Wednesday, 26 May 2010


Image from a private family collection. All rights resereved.

by Nicola Linza

My maternal great-uncle was imbued with a large creative genius, a force of energy he channeled into architecture. During his tenure as a society architect in New York in the 1920s, his work included a number of significant yet not widely known innovations in architecture and design that progressed up through the mid-20th century.

In 1959 along with the famous architecture scholar and editor R.G. Chasteney as his colleague, my great uncle co-designed and co-held the US Patent 2886147 for movable partition structures. These stable yet temporary walls were for their day a breakthrough in design (hence the award to the team for their mid-century design patent from the U.S. Government.) Therefore, such items as movable partition structures that today are being considered innovate ...clearly are not.

Aside from Mr Paukstela being my direct relative, I am a former assistant to Ray Eames at the renowned Office of Charles and Ray Eames. Therefore, this increasing trend of calling major patented achievements in architecture and engineering design of the past as both innovative and new today via contemporary work of some young designers is an issue I find untruthful and highly offensive.

This is especially so as this vulgar misplaced praise often refers to the work of inexperienced youth barely out of school where in essence many of their designs are at very best simply appropriations of other past achievements but they often cannot legally claim pure originality. I find the current practice of such attributions grossly offensive to my family, the fields of architecture and engineering design, and is a practice I feel is in need of serious correction.

Let us begin here, the entire patent and my great uncle’s originals drawings to the original moveable partition structures design may be viewed entirely online at

Partition structure
United States Patent 2886147