140413_Ivan-Sergejev_Original-Business-Cards

My new business cards. Based on a regular grid, with only an absolute minimum of information on them, they allow for a lot of flexibility and creativity, acting as a crossbreed of a business card and a sketch pad. I can draw designs as I go, and only include information I want, tailoring each card to the person I exchange it with. A touch of uniqueness, with trade-off being time.

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Cool trumps good any time.
This is something I’ve leaned in school and am continuing to learn in the industry. It seems like our profession is obsessed with cool, and when we are confronted by a choise of whether cool or good, we typically go for cool.
More over, and more importantly to me right now, it seems like any famous architect (and who does not want that?) started off as cool and only then, after years of “curing”, they became good – just like wine, which is “interesting” when young and gets mature with time. It seems like if you want to become known and appreciated you are better off starting cool – you can always, and will, become good later. Or you won’t, but that’s a different story.
I like tracing this train of thought on the career of Rem Koolhaas, because he is the architect whom I believe I know and understand the most. He started off as rebel. Rebels are always cool. He started off with the Berlin wall (awesome!), cutting London into two separate worlds (scary, but cool), diagrams and “diliriousness” – craziness (a portion of which seems to be an inseparable ingredient of cool). By now we observe the matured Mr. Koolhaas – with CCTV being the best example of this maturity, for me personally (of cause, it’s not his sole achievement, but the team behind him. However, he is still the de-facto head of the office and its one-man brain-trust). Same can be said about a lot of our favorite architects in the modern tradition: Corbusier, Zaha, Thom Maine – being the first ones coming to mind.
But what about Zumthor, Olgiatti, and other guys like them, who are not cool at all and not trying to be, but who are just good. Are they?