The theme designated for the Program in Media and Modernity for the academic year 2008-09 is "Architecture in Playboy: 1953-1979." The thesis of this research seminar is that Playboy played a crucial yet unacknowledged role in the cultivation of design culture in the USA. Through a wide range of different strategies, the magazine integrated state of the art designers and architects into a carefully constructed vision of a desirable contemporary life style. The seminar will explore the ways in which Playboy was ahead of professional and popular magazines in promoting modern architecture and design. The collaborative research seminar, assembles and analyzes the magazines, the secondary literature on Playboy, the related archives, and conducts interviews with protagonists. As in previous Media and Modernity research seminars, the project will culminate in the collaborative production of a definitive book, exhibition, or event, to be determined as the project evolves.

Playboy Research Team

Joseph Bedford, Britt Eversole, Daria Ricchi, Vanessa Grossman, Marc Britz, Daniela Fabricius, Margo Handwerker, Yetunde Oliaya, Federica Vannucchi, Pep Aviles, Enrique Ramirez and Molly Steenson





  • Bruegmann, Robert, Holabird and Roche. An Illustrated Catalogue of Works. Volume II, 1911-1927, New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc, 1991, pp. 414-424.
  • Reyner Banham, "I'd Crawl a Mile for Playboy" in Architect's Journal, Vol.131, p.527-529, (April, 7), 1960. Republished in Penny Sparke, Reyner Banham, Desing by Choice, Rizzoli International, 1981, p.130
  • ---------------, "A Home is Not a House" in Art in America, Vol. 53, (April 1965), p.70-79. Republished in Penny Sparke, Reyner Banham, Desing by Choice, Rizzoli International, 1981, pp. 56-60
  • ---------------, "Horse of a Different Colour", in New Society, Vol. 10, n?266, (November 2 1967), pp.636-637.Republished in Penny Sparke, Reyner Banham, Desing by Choice, Rizzoli International, 1981, pp.127-129
  • ---------------, "Triumph of Software", in New Society, Vol.12, n?318, (October, 31, 1968), pp.6292-630. Republished in Penny Sparke, Reyner Banham, Desing by Choice, Rizzoli International, 1981, pp.133-136
  • Editorial, "Playboy-Architektur", in Deutsche Bauzeitung, n? (February 1964), pp.75-77.
  • Editorial, "Playboy: Allusions to City Tastes in a Country Setting" in Architectural Record, (December 1969), pp.128-129
  • Editorial, "The world of Ivan and Peter Chermayeff" in Space Design, n? 11 (November 1976), p.5-65
  • Sigfried Giedion, "Architecture in the 1960's. Hope and Fears" in Space, Time and Architecture, thirteenth printing, 4th enlarged edition, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962, pp.xxxi--lvi
  • ---------------, "Sigfried Giedion. On Playboy Architecture", Architectural Forum, Vol., 117, (July 1962), pp. 116-117
  • Charles Jencks, Modern Movements in Architecture, 2nd Edition, London: Penguin Books, 1985.
  • ---------------, The New Paradigms in Architecture. The Language of Post-modernism, New Heaven: Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Robert Jensen, "Resort Hotels: Symbol and Association in Their Design" in Architectural Record, (December 1969), pp.119-123
  • Colin Rowe, Fred Koetter, "After the Millenium", in Collage City, Cambridge, MA; London: The MIT Press, 1978, pp.32-49.
  • "'BAU-'Interview mit Claes Oldemburg", in Bau, Schrift fur Architektur und Stadtebau, (April 1966), p.83-87
  • "Lightweight, nailable framing speeds construction of resort Hotel" in Architectural Record, (August 1971), p. 127
  • "Playboy Towers" in Interior Design, (October 1971), pp.132-135

José Aragüez and Phil Taylor

Wednesday, April 15, 2014


LC/GR Le Corbusier and Greece

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Redesigning the Scholarly Book

Monday, March 31, 2014


Objects, Networks, and the Earth

Tuesday, February 20, 2014