Starchitecture and Sunset Effects

Swan Songs

Peter Buchanan 

Future architects will look back at our times astounded by our confusions, gullibility and inability to exercise critical judgment. This is especially true in relation to the current fads for icons and parametricism, such as the works of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid. But at least some of these have a whizzy energy and sculptural seductiveness; the admiration of non-architects is understandable. Worse is the postmodern penchant for deriving design from preposterous concepts, resulting in clumsy works like Rem Koolhaas’s CCTV and Peter Eisenman’s City of Culture. The flaws in all this stuff, parametricist and postmodern alike, and its utter irrelevance to the urgent problems of our times, are so obvious future generations will be aghast it was ever taken seriously, let alone mistaken for heralds of the future...

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