Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A NEW INFRASTRUCTURE Competition - [WE WON! (something)]

Our project 15 UP 15 Down won a special jury picking in much coveted Sci Arc Transportation competition.
Project was mainly drawings of Glen Howard Small's vision of West LA, suggesting transportation and urban alternatives.
I was glad to be the in-house crit and spark plug to get my friend going...
Glen started his drawings in Managua and after being, the Santa Monica Emergency room for kidney staone problems until midnight and finishing the boards in next two days in my small office, project by personally delivered by Glen and, yes, they are all drawn by hand.

See the results at Bustler

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Critics' Kid Gloves & Adios Amigos

collage by OA

The architects, who are finishing projects right now are in high demand by the critics. Specially the high profile ones.
Every critic is on a hunt for a new project and if they don't find one, they are opting out for an infrastructure story or ‘the starchitecture is dead’ angle.
It is like; everybody got rid of their silk underwear and put on the kid gloves for harmless boxing...

For the famous ones, open hunt season with secretly grinded axes is on.

It is a matter of time someone comes to their rescue. An unlikely critic like me, for example.

Thank you Frank O., Rem, Thom, Zaha, Foster, Libeskind, Nouvel, etc., etc.

Thank you for a job well done. Keeping the industry going for over a decade until yesterday. Thank you for keeping millions of student projects relevant. Thank you for the design ideas and inspirations. Thanks for the lectures and thanks for the books.

You need to close the book on your previous critics. They are like whores. Untrustworthy. Do you remember when they met you over expensive lunches and cocktails given by magazines, in New York restaurants, hotel lobbies? Do you remember how grateful they were to you, for giving the exclusive interviews laced with few behind the scenes information? Ah so... He/she told ‘me,’ I tell you, you tell your people, tell and read tell and read... Spread the word... Twisted towers coming to town, Brooklyn Bride is pregnant out of wedlock.
Architects forever...

Look at them now, openly criticizing your work in front of public. They are now throwing the book on you and saying you are over. They are now regarding to your projects with no legacy other than gluttony and excess. Your clients put on the same pedestal with criminals. Your lack of social responsibility and your corporate greed all condemned.
Yes, they are.

In the same columns where your supremacy was fed to plebes, then...
Your artistry and irresistible talent easily thrashed, now...

They are printed in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of San Francisco. Never Mind the Chinese newspapers... Freelancers lining up to punch your balls. Public executions on daily ropes.
Did you deserve this?
Of course not! Maybe yes maybe no!
It is not too late! You too can maneuver.
Go for the Obama Doctrine!
It works. No questions asked, no buildings demolished. Put a political sign on the facade and some social issues in the open office space. Yes solar panels, yes recycled carpet schemes. ‘Look ma’ no poison in the whatever building material. No lead just LEED. Everywhere. Never release a rendering without 60% green color.
Think infrastructure! Solar Power. Sustainability...
On your marks...
It is a new dawn, it is a new day... Re-address, re-dress, re-load, re-pack, re-face, re-smell...

Grab that opportunity...

Adiós amigos...

(As yours truly watches the desperately vicious vanity race.)