Tuesday, 24 December 2013


The page-six story was suggested in the headline that read: Scores die as Assad pummels Aleppo rebelsIt was the image accompanying this report in The Australian of 24 December 2013, ironically Christmas eve, a time of peace and happiness, that prompted the observation that the pictured bomb damage looked very much like a Gehry project. It is a very sad thought because the reflection overlooks the serious suffering that the people of Syria are having to endure. It is also regretful to note that what is being promoted as the high art of architecture mimics the physical outcomes of battle, as this again ignores the blood that is being shed, while egos are being pumped up in the promotion of personal genius with such unique, 'aesthetically' extreme extravagances.

We need to ask more questions about the direction in which we are seeing architecture moving. What has happened to empathy? What has happened to an architecture that can care for people and enhance the spirit, rather than captivate and surprise, even alarm the eye? What has happened to simple, quiet beauty?

Look again at Aleppo; look closely, as we are on the edge of being very callous with our new architectural expression. Is this a sign of our times that concentrates on matters personally heroic rather than considering others, their physical situation, their feelings, their circumstances and concerns - their everyday being?

Look closely lest we forget the nexus between form, function and feeling, and suffering, with our new cleverness. Here 'smart' is given its different, more stridently stinging interpretation, because it does not look very smart to convert images of suffering into an aesthetic drama of difference all for the sake of a singular 'arty' identity: an emotional defiance that declares only more of ME and MY greatness.


20 June 2014
A few Gehry projects not at Aleppo:


3 February 2019
see: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47103109 

'Gehry' cityscape?

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