What Aaron Wants

Our design blogger, the ever-discerning Aaron Betsky, shares his holiday short list with us.Porsche Panamera, $80,000As an art museum director, I have to drive a sedan, and finally there is one as curvaceous, streamlined and...


As an art museum director, I have to drive a sedan, and finally there is one as curvaceous, streamlined and fluid as the best coupes or racing cars. That’s because it is a Porsche, and if they can make an SUV (the Cayenne) look good, they can make anything with four wheels seem sexy. The Panamera is one continuous teardrop that promises to let you go with the flow, only faster. The only problem is that it is a Porsche, which means I can’t afford it.

I love cows. There is something very comforting about their ruminations and their big eyes. I also love anatomical models, which remind me of those moments in dusty science museums when it still seemed to me as if the world could be explained clearly and decisively. This season, I’m giving these little models—along with the horse and pig versions—to friends, depending on what I think their character calls for. But I also want one all for myself.

If I ever wanted to dress up as the fleet-footed god Mercury, this is what I would wear: a leather strip imprinted with digital dimples that wraps around your feet, then unfurls all the way up your shin, and is held at the top with a metal clasp. These boots are the essence of British architect Zaha Hadid’s designs turned into cladding for a foot, not a building. Only 850 of them were made (retail price was $525), but you can try to beg one from Lacoste or find them on Ebay.

For once I would like to sit in an airline seat that was not either a straightjacket or a glorified Barcalounger. Just because planes are ovoid do the seats have to be? Not if you fly Swiss Airlines between JFK and Zurich, and can afford the front of the plane. The chair turns into a full bed sheltered behind straight walls accented in blond wood. I can just imagine myself in one of those minimalist modern Alpine huts, floating to sleep high above it all.

Critic, curator and museum director Aaron Betsky curated the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, ran Rotterdam’s Netherlands Architecture Institute from 2001-2006 and these days, helms the Cincinnati Art Museum. See his previous blogs HERE and check back on Thursday for his next post.