Fred A. Bernstein

  • Jon Jerde. Photo: Joe Pugliese. Courtesy, The Jerde Partnership.
    passages March 18, 2015

    Jon Jerde (1940–2015)

    RAY BRADBURY, the science-fiction writer, lived most of his life in Los Angeles but never learned to drive. No wonder he wrote essays lamenting the lack of a town center. In 1970 Jon Jerde, a Los Angeles architect, read an article in which Bradbury described how a town square in the sprawling city might be organized. Jerde arranged to meet Bradbury over lunch, and the two men became friends. A few years later, Jerde was asked to design a mall in a derelict section of San Diego. Bradbury told Jerde that “one of the joys of travel is being lost in a great city and loving it,” and he recommended

  • Madeline Gins with Arakawa. Photo: Dimitris Yeros.
    passages March 31, 2014

    Madeline Gins (1941–2014)

    “IT’S IMMORAL THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE,” Madeline Gins told me when we met, in 2008. The setting was the “Lifespan Extending Villa,” a sprawling house on Long Island where floors were shaped like sand dunes; where walls were painted forty different colors; where switches and fixtures were set at odd angles and inconvenient heights. It was the latest in a series of buildings that Gins and her partner of fifty years, the Japanese-born artist Arakawa, believed would halt the aging process. “They ought to build hospitals like this,” she said during an interview. (“They should never, ever build