Architects on the Catwalk. Spectacle and Scale

31/12/2003


The architecture of our time is marked by a double compulsion: exhibitionistic advertising and physical colossalism. Apparently, both driving forces are characteristic of a period that has witnessed the development of the mass media and has contemplated the construction of huge skyscrapers. And, also seemingly, the two appetites are contradictory, because the racket of the media often serves as a placebo for the absence of material impact. However, neither exhibitionist thirst or colossal scale emerged during the past century – Vitruvius describes the architect Dinocrates dressed in a lion skin and holding the mace of Hercules in the presence of Alexander which ridicules our current apprentice demiurges, while the term pharaonic still serves to refer to those who dream about pyramids–, nor are the two yearnings necessarily contrasting urges: rather the opposite, because advertising is inevitably a tool of promotion used to obtain large commissions, and, for their part, the very scale of those commissions effortlessly feeds the voracious machinery of the media...[+]


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