01 March 2014

Playboy Architecture 1953–1979

Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt

- 20 April 2014



The erotic magazine Playboy was once one of the most important intermediaries of avant-garde trends in design. The way in which this magazine, known from the early 1950s to the late 1970s for its nude photography, presented its interviews and portraits of renowned architects ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller to John Lautner and Moshe Safdies up to Mies van der Rohe is currently being shown in a circulating exhibition (curated by the architectural historian Beatriz Colomina) at the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt.


Equally groundbreaking as the interviews and portraits, on a presentation level, were the chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Roberto Matta, Frank Gehry und Archizoo. The illustrated and imaginary Playboy apartments in a James Bond style provide a particular highlight in which futuristic design classics and objects were presented and to which the large-scale sectional drawing belongs which is part of a project inspired by Hugh Hefner, “The Playboy Town House”.  Real bachelor pads such as Playboy’s Penthouse Apartment by the Chrysalis architects only gained entry in the image plane of the magazine a few years later. In addition to models and furniture from this period, the exhibition offers an insight into Playboy magazine and also provides a digitalised collection of magazines dating from 1953 to 2010.

A 31-page reprint of the special supplement “Playboy Architecture, 1953 to 1979”, which was issued for the exhibition in Bureau Europa in Maastricht in magazine volume no. 33 (2012) is available in English from the museum shop.



Nº 283
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