Architecture & Design

Deborah Desilets Talks Morris Lapidus and Miami Architecture

When staying at the Eden Roc Hotel or rollerblading through Lincoln Road Mall, architect Morris Lapidus is probably the last person on your mind. Deborah Desilets aims to change that with her book, Morris Lapidus: An Architecture of Joy. Both heralded and reviled during his career, Lapidus first captured Desilets's imagination when she was a five-year-old visiting her mom in a building he designed. She went on to become an accomplished architect and designer, even designing key pieces of furniture currently used at the Fontainebleau Hotel (also designed by Lapidus).

Her admiration eventually turned into a labor of love when Desilets compiled over fifty years of the seminal architect's work in her book. Tonight, she will be giving a book presentation and signing copies at Books & Books in Bal Harbour. She will also be appearing at the Miami International Book Fair in November. Read on to hear what Desilets thinks about Miami architecture and about her three favorite buildings in the world.

New Times: What is it about Morris Lapidus's designs that captured your admiration?

Deborah Desilets: His "bean poles, cheese holes, and woggles" placed in

organic "anti-grid" interiors, where his combinations of light, color,

ornament and signage spoke volumes about being human.

Do you feel that architecture is an art?
(It is) the mother of all arts.

What do you feel architecture students should focus on?
People, they are the client.

What do you think about Miami architecture?
It is, continues, as a laboratory for design.

What are your three favorite structures in the world?
Pantheon. Berlin Jewish Museum. Brasilia Cathedral.

What has the world lost with the departure of Morris Lapidus?

 A very human being.

Stop by Books & Books in Bal Harbour (9700 Collins Ave., #204, Bal

Harbour) tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a free book presentation and book

signing, as well as a chance to listen to Desilets wax poetic about

architecture and the man who titled his autobiography Too Much is Never

Enough. Call 305-864-4241 or visit

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Ily Goyanes
Contact: Ily Goyanes