Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979

29 September 2012 till 9 February 2013

Exhibition in collaboration with Princeton University about the way Playboy magazine used architecture and design as important tools to shape a new identity for the American male.

Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979 explores the crucial role of modern architecture— buildings, interiors, furniture, cities and product design—in constructing the Playboy imaginary. The exhibition shows how architecture was mobilized to shape a new sexual and consumer identity for the American male and how architectural taste became critical to success in the art of seduction. Through an extraordinary quantity of architecture and architects featured in Playboy, the magazine played an important role in informing the public, particularly American men, about design and architecture in relation to literature, politics, art, lifestyle and fashion. Looking at the changing nature of Playboy architecture not only provides a way of understanding how Playboy’s project changed from the mid 1950s to the late 1970s; it also reveals how Playboy’s idealized world became a reality that was ingrained into America’s national identity and had a massive global impact.

Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979 has been developed and curated by Professor Beatriz Colomina, Professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture and Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity. In 2006-2007 she curated, with a group of Princeton Ph.D. students, the exhibition "Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X" that was also presented at NAiM/Bureau Europa in 2010.

Curatorial TeamBeatriz Colomina, Director, Ph.D. Program in Architecture, Princeton University
Britt Eversole, Federica Vannucchi, Margo Handwerker, Ph.D. candidates, Princeton University School of Architecture
Pep Aviles, Marc Britz and Daria Ricchi, Ph.D. candidates, Princeton University School of Architecture

Design TeamExhibition design: EventArchitectuur
Graphic design: Experimental Jetset

Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979 will be officially opened on Saturday 29 September, 17h00 - 19h00, by artistic director Guus Beumer and curator Beatriz Colomina.

On Sunday 30 September at 14h00, Britt Eversole, member of the curatorial team, will give a guided tour for visitors of the exhibition. 

Leading Dutch architecture magazine Volume has published a special issue on Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979. This special is available as a handout for visitors of the exhibition. Click here for more information about the Volume special.

NAiM/Bureau Europa is structurally subsidized by the Province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht, and supported by The Netherlands Architecture Fund and the SNS Reaal Fund


Window prints