Staff -- Interior Design, 5/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
Coming quick on the heels of our March issue devoted to media offices, the skeptic might wonder what exactly we have in store this month. Welcome to the old office? Hardly. If anything, in this issue we investigate a broad spectrum of options and styles for offices in many different contexts. So while we include a fair share of Internet-related and media projects, we also dilate on such traditional environs as law firms and banks. Rather than falling back on the stuffy, wood-paneled, men's-club look of yore, the architects and designers of these interiors navigate a steady course between tradition and innovation.
If a single trend emerges this month, it is internationalism. Aside from projects in the United States, we have embassies in Berlin, banks in Shanghai and Istanbul, and a designer's own studio in Milan. The designs themselves remain modern, but the various settings suggest a complex layering of culture and history. That the two embassies in question are in Berlin, capital of the reunified Germany, emphasizes the dense imbrication of past and future, as does a bank in China looking further to establish itself in international markets.
The idea of internationalism pervades the discourse of Modernist architecture and design. Remember The International Style: Architecture since 1922, by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson? Granted, a lot has changed since 1932, when Hitchcock and Johnson organized that exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art and penned the accompanying text. But in this era of instant communication across all borders, an internationalist spirit remains ever present.—The Editors