The era of technology… or the death of architecture

In that unbear­able, unor­ga­nized, but dra­mat­i­cally beau­ti­ful city, that is Venice, a lib­er­tine spirit hov­ers in the squares and aisles! Peo­ple feel free­dom before the claus­tro­pho­bia takes over. Par­ties, fancy dresses, some show­ing off, inaudi­ble speeches, unreach­able drinks, inac­ces­si­ble pavilions…

What is clear to me after this Bien­nale, is just one aspect! The end of architecture!

The Cen­tral Pavil­ion, show­ing the ele­ments of archi­tec­ture, is so redun­dant and over­whelm­ing, that dis­trib­utes an appar­ently acrit­i­cal con­tent, which is, in real­ity, the most crit­i­cal of all. It says: “we are done!” Tech­nol­ogy, com­fort, secu­rity, engi­neer­ing, sus­tain­abil­ity, all these top­ics are tak­ing over. Archi­tec­ture is a dis­ci­pline that has always strug­gled in defin­ing itself, prob­a­bly as much as phi­los­o­phy did in the past; nowa­days, archi­tec­ture is oblit­er­ated by an infi­nite array of tech­ni­cal sub­jects. Nowa­days, we are liv­ing in the time of “plas­ter­board architecture!”

So, what all those peo­ple in Venice were really doing?! Are they con­scious of how much endan­gered is such a dis­ci­pline and pro­fes­sion?! Archi­tec­ture is no longer a rel­e­vant social mat­ter any­more; gov­ern­ments are not par­tic­i­pa­tory as in the 60s.
600 years ago, fam­i­lies such as the Medici were using archi­tec­ture and art to express their power. Once more, right now, archi­tec­ture is becom­ing the play tool of few rich peo­ple, since all the rest that con­cerns build­ings and city plan­ning is a mere tech­ni­cal issue.
This is what hap­pens when the curve of moder­nity starts to go downward.


…yes, I have been quite cynical!

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2 thoughts on “The era of technology… or the death of architecture

  1. Stefano says:

    I guess, it’s the feel­ing of some­one liv­ing and work­ing in Rotterdam!

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on Survey

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Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

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Colt Sievers

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:45:07

Besides my terrible diction or lack thereof this raises another issue. Should we really feel outrage or sympathy for these interns? After all the ones who can afford to take these kind of jobs are the sons and daughters of the wealthy. What this letter is, is infact symbolic capital and social significance for sale. The rich kid can buy this piece of significance for among other reasons to go to a party and say to his less affluent counterpart, "hey I work for SANAA, or DS+R or whoever. Where do you work again?" Its a status symbol, just like a porsche, or a private jet. Affordable to a selected few that can afford it.