New York based biannual publication PIN-UP, the self-described “magazine for architectural entertainment”, has given birth to a brilliant book that consists of (almost) all of the interviews from the magazine’s seven years of existence. It’s a bold block of words on paper, without visuals – such a stark proposition in an age when everything is so easily translated into a SNAPCHAT photograph. The delightful chatter with REM KOOLHAAS, HEDI SLIMANE, DANIEL LIBESKIND, PETER MARINO, ZAHA HADID, RICK OWENS and many others is gathered together in one comprehensive and handsome book, available from powerHouse Books for a sympathetic $29.95. Congratulations to PIN-UP’s founding editor, Mr. FELIX BURRICHTER, whom I spoke to last night through FACETIME software.
Gert Jonkers: That old-fashioned telephone you’re talking through looks so fancy!
Felix Burrichter: This handset? We all have one here at the office. It looks much nicer than headphones.
Absolutely. Is everything nice and quiet at the PIN-UP offices?
Well, maybe acoustically, but emotionally it’s crazy right now.
Really? What’s going on?
We have two more weeks until the new issue goes to print.
Which issue is that?
The 15th. I think you’re really going to love this one because it’s all about interiors.
Do you think that, more and more, PIN-UP is moving away from architecture and towards interiors?
I don’t know, but for a magazine the visual representation of architecture is always harder; there are so many variables. There’s people, there’s cars, there’s ugly trees… It can be a lot more precise, a clearer vision, when you only photograph the interior.
When I think of PIN-UP I think of a distinct kind of interior. Quite ornate, angular, hysterical. Do you agree?
I think that’s a tricky question because so much of what you may recognise as a distinct style is just my personal taste. (Laughs) What I’m really interested in is statement interiors. That’s why, for example, for this upcoming issue most of the houses we photographed are second homes. They’re pied-a-terres, or they’re big houses and they really don’t look as if they’re super lived in. There’s no half-empty bowl of cereal on the table, or a bunch of cacti, if you see what I mean. It’s like a super anal vision of what an interior should look like, down to every single detail. They’re all a bit extreme; they’ve all got a very strong personality. If there is a common trait in all the interiors that have ever been in PIN-UP, it would be that they all have extreme personalities.
Which is of course a perfect bridge to this great PIN-UP book full of interesting personalities. What struck me is that in a lot of the intros for the interviews it is mentioned what the interviewee looks like…
…and their age; somehow everybody in the book is 66 years old!
So why this fascination for appearances?
It may have to do with the fact that usually those are frivolous details that you’re not meant to mention in an architecture context. I think that’s where it may have come from originally. It’s something for a fashion publication to describe what people look like, what they’re wearing. You wouldn’t normally see that in an architecture publication.
That’s the ‘entertainment’ part of your subtitle, I reckon.
Yeah, thank you.
How much thinking and designing went into the shape of the book? For an architect I guess it’s important that the dimensions and the weight are just perfect.
To be honest, we had some constraints from the publisher – there were certain parameters that we had to operate within, but we also somehow wanted to keep the square format of the magazine, but at a smaller scale. It’s like PIN-UP in a bible format.