Bling my bling

E-mail this post

Remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of More...

The awe-inspiring design of the pyramids had an amazing effect on the spirit of the slaves. Those whips helped as well.

There's a lot of interesting writing about the depression on architectural blogs these days. Kazys Varnelis writes about the architecture of bling and points out to 15 skyscrapers currently on hold due to the economic crisis. [Can anyone invent a new word for it, I’m tired of writing “crisis” on this blog.] He rightly states that the aesthetics of these buildings is little more than a shallow celebration of excess, retrieving "no culture, no history, no morality, no taste, merely the desire to display wealth".

Interestingly, just today the Guardian published an interview with Zaha Hadid. Focusing on one of her latest projects, the Olympic Aquatic Center for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Hannah Pool questions Hadid if she wishes she had designed a more modest building in regard for the current state of the economy. "No" - she says - "In these moments of recession, uplifting the spirit is even more important and we should learn from things that were done in the past that were done in a hurry".
It's quite unfortunate to witness someone who started her career with one of the most challenging approaches to convention and norm, now embracing this impudent architecture of representational power. And practice it without a hint of reflection on plain economic legitimacy, not to mention morality.
The sophistication of Hadid's architectural design now seems to be the epitome of late-post-modern and kitsh, an architecture devoid of any sense of belonging or social function other than that startling motif: to uplift the spirit, to revere through monumentality and awe. In these harsh times, one whould rather feel uplifted by a rational and balanced application of public money. Zaha’s lighthearted display of disregard to the seriousness of the matter is hardly a sign of irreverence, but plain social negligence.

1 Messages to “Bling my bling”

  1. Anonymous hanba 

    A great post! Especially the photo! The contemporary architects have all the tools between heaven and earth to construct buildings with a soul.

    Yet the only thing that seems to matter is the size of the architect's ego. This is sad, because we all have to live with their megalomaniac creations. Unlike art where you can choose not to pay attention to "selfish" artists.


» Leave a message