|“Bridge of the Starship Enterprise”, Star Trek, 1966-69 (source)
||Lauren Bacall (source)
I was raised on Star Trek. Spending every summer isolated deep in the countryside, it was often the only show available on our rabbit ears. As a grouchy ten year old I generally resented the formulaic plots. Captain Kirk lands on seemingly abandoned planet. Captain Kirk angers natives. Captain Kirk escapes to the Starship Enterprise. Even more disappointing than the stale plot, however, were the terrible aesthetics. While future Earth certainly spared no money on the mechanics of the USS Enterprise, they definitely tightened the purse strings when it came to hiring the designers. With awkward proportions, cramped quarters, dismal lighting, cheap materials and ugly furniture, the enterprise looked more like a labyrinthine suburban rec room than a sophisticated trans-galactic spaceship. The mundane interior might have been redeemed by the most intriguing aspect of space travel, zero gravity, except that artificial gravity had already been mastered in Star Trek’s futuristic timeline.
Star Trek’s banal future visions would haunt me for the next twenty years of my life, with the series constantly refreshing its casts and spaceships (though they all sort of looked the same), while maintaining its living room feel. And while I ultimately abhorred Star Trek as entertainment for not straying far enough away from what I already knew, if I were ever to actually be jettisoned into space, I can think of no better model living space than my living room here on Earth. A plush couch along one wall of my space pod, an antique television in the corner playing Golden Girls, a uniform of stained sweatpants and t-shirt, a bowl full of Kraft Dinner, but instead of the sun outside of my window, a vortex of speeding stars.
E. Sean Bailey
As celebrities grow older, their images often fade, leaving them to lose the relevance they had at the peak of their youth. As the icons of architecture’s last Golden Age mature, what will be their fate? There are so many potential options, making it possible for them to explore one of several proven avenues.
Perhaps the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and company will go gracefully, taking care of themselves and embracing their role as aging beauties. At times it may be possible to revive their talent, giving them a new life, simply by recasting them into new roles and facilitating a comeback. On occasion, this may involve dabbling in superficial cosmetic adjustments or more serious physical augmentations which may include nipping and tucking their way to preservation and renewal. Sometimes these alterations take very well, while at other times, they prove to be controversial and have difficulty gaining acceptance. If the effort of upkeep becomes overwhelming, they may sadly just give up altogether becoming bloated, overgrown and generally unkempt.
Speculation aside, only time will reveal, what destiny awaits architecture’s iconic starlets. Perhaps future breakthroughs will end the phenomenon of aging altogether, creating new scenarios.
Erandi de Silva