Steven Hellera, co-founder of the MFA in design criticism program at the School of Visual Arts, wrote an essay for The New Design Observer on the city's floor-to-ceiling window fad.
People in glass apartments shouldn’t throw stones or other projectiles. Nor should they engage in private acts directly in front of their floor to ceiling windows. Yet lately there has been a rash of exhibitionism throughout New York City owing to an increase in floor to ceiling windowed buildings. Influenced in part by Richard Meier’s glass box towers in lower Manhattan (and his newest one at One Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn), these transparent living spaces, once the quintessence of twenty first century Modernism, have become eyesores, particularly at night when they take on the appearance of showrooms in Amsterdam’s red light district.
Why would anyone want their intimate life exposed to any peeping Tom, Dick or Harry? In other words, what were the architects thinking? And why are so many developers buying into this aesthetic?
For further reading:
Naked City (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)
Bottom photo (so to speak!) via the New York Post