2008: no more buildings

At some point I wanted to talk about New York City, the place where I live right now (technically,  I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan, but that’s another story). Well, this article recently came out in the New York Times that is talking about the recent economic downturn and its affect upon the architectural profession. This follows on the heels of this article by resident architectural critic Nicolai Ourousoff (joyfully titled, “It was fun till the money ran out”), which proclaims the end of an architectural era.

Anybody who is an architect in or around New York right now has heard of the layoffs that have affected and seemingly will continue to affect our profession. I have had conversations with others who have said that the economic downturn cannot but have a profound effect on the discourse and pedagogy of architecture. Things like Zaha’s Chanel Pavilion (filled with, of all things, art inspired by a handbag) seem downright absurd in the economic light (if it didn’t seem absurd before). Instead of discussing neo-Baroque representational tendencies and architectures of excess, we’ll be talking about whether all of America will look like Detroit in the future.

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