I don't like absolutes... ...usually
. I also don't think there should be a media forum of any type that gives "the" definitive word on a given subject. This is very different than being the "leading" publication in a field of interest. At it's most harmless, a singular voice on a subject creates a lack of originality and at it's most harmful it leads to actual fascism (I think we're probably pretty safe from this in the realm of pop-modern design, but you get my point). Am I the only one who's noticed that Dwell (who does do some good work, as I've said before) never engages in any meaningful critique of the projects they cover? The reason is because they're the only one's really talking about this stuff to a mass audience, and they get to take the position that what they're showing you is what's good. end. of. discussion.
The reason we have such singular and definitive publications at present in the realm of modern design is that the market has been too small to really fragment and nitch. However, good design is getting both cheaper and more popular, and I think the related media is primed to grow to include more voices. Keep in mind that ten years ago there were essentially no main stream media sources on the subject of modern design that had significant distribution.
Scowsa, I do agree with your "show home" comment in some respects:
The furniture in the living room of the Eichler is preposterous. I'm very tired of seeing the loooow coffee table look (some of my friends have even bought them, unfortunately). My work requires me to understand ergonomics so maybe I'm not 100% objective, but I would think even a minimally observant person would note that the coffee table needs to be near the same height as the seating surfaces because when it's set considerably lower you run into the small design problem that "people don't bend like that" and sometimes one would like to retrieve a cup of real actual coffee from it's resting place on the table surface. The kitchen has goofy counter tops and dumb bar stools, and represents an interpretation of modern that is pretty far from MCM, but flows well enough that it mostly just looks "sort of okay" to me.
The furniture in the Marmol Radziner-ized Cliff May looks fine. Some of it is a little frumpy (giant sectional suede couch, etc) and certainly isn't period, but I would say the home is largely set up for living in. There is an Eames lounge overtly thrown in as a nod to the home's period, but the effect comes off as ham handed and could only have been made more cliche if the lounge had been staged opposite a couple of Barcelona chairs and a Noguchi table (these are all iconic pieces that I like, but seriously, why always
with the Eames Lounge?!?). The overall product, according to the article, is (1) what the client asked for and (2) was extracted from an already heavily modified home, so I'm fine with it.
Regardless, if Met Home is willing to cover these kinds of homes, I'm willing to tolerate them taking baby steps with regard to 'deep dives' into the design (need to do a little better than the "what the pros know" blurb at the end of each article
). If they keep doing doing so, I might even subscribe again.