Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Two types of architecture: good, and the other kind
THE ARCHITECTURE CRITIC for New York magazine wrote about the work of Robert A.M. Stern in an article entitled Unfashionably Fashionable. I commented:
"There are two kinds of music," Duke Ellington famously said. "Good music, and the other kind."
When I had Bob Stern as a teacher, the architectural academy and the architectural establishment were equally open-minded. Bob Stern, Peter Eisenman, Léon Krier, Michael Graves, Richard Meier and many others formed a disparate and friendly group that agreed with Duke Ellington, accepting many things (and each other), as long as they were good.
Today, we have ideologues controlling much of "the discourse" in the academy and the establishment. In musical terms, they are saying that everyone must work in the tradition of Philip Glass: Classical music, Hip Hop, bebop, jazz, folk, rock, indie rock, pop...are all verboten. They're more close minded than the Tea Party.
Is this about to change? Things like the New York article or one in the magazine of the American Institute of Architects by Aaron Betsky in which Betsky calls the traditional work of former Stern employee Tom Kligerman "breathtaking in its sophistication and beauty," suggest that maybe they are. The magazine has probably never published Kligerman's work, and has certainly never praised it before.
Worth noting: like most people other than architects, the readers of New York are not ideological about traditional or modern design. You particularly see this in New York in the hangouts of the young and the hip, where you find traditional design, modern design, and places that comfortably combine both. Craftsmanship and natural materials, both conspicuously missing in the work of most Starchitects and New York's gleaming tall towers, have been strong trends for years.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Arc et Senans
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
On the Second Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the face of Global Capitalism, brought to you by the Sheik of Dubai, Chinese Communism, Starchitects, and the billionaires who broke the world economy in 2008
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Quote of the Day
This book could change the way people see the streets in their towns and cities. And it could help those towns and cities make streets for people, rather than their cars.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
From a good article about a high school teacher: The Quote of the Day
The Levittown of my youth, and of Volpe’s early years teaching there, was the quintessential American suburb before the rise of video games, cable TV, the Internet. It had no Main Street or downtown, no culture, not a single thing of visual interest. As a teenager, I spent summer nights coasting around on my bicycle with friends, often well past midnight, miles in every direction. We told ourselves we were looking to meet girls, but I think we were trying to get somewhere that didn’t look like everywhere else. We were not coming back to this town, any of us, once we left.
Monday, September 02, 2013
Quote of the Day
Outside of architecture school graduates, art school grads, and Art Basel fans over 65 years old, very few people are ideological Modernists.
Friday, August 23, 2013
You think New York's decreasing diversity happened by chance?
MAYOR BLOOMBERG calls New York City a "luxury product" worth paying for, according to the New York Times.
Also see Ginia Bellefante, A Mayor Who Puts Wall Street First, New York Times, August 16, 2013.From the Bellefante article:
To the graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design who can create $13,000 copper bathtubs (of the kind the mayor recently imported from France for his home) or cerused cocktail tables commissioned by uptown decorators, New York is an increasingly hospitable place. If what you make is more pedestrian, Stella D’oro cookies once sold in places like Key Food, instead of $6-a-piece shortbread of the type you might find at Chelsea Market, the mayor’s subliminal message winnows down to this: “Good luck, and send us a postcard from Ohio.”Both articles were in the New York Times retrospective, The Bloomberg Years.