Weighing in on Wonder: Pamela Light, HOK
Decision makers from Interior Design Giant firms react to the declaration of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 8/17/2007 12:00:00 AM
The New7Wonders Foundation conducted a global contest to find latter-day successors to the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World. More than 100 million Internet votes later, the winners were unveiled this summer in an over-the-top ceremony in Lisbon: The ruins of Macchu Picchu in Peru, the Roman Colosseum, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, The Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Jordanian city of Petra. Debate soon stirred regarding the winners, the losers, and the qualities that become a true wonder. To keep the pot boiling, we asked decision makers from three Interior Design Giants for their comments on the winners. Here, we hear from Pamela Light, senior vice president of HOK in Culver City, CA, and president of the IIDA.
Interior Design: What was your reaction to the New Seven Wonders of the World?
Pamela Light: I felt all Seven Wonders and finalists were worthy projects, and speak to the creativity of mankind. The fact that most of them were completed by simple hand labor—when even with the machine assistance available today, they would have been difficult to achieve—only adds to the value and the wonder of the works.
ID: Any quibbles with any of the winners?
PL: On the newly voted on group—I would only disagree with Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. I feel the Acropolis in Greece or Stonehenge are both more impressive structures. Both of these speak to not only the strength of the design, the understanding of how to site objects, the subtleties that man can design into a structure that are not readily visible, but also the strivings of mankind to understand our place in the greater world.
ID: Are there any structures that you might have selected over the actual finalists?
PL: I would have added the Temples of Luxor and Karnak to the finalist list. Having visited them two years ago, I stood in awe of what was accomplished before 1300 BC by using simple tools to design, shape and move granite.
ID: What's your take on using Internet voting to decide the winners?
PL: I thought the words that were added to the voting were not necessary. For example, where they said, "In short, vote for the Colosseum because it is a great example of joy and suffering." If we were voting on joy and/or suffering, there are other better examples. These are great works of art and should be voted on for their design, their astonishing creativity and craftsmanship. Having said all of that, I think the voting was a great idea. We need more public visibility to support and maintain our great works of art.