Thursday, December 11, 2014
This is a loose working outline for the business model of the star-architect office:
- Create spectacular head turning projects and publicize them like crazy to get attention and attract clients, but most importantly to attract talented apprentices/interns to work for free.
- When the resumes start pouring in, negotiate for free labor: make offers along these lines:
- “Help us on this competition and if we win, we will hire you” or...
- “Work for us for free and we will help you get a job at another star-architect firm where we have good contacts”
So what are the implications of a Star-Architect Staffers Club?
-to become a lean well oiled machine for making the most money in the case of wall street and
-to become a lean well oiled machine for winning the most competitions in the case of DS+R and others.
By hiring only people who can demonstrate that they have designed museums and cultural buildings says more about what DS+R has become than any of the two statements above. For one thing it says:
when we had a chance to do this building, (the ICA Boston) for many people it was a kind of a wake up... for us it was a kind of validation.
Charlie Rose: And what did you find out when you did a building?
Scofidio: The problems are there in everything you do whether you do a drinking glass (which we have done for water), there are complex problems.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
In my previous post that responded to Patrik Schumacher's backhanded congratulations message to Shigeru Ban's nomination for the Pritzker, an anonymous person came to Patrik's defense. This is what he/she wrote:
Casa del fascio in Como was also constructed under a fascist regime - you can like it or not, but it is widely recognized as a contribution to humanity, visited and studied by hundreds of scholars and students every year.
At the very least, this dictatorships will leave a masterpiece of architecture behind in history, instead of the generic crap we see all around us. One contribution to humanity from an inhumane regime.
I respect Patrik for having the courage to explain the reality of the world we live in to a seemingly innocent and naive audience who believe in "charity" - read some Zizek to discover what is wrong with the concept.
Architects without borders should indeed never win a pritzker price - because it's not about how "good" you are, but how good your architecture is.
If you are really so politically engaged, then be consequent and also dismiss Frank Gehry, Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, Reiser Umemoto, SOM, KPF, etc... And maybe dismiss Zumthor as well because he is not a vegetarian or doesnt donate to a charity.
Patrik made an argument that was embarrassingly ill-structured and ill-informed (especially considering his stature and academic positions). I unraveled it and demonstrated how it would work if I were to use the same false arguments against him and Zaha. My response was simple, but far from simplistic, but still neither you nor Patrik seem to get it.
So, here goes:
Firstly you made the following statements:
“its either you work for murderous dictators or you are a charity worker” (or in your case vegetarian)
“Hey working for Qaddafi is wrong!...”
His standard reply to such questions sounds something like this:
Enough with all that politically correct crap!!...What!!!... So you want me to be Mother Theresa now?
Politically Correct is defined as agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people
Charity is defined as generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless
Humanitarian means having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
You can tell a lot about the way a person thinks by they kind of questions they ask. For instance, when Partik asks:
"does this mean that those who aspire to win the Pritzker - or the nobel prize in physics - have to add humanitarian charity work into the mix?"
You can clearly see he has got his morals all backwards! You don't think in a humanitarian way or give to charity in order to get an award. An award is something that is given as a recognition for the things that you do out of your passion. If you add humanitarian or charity work into the mix for the purposes of getting any award, then you don't deserve it.
Qaddafi did not put a gun to their head and say design for me or else. He offered them a lot of money and they graciously accepted it. Zaha and Patrik stand to gain financially by taking the inhumane and unremorseful stand that they are taking, so I can understand the motive behind their arguments, but it boggles my mind why anyone else would defend them.
If you want to blame me for anything, blame me for reminding the Pritzker director Martha Thorne that the clause existed. I reminded her about this back in 2012 and urged her to honor this part of the prize (See my letter to her in note 91. Pritzker Talk). Now 2 years later we are seeing a movement in that direction. As I said back then, they are making baby steps, but never the less in the right direction. Perhaps in 20 years we may see an organization like Architecture for Humanity or Architects without Borders being recognized for their humanitarian contribution to the world through architecture.
Anyway, I don’t expect to convince you with this note, but I do hope that I have planted a seed of reason in your head that will help you to question some of the jargon that is coming your way. This blog will always be here for you should you ever wake up from that dreadful cult and decide to come over from the dark side.
Why don't you consider it? Shoot me an email and I will personally lend you a helping hand.
Meanwhile, below this note are some references that will help you get acquainted with some of the basics of critical thinking.
NOTES ON BECOMING A FAMOUS ARCHITECT
Liberating Minds Since August 2007
Below is the first video in a series by Aaron Dewald called Critical Thinking
If you enjoyed it, this is a link to the rest of the course.
Another nice explanation of Critical Thinking:
This one should look familiar to you. The false argument you opened with is clearly identified here.
Some other resources: