April 1, 2011
Design’s Garbage Problem/Going, Going, Going
Metropolis Hits and Misses
Design’s Garbage Problem
As contributing editor and columnist, Karrie Jacobs has had a long association with the magazine. In the late 1980s she churned out a heroic amount of copy each month, much of it quite prescient. She wrote about the impact of virtual reality on architecture, the redevelopment of Berlin, the emergence of digital technology, and (in 1994) the likelihood that the Internet would become commercialized, long before any of those subjects were picked up by the mainstream media. Her December 1988 cover story, “The Design of Garbage,” was similarly ahead of the curve. Chiding package designers for their role in contributing to our country’s landfill crisis, the piece inspired a provocative cover that made a strong statement about the magazine’s mission and future direction.
Going, Going, Going
To coincide with the opening of baseball season, Howard Wolfson (years later, the press secretary for Hillary Clinton and currently a political adviser to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg) wrote a sharp column on the old Yankee Stadium. The underlying premise of the piece was the team’s longstanding desire to move out of the House That Ruth Built. Wolfson, then a young congressional aide living in Washington, D.C., did an excellent job with the history of the ballpark, the Yankees’ suburban fan base, the team’s antipathy toward the Bronx, and the mediocre renovation of the stadium in the 1970s. He then spun out three scenarios: a move to New Jersey, a new stadium in Manhattan, or a theme-park-like restoration of the existing stadium called “Yankee Village.” None of that happened. Fifteen years later, the team moved directly across the street into a faux-historical structure, replete with luxury boxes, that looked more like the original Yankee Stadium than the poorly restored park it replaced.