

Modern factory architecture is a product of engineering. The viewpoint of the engineer is in contrast with that of the architect...


Restaurant Architecture

to design the production of the Miracle for Max Reinhardt at the Century Theater, New York. Mr. Reinhardt had produced the Miracle many times, and he wanted me to work out an idea for presenting the play that would be different from any he had used before. The scheme that was finally evolved was to reconstruct the in­terior of the theater into a cathedral.

The large proscenium of the Century The­ater was thrown open to its full width and height. The stage became the apse and the auditorium itself took on the appearance of a transept. As you entered the rear of the audi­torium, you had the sense of standing in the nave and looking through the transept into the

enormous stained-glass windows (eighty feet high) at the sides of the tran­sept and around the apse, there was scarcely any illu...


Architecture For the Amusement Industry


^yoME three years ago Doctor Allen D. Albert, on behalf of Rufus Dawes, President of the Chicago World’s Fair, requested me to develop a program of theatrical entertainment for the Fair. Their hope was that it would be of a different variety and of a more constructive kind than that usually assembled on exposition grounds. Considerable thought having been given the subject, a plan was embodied in a letter which was submitted to Mr. Dawes and his associates.

Upon the approval of Mr...


Industrializing the Theater


->asuai, observers of the course of events in the theater will say that the theater is not an industrial activity. Many of those who work in the theater will be still more emphatic about it. This is one of the major troubles with our theater, and this lack in our theater is a lack in our life. Drama goes hand in hand with the progress and achievements of humanity. The theater to-day needs the same aggressive spirit of experimentation that characterizes progressive industry. The quality of our drama would be enhanced if the theater were industrialized, which implies a modern and economical organ­ization, financial structure and stabilization.

The greatest progress that has recently taken place in the theater is within the confines of Russia...


New Houses for Old

-^ni y recently have architects attempted to solve the problems of domestic architecture in terms of the present age. Our best architects of the last generation were trained primarily on the basis of the monumental prob­lem, the big building. The study they have given to dwellings has been from the viewpoint of the expensive home, the mansion, the estate. They have dealt with the house problem as miniature buildings patterned after big ones. Hence, houses have become miniature state capitols in the Georgian style. When they ignored the classical periods, they achieved such results as are typified by the Victorian-Eastlake style.”

Owing to the fact that many American architects have been educated abroad, especially in France, we have had the influence of the chateau and other European st...


By Air To-morrow

M ost present-day airports represent first-thought solutions to prob­lems involved in the housing of planes. From the viewpoint of planes’ landing and departing, the movement in and out of passengers, numerous handicaps and inadequacies are inherent, due to the casualness of the basic design. The better class of airports, however, have a semblance of organization in the grouping of the hangars;** nevertheless they are not forward looking. Aside from the fact that they are usually remote from the cities they serve and have inadequate means of transportation to and from them, they are adequate for the widely varying uses to which the present-day airport is put.

Owing to the circumstances surrounding aviation development, to-day’s airport is usually required to serve a number of different ...