THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE
Location: Atrium Men’s Room
Matt Nolen, The Social History of Architecture.
New York artist Matt Nolen created a ceiling-to-floor tile mural for the largest of the washrooms. His interpretive The Social History of Architecture is a tour of architectural periods from ancient Egypt to the present. On the longest uninterrupted wall, illustrations of architectural icons progress through the ages, beginning with the modern era and continuing through the art historical periods of Art Nouveau, Victorian, Baroque, Gothic, Medieval, ancient Rome, and ancient Egypt. On the opposite wall, tiles and fixtures portray the hands of rulers or visionaries from each successive period with appropriate symbols of power, from a cell phone to the Pope’s ring. While in the washroom, as you make use of the various fixtures, you can imagine yourself a Pharaoh, Caesar, pontiff, or CEO. This subtle empowerment of the individual is reinforced by a quote by poet, writer, and natural philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that rings the soaring blue ceiling of the room: “Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
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