“utopia redux” – mammoth // building nothing out of something

“utopia redux”

Lebbeus Woods has a fantastic piece, “Utopia Redux”, on the collages of Daniel Meridor, a student at the Cooper Union; the second paragraph, in particular, is a succinct summation of where young designers find themselves after the first decade of the third millenium:

Meridor’s generation—a younger one—has no faith in grand architectural plans to make a better world and especially not a best of all possible worlds. Yet a certain idealism remains. For some it takes the form of environmental consciousness and sometimes grand plans for healing the damage done to the planet by humankind—or, for more modest, ecologically sustainable designs. For others it takes the form of technological innovation using computers, the internet, and other electronic wonders. For only a relative few, however, does their idealism take the forms of isolated buildings that are the focus of the present generation of innovators—radical ‘new forms’ fail to inspire as they once did. The idealistic architects of Meridor’s generation are more critical and reflective than any in recent memory, which leads them to an emphasis on process rather than product, and into either direct engagement with communities in need or into teaching careers, which are not altogether unrelated activities.

Read the whole piece, which explains why it is nonetheless worthwhile to understand Meridor’s collages as architectural proposals. You’ll want to see Meridor’s collages, as well…

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