Thursday, 20 March 2014

Hadid Director 'Rants'

When he gets a chance to think about it, Patrik Schumacher might become less enthused that his Facebook became headlines on Deezine. His remarks are illuminating on several historical levels, what did he let out of the bag?
He assured us that architects are about form making and that they are not responsible for content. In the short term this justifies the Hadid practise in it's global aspirations and it sounds reasonable enough if you are happy to work for various more or less despotic regimes with more or less savoury conditions of labour and produce buildings that more or less correspond to users needs in the name of that form-making.
Overall this is a less than cautious thing to claim, since those oppositions form/content; idealism/practicality; science/art seem endemic to the business of architecture. Fall for one at the expense of the other and each time you might seem to lose the very essence of the subject. I suspect most students of architecture find it interesting because it is both form and content, both idealism and practicality and both art and science that they find interesting about it. If you junked that central problematic, you would certainly shorten architectural courses to semesters rather than years, but you would probably throw the baby out with the bath water.
But in the short term, students may have been puzzled by his additional comment that those who don't share his view (that form is free of content) are at best 'pollitically correct' or at worst 'conservative'. It's true that back in the eighties his view was popular as radical, it was intended as a sort of 'up yours' to an establishment that seemed to have run it's term, be otherwise lost for ideas, and ripe for take over. What Schumacher seems to have missed is any notion of ongoing revolution, where revolutionary ideas change once the context has changed, which it has, and dramatically.
To hold his view so stalwartly now, to broker the point that architects are not inherently interested in the world of their clients and the users of their buildings not only puts him squarely in the camp of neoliberalism, but in the historical mid term, his attitude might suddenly be compared to that of Philip Johnson, and in the long term (seventy years ago) to one of Johnson's fans, Albert Speer.

1 comment:

  1. Sir, why are you not on fuckin' INSTAGRAM! I mean Jesus!