Friday, September 21, 2007

Architects are Ridiculous

So I'm reading some architectural documents from 1943-1968. And they are hilarious. A: A lot of architects just simply can't write. Frank Lloyd Wright for instance. Horrible writer (My best friend's an architect. They stop writing papers sophomore year, if not earlier, so I understand how this happens)
B: They're incredibly funny. Architects have to please so many people, give speeches, schmooze bosses, clients, public, administrators, they have a real rhetorical sense. So in a post-manifesto society they take the best of the manifesto style and mix it with humor. (this isn't true of all of them, but the ones I like. Some take themselves WAY to seriously and just sound like satire)
C: Robert Moses was a real asshole. I want to reserve judgment until I read the Caro biography and some of the revisionist bios that came out earlier this year, but reading his documents...i think he sucks. He calls everyone a dirty commie. EVERY ARCHITECT.
D: This is my favorite quote for now from the brilliantly named essay "A City Is Not a Tree" by Christopher Alexander in 1965:
"The playground, asphalted and fenced in, is nothing but a pictorial acknowledgment of the fact that 'play' exists in an isolated concept in our minds. It has nothing to do with the life of play itself. Few self-respecting children will even play in a playground."

So, have more respect for yourself, kids and break out.