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Designer's Voice

Articles from Praxis Collaborators

A guest post from Lee H. Skolnick

Creative Exchange on the Expanding Plane: Culture and Collaboration

All anyone can talk about these days is how the world is shrinking and the universe of communication is expanding.  One can’t help wonder if these two countervailing forces will eventually collide and we will all dissolve into a digital cloud – a second cultural Big Bang.  International starchitects are covering the earth with anonymously modern buildings that seem to have little sympathy or regard for the cultures and environments into which they are dropped.  Branded designers are held up like trophies for oligarchs, culturati, billionaires and multi-national corporations.  Landscapes are disappearing under the bulldozer and building-scapes are springing up like glossy weeds.  And that same technological revolution that has made working internationally much easier and more efficient:  through facilitating communication, sharing drawings, conducting long distance video design and site meetings, allowing 24-hour productivity... That same technology has resulted in a global architectural beauty pageant.  Shiny bodies empty of true meaning, a kind of sexy image Internet of building porn...and international design trends often based on blind imitation, replete with cultural ignorance and misunderstanding.  So we might well ask: have we unwittingly fashioned our own architectural apocalypse?  It might seem so.


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Designer's Voice