checking the pulse of the architecture industry

Submitted by Susan Miller on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 10:30.

If any architects are reading this blog, here's a survey for you: Checking the Pulse of the Architecture Industry from Archinect. I'll be interested to read the results in a future Archinect newsletter.

While away in rural New Hampshire for a bit I caught up on some long overdue reading. I read James Howard Kunstler's The Geography of Nowhere:The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (1993). He slams modernism hard. I don't, but I now see why traditional architects hold their noses when I wax on about the beauty of some modernist buildings. I wonder if Kunstler has a view on the wholesale destruction of modern buildings - maybe, maybe not. So I have cracked his work The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century (2005). Already in chapter one with a heading that reads "Adios Global Economy", I feel that we are doomed. You think Cleveland is in the dumps? Yes, Cleveland is a canary.

My friend says I may be so depressed I will not be able to rise from the bed each day. I'll counter with a short poem by Dorothy Parker - “Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful; nooses give; gas smells awful; you might as well live.” I've added the KunstlerCasts to my to do list. (Thank you Daryl Davis!)

In any case, seeing the light of day can be difficult, but it is certainly better than living in a fantasy in some mall somewhere. "NO", I said to my sister with whom I was visiting, "buying a pair of shoes will NOT make me feel better."

What shall we build, what shall we reuse, how shall we reuse it, for whom and to what purpose... architects, I would surmise, must attempt to answer this question daily. Maybe not. Maybe they just hunker down to their CAD drawings and plod along.


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