Thursday, February 16, 2006
Utopia or Dystopia? The choice is yours.
"He [Louis I. Kahn] told me: Philadelphia was a city where a small boy could find out what he would do for the rest of his life."
Alvin Boyarsky, former head of the Architectural Association (where Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and so many other avantgardists were trained), was so repulsed by this quote when he heard it in a talk about Kahn that he got up and left the room. On his way out, in the dark, he bumped into Rem Koolhaas, equally repulsed and also leaving.
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I don't get it.
Posted by: Abe at Feb 16, 2006 1:36:27 AM
Did either of them let the door hit them on the way out?
Posted by: Daniel at Feb 16, 2006 8:26:21 AM
I am not sure that I understand. What was it about that comment that repulsed them?
Posted by: Ian Lewis at Feb 16, 2006 9:24:15 AM
I don't get it.
Why were they repulsed? They don't like small boys? They don't like small boys who dream? They don't like Kahn? They don't like Philadelphia?
Of course what Kahn said is hardly profound and could be said of any town or hamlet in the world
I guess I just miss the whole thing, both the quote and the reaction.
Posted by: David Sucher at Feb 16, 2006 11:19:53 AM
we'll never know.
Posted by: Abe at Feb 16, 2006 5:00:34 PM
I'm not Koolhaas or the late Boyarsky, so I would probably put this differently than they would, even if we essentially say the same thing.
They are nihilists, who want architecture to be avantgarde expressions of the misery of our time (they say). They are unhappy with idealists who say we can improve our world and our life on it.
Posted by: john at Feb 16, 2006 10:04:16 PM
They aren't just nihilists, they are sadists. They want everyone to share their pain through their architecture.
Posted by: Urbanitect at Feb 16, 2006 11:25:58 PM
Oblique praise of an old-fashioned American city made them think, "Oh God, we know where this talk is heading".
Posted by: Chris Burd at Feb 17, 2006 10:28:50 AM
I didn't get it either.
Posted by: pedro at Feb 22, 2006 5:40:48 PM