Glass houses

Glass houses

Philip Johnson and David Whitney invited great minds to their home to discuss topics from architecture to the art world. A few years ago, the Philip Johnson Glass House reopened, continuing the tradition. And in 2009-2010, The Glass House approached us, MFA Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts, to extend these until-then-physical Conversations to a broader platform:

The Philip Johnson Glass House has been described as “the longest running salon in America,” as great minds in architecture, art, and design gathered in New Canaan, Connecticut at the invitation of Philip Johnson and David Whitney. …. The Conversations website extends this tradition. It investigates what makes a conversation. Blending the boundaries of inside versus outside, public versus intimate, and host versus guest, it’s intended to extend the Glass House conversations to a more public forum. Each Monday, a host posts a provocation. People have only five days to respond. The boundaries of the conversation are set to just one week, ending on Friday evenings. After comments have closed a “Final Word” is chosen from the replies.

Created, designed, built, and managed entirely by six students in the MFA Interaction Design program, the site was developed under the guidance of faculty member Jason Santa Maria, and clients Dorothy Dunn and Christy McLear.

The site has been in development since last fall through an inventive partnership between the MFA Interaction Design Department at SVA and the Philip Johnson Glass House. Its goal was to adapt the intimate Glass House Conversations series to an expanded digital forum, and build on the legacy of architect Philip Johnson’s home in New Canaan, Connecticut. It was at the Glass House that Philip Johnson and longtime partner David Whitney brought together people like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Robert. A.M. Stern, for discussions that shaped the cultural dialogue of the 20th century. This project engages a new, online audience and expands the conversation into the 21st century.

Since its launch, it’s hosted an impressive list of site moderators from Ze Frank to Alice Rawsthorn to Geoff Manaugh to Nicola Twilley.

This week, it asks, “what were your top 3 inspirations of 2010?” Join the conversation, won’t you?