Friday, November 16, 2012

The Architect as God and Tyrant

Architects design the physical setting in which social life goes forward. If the material world is what there is, and there are no higher goods, then architects, who create the order of that world, take the place of God. In the modern world the creative visionary architect is therefore a natural totalitarian. Prominent pioneers of architectural modernism included Italian fascists, Bauhaus commies, and the American Nazi Philip Johnson. Others have been freelance tyrants, on a grand scale like Le Corbusier or a petty one like Peter Eisenman. Still others have been opportunistic tools of money and power who build buildings that glorify the rich, powerful, and well-connected and make ordinary people feel out of place. - James Kalb
Le Corbusier; God and Tyrant

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