98% of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. | Jemmott
Interviewed in Oviedo, Spain after receiving the Prince of Asturias Awards or Arts, Frank Gehry responded to a reporter who asked how he responds to accusations that he builds ‘showy architecture’.
"Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There is no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that's it.
Once in a while, however, there is a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don't ask for work. I don't have a publicist. I'm not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don't ask questions as stupid as that one." (1)
He followed this statement with the obligatory finger.
This artwork prompts the continued debate about the role of architecture. Is the continued preoccupation with creating what Bingler and Pedersen refer to as "signature pieces, glorious one offs, neglecting to create artful, harmonious work that resonates with the broad swath of the general population." In doing so, have we “ceded the rest of the built environment to hacks, with sprawl and dreck rolling out all around us.” (2)
Or should architects continue to ‘startle and shock’ (3) by continuing to experiment and innovate in pursuit of ultimate perfection and not pander to the needs of lay people.
The work is created so the piece appears whole from a distance while, the individual threads will be visible when viewed up closer from the adjacent balcony.
(2) How to Rebuild Architecture – 16/12/2014 Steven Bingler and Martin Pedersen.
(3) Aaron Betsky. Via The Holcim Foundation.