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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Friday, July 02, 2010

The best architecture since 1980? Yikes.

Vanity Fair has a slideshow of "the top 21 most important works of architecture since 1980". You've got to be kidding me - apparently we have lost our collective minds. I notice Daniel Libeskind's ROM Crystal didn't make the list (but his Jewish Museum in Berlin did, and it's essentially the same building).

James Lileks comments on Vanity Fair's architectural tastes:
The second one makes me laugh, because it’s a 1987 building that uses every single played-out cliche from the early 60s. The rest are mostly machines for advancing careers; once you get a Leibeskind or a Gehry or a Koolhaus you’re a real city with real architecture, even if you got a library that has no relation to its function or its surroundings – or, for that matter, a front door. The most amusing may be the Parc de la Vilette, which has chairs that prohibit both comfort and conversation, and a fire-engine-red . . . thing that either serves as a piece of playground equipment on loan from hell, or an object adults can use to contemplate the futility of endeavor.

I do like the addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri – it’s like the chrysalis for a building, and at least it respects its neighbor; unlike the rest of the structures, it seems to be made by people from my species.

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