Richard Meier x Massimo Vignelli

On the Edge of Modernism With the Master Architect and the Genius Designer

Illustrious modernist Richard Meier and multi-disciplinary creator Massimo Vignelli reflect on their respective crafts, city life, and enduring friendship in this mesmeric film by Johnnie Shand Kydd. Shot at the minimalist offices of Richard Meier & Partners on 10th Avenue and West 36th Street, the two powerhouses discuss their collaboration on the firm’s forthcoming monograph, Richard Meier, Architect Volume 6, chronicling the stark, white, rationalist buildings that define the firm’s aesthetic. The Pritzker Prize laureate's most notable projects include the Getty Center in L.A., the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, and more recently, the two glass-and-steel towers on Perry Street in New York’s West Village that Martha Stewart, Ian Schrager, Calvin Klein, and Nicole Kidman have all called home. Vignelli, too, has left a significant mark on Manhattan, having famously designed the New York subway map and signage, in addition to working on everything from packaging and furniture design to corporate identities for clients like BMW, Barney’s, Xerox and American Airlines. “Architects need to have a certain arrogance, a sense of self-belief,” posits Shand Kydd. “A designer, however, has to be more collaborative. Consequently, Meier and Vignelli have very different natures, but like all very talented people, they both look forward and not back.” Here Meier nonetheless looks to his present city, and beyond, to reveal his select few architectural necessities.


Favorite buildings around the world:
Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp
Le Thoronet Abbey in Provence
Ryōan-ji in Kyoto
Fatehpur Sikri in Agra
The Guggenheim Museum in New York City

Favorite spaces in New York:
The plaza at the Seagram Building
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Central Park
The Guggenheim Museum
My apartment

Things every architect should own:
A good supply of General’s Draughting Pencils
A Keuffel & Esser ruler
A 9 - 8 1/2 ft long work table
A white shirt and a black suit
A black Porsche 911

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Conversations (1)

  • stusername
    Enjoyed the video a lot. Who's the pianist/composer? Love this music.
    • Posted By stusername
    • February 22, 2014 at 6:49PM
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    Collecting is a Wonderful Illness

    Simon de Pury and Daphne Guinness in Conversation, Part One

    Auctioneer and art world impresario Simon de Pury sits down with friend and cultural patron Daphne Guinness to speak about connoisseurship and collecting in part one of a double-bill feature by filmmaker Johnnie Shand Kydd. Chairman and Chief Auctioneer of renowned auction house Phillips de Pury & Company, De Pury is often referred to as “the Mick Jagger of the auction world,” due to his lively auctioning style. Fluent in English, French, German and Italian, the Swiss-born dealer also owns an important private collection of contemporary art, acquired over several decades spent with gavel in hand. “Simon is obviously a grand seducer, and there was this wonderful element of flirtation going on,” says Shand Kydd of the tète-à-tète, “You can't fake that kind of chemistry." De Pury splits his time between London and New York, where he will preside over the sale of a Willem de Kooning estimated at $15m and a $12m Jean-Michel Basquiat at Phillips de Pury’s latest contemporary art auction this Thursday. “Collecting is a very personal and private occupation,” explains De Pury. “One does not necessarily wish to divulge one's passions.” That said, NOWNESS coaxed De Pury into revealing five of his favorite pieces from his collection. 

    A group of Italian 1950s plastic Disney characters that I found in a small antiques shop in Rome. I collect high and low. All works I buy tickle my curiosity when I see them first, and in my private collection I do not rank anything by price.
    The desk, chair, lamp and Universe logo from the Star Trek movie that I bought from Pierre Passebon at the first or second Design Miami fair. After having seen one slick piece of pure and beautiful design after the other, it was very refreshing to stumble across something fun and leftfield.
    One of Helmut Newton’s nudes, shot at Chateau Marmont, was the first photograph I ever bought. Since being a teenager I worshipped his work. I bought it in an auction in London and was forbidden to hang it by my first wife when I brought it home.
    I’ve been obsessed with Christopher Wool's work ever since I first saw it in the Whitney Biennial in the early 90s. I have been fortunate enough to acquire several works of his at a time when it was still quite accessible. I love his most recent work with which he proves he is one of the Greats.
    My most recent purchase is a large drip work by Piotr Uklanski. There is great variety in his work and he never ceases to surprise me.

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    The Shins: The Rifle’s Spiral

    Director Jamie Caliri Conjures Up an Animation for the Indie Rockers

    Three sinister gentlemen, a magician and an enormous rabbit populate the fantastical landscape of Emmy-winning director Jamie Caliri’s video for “The Rifle’s Spiral,” a new track by Portland-based indie rock heavyweights The Shins. Sketching the short’s narrative from any lyrics that grabbed his attention, Caliri had free rein to let his imagination run wild, resulting in a surreal stop-motion animation. “I have always loved Edward Gorey’s illustration work and his influence is apparent throughout the video,” says Caliri. “Also, seeing Martin Scorsese’s Hugo three times subconsciously veered my thoughts onto the magic theme.” Founded in 1996 by singer-songwriter James Mercer, The Shins played Coachella Festival last weekend as part of a US tour in support of their grandiose fourth album, Port of Morrow. Featuring guest appearances from Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer and Wild Flag’s Janet Weiss, Port of Morrow took five years in the making after Mercer put the group on hiatus to become a father. Enthusing about the current renaissance in music videos after also making a 3D version of the film exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, Caliri observes: “It's now more like the years before MTV, when music videos did not have a formula. You can be expressive and idiosyncratic.”

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