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Travel Woes: How American Airports Lost Their Glamour

The dissolution of the industry was reflected in airports, where architectural innovation was quickly pushed aside to make room for quick, easy fixes.


American Airlines’ filing for bankruptcy protection last week provoked surprisingly little reaction from the media or regular travelers. Perhaps we've grown immune to the whims of the rapidly changing airline industry, where the past three decades have seen the merging and dissolution of countless carriers.

Yet it wasn’t so long ago that air travel was synonymous with Americans’ visions of the future, when purchasing a boarding pass meant participating in the ever-expanding dreams of post-war America. Somewhere along the way, the optimistic glow surrounding air travel faded away, leaving a beleaguered industry that causes stress and frustration, not awe, for American travelers. And the dissolution of the industry was reflected in airports, where architectural innovation was quickly pushed aside to make room for quick, easy fixes.

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Glass House Conversations: A Virtual Debate Based on a Real Place

The recently-launched website is a way to bring legendary salons held in the modern house to an even wider audience.

The Glass House is possibly one of the most famous houses on the planet. The modernist landmark nestled into the forest of New Canaan, Connecticut was the home of architect Philip Johnson and contains, as one would expect, lots of glass, and lots of class. But it was also the home to years of legendary salons, where Johnson and his collaborators would convene big names in art, design and culture to chew over the issues of the day.

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Evil People Live in Modernist Houses in Popular Films

Ben Critton asks why popular films insist that a preference for modern architecture signifies something cold dubious about your character.

Not in real life, of course, but on film, yes. From Blade Runner to The Big Lebowski to pretty much every Bond movie (and any Austin Powers movie for that matter), the bad guys are guaranteed to inhabit cold, modern boxes. Evil People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films by Ben Critton combines information about the modern houses that fictional characters have resided in with essays about the films they were represented in.

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