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January CONTRACT/designer profile/5 of 8

somehow become established and was no l[[strikethrough]]a[[/strikethrough]]onger revolutionary.

"We are now in a reactionary mode. Here in New York the offices of AT&T are a signal, as is the Equitable tower with its 18th century interior, richness, tablatures, and wianscotting,"Larsen continues. "Eclecticism is now at its strongest point. It is being practiced by designers who haven't had experience other than in the contemporary style." Larsen cites Kohn Pedersen Fox, designers of Equitable, as being one of today's innovators in corporate interiors.

In hospitality, the firm's fastest-growing market, Larsen commends the work of firms bringing alive the grandeur of the past through ambitious restoration. Out of respect for the preserver's art, he comments that while early 20th century designers, among them Walter Gropius, could spend five years developing a design, today's architects and designers must present their ideas in five weeks!

Larsen's Masterworks^tm 20th Century collection, an ongoing collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, springs from first decades of this century, including the Bauhaus School which Gropius founded in 1919. The Bauhaus philosophy of combining art and industry can be considered a cornerstone of the Larsen firm as well.

Says Larsen, "I have always wanted to imbue what is on the market, and what technical innovations exist, with craft quality so [[strikethrough]] that one [[/strikethrough]] the user can better relate to the product.