Oldenburg’s Lipstick (Ascending)

Oldenburg Lipstick in Morse courtyardFrom the day in 1969 that Claes Oldenburg’s Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks first appeared in Beinecke Plaza it was magnificently outrageous. With its bright-red plastic inflatable tip that has since been replaced by a rigid metal one, it was both confrontational and sexy, both feminine and phallic. Like a lightning rod, the Lipstick drew angry crowds protesting culture wars and armed conflicts. Protest leaders couldn’t help but jump upon its tank treads to bark revolution through megaphones. Yet … it made one smile during those demonstrations. It’s now in a quieter venue, the Morse courtyard, retired from battle, but also unable to temper the crowd’s passion with its irony.

Ben Slotznick

The Rudolph Building

inside the Rudolph BuildingMy favorite architecture is the Rudolph Building, a prime example of Brutalist architecture – but it always felt warm to me. Stairwells were womb-like, even cozy, but opened into large lofty open areas. I loved the many – and always interesting – transitions between varied levels and spaces.

Ben Slotznick

Silliman attic

Harkness Tower with the word "Sample" printed over itMy favorite space was the Silliman attic – a place that no longer exists. When I was at Yale, it was used as a small theater, and I watched, acted in, or designed sets and lighting for more than half-a-dozen shows. The shape and shadows of steeply pitched roof rafters, massive brick chimneys and cavernous recesses above the eaves, taught me much about designing in three-dimensions.

Ben Slotznick