By William Saunders
Greater than ever, architectural layout is visible as a way to advertise advertisement ambitions instead of as an lead to itself. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, for instance, easily can't be thought of except its meant position as a catalyst for the industrial revitalization of Bilbao and its skill to draw vacationer money, despite its architectural benefits. A equipped atmosphere meant to seduce shoppers is likely to supply immediate gratification than to ask self sufficient concept and mirrored image. yet how destructive, if in any respect, is that this unparalleled commercialization of architecture? Framed with a provocative creation by means of Kenneth Frampton, the contributions to Commodification and Spectacle in structure stake out a number of positions within the debate over the level to which it's possible—or desirable—to get away from, withstand, or recommend believable possible choices to the dominant tradition of shopper capitalism. Rejecting any dreamy nostalgia for an idealized current or earlier during which layout is totally divorced from commerce—and, sometimes, celebrating the pleasures of spectacle—the person essays variety from indictments of specific architects and reviews of the career to broader issues approximately what the phenomenon of commodification capability for the perform of democracy and the wellbeing and fitness of society. Bringing jointly a powerful and sundry team of critics and practitioners, Commodification and Spectacle in structure can assist to sharpen the dialogue of ways layout can reply to our hypercommodified culture. Contributors: Michael Benedikt, Luis Fern?ndez-Galiano, Thomas Frank, Kevin Ervin Kelley, Daniel Naegele, Rick Poynor, Michael Sorkin, Wouter Vanstiphout. William S. Saunders is editor of Harvard layout journal and assistant dean for exterior kin on the Harvard layout tuition. he's the writer of recent structure: images via Ezra Stoller. Kenneth Frampton is Ware Professor of structure at Columbia collage Graduate institution of structure, making plans, and protection and writer of many books, together with Labour, paintings, and structure.
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Extra info for Commodification and Spectacle in Architecture: A Harvard Design Magazine Reader (Harvard Design Magazine)
Modern architecture rode to the rescue in Germany and France after the First World War, remobilizing idled factories from the production of munitions to the production of lightbulbs and sinks and awning windows for the sanitary housing of the struggling lower classes. Modernism delivered again at midcentury, transmogriﬁed into the International Style. By then it had become the architectural recipe for sending clearinghouses of money and trade mushrooming skyward in every nation, for housing thousands of people at once in great gulps of construction (the concrete frame, the glass and steel, the “plaza”).
The ceiling of expectations as to what architecture could and should and would achieve was already lowered, ratcheted down by decades of efﬁciency-talk and rationalitytalk on the consumer end, and, on the production end, by the failure to develop fresh technology that could lower construction costs fast enough to free up money for a round of ambitious and complex design. Those small economies that could be technologically effected (lightweight structural and wall systems, for example) were quickly hijacked by rentiers and ﬁnanciers, and by clients with better things to do with their money.
By then it had become the architectural recipe for sending clearinghouses of money and trade mushrooming skyward in every nation, for housing thousands of people at once in great gulps of construction (the concrete frame, the glass and steel, the “plaza”). And this occurred not just in New York and Stuttgart, but also in Montevideo, Johannesburg, Athens, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mexico City . . cities all over the world whose postwar architectural character to this day amounts to poured-in-place graph paper with occasional awnings, roaring with the sound of exhaust pipes.