Monday, 20 February 2012

The Lure of the City

On Austin Williams, urbanist: The Alice Rawthorne principle applies here as well: 90% of our industrial designers serve the wealthy fancies of 10% of our seven billion fellow earthlings. Until Cameron Sinclair's "Design Like You Give a Damn!" becomes our architects' Bible, we will allow the foul favela to remain the median.

Here in Weimar, they have just approved expenditure of 32,000,000 Euros to make a second, bigger museum to praise the mainly failed Bauhaus. (And Dessau and Berlin hunger for expansion of the same farce.) The Bauhaus promised to do what Detroit's Cranbrook actually accomplished under the great Finnish architect, Eliel Saarinen!

And two penniless German immigrants to Detroit and San Francisco, Albert Kahn and Timothy Pflueger, achieved even more than Saarinen's troupe.

Meanwhile, today's elite Germans remain mainly ignorant of the likes of Peter Behrens and Paul Bonartz, as tourism promoters have hagiographized 20th century German architectural history, abetted by a pathetic, century-long false esthetic of Phillip Johnson.

Bauhaus Uni here has two dreamers who would emulate Sinclair. But the brass still opts for the showoff, headline-hunting maneuver, the last blindness engendered by their understandable horror at their Nazi heritage.

No comments: