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Top 10 Shame-Faced Urban Designers

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mejiac
mejiac  
4/24/2013 1:04:00 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Forgettable Sensationalism
@Mary Jander,

In some countries, favoring auto traffic has led to many historic monuments and natural resources to be heavily affected...and normally is only after that we realize the level of damage that was done.

Now...the question is, in small cities, that are encountering increasing levels of auto traffic, what SMART decisions can be made that'll lead to effective designs?

I think this is where city officials, architects and designers need to pool together and look beyond current constructions methods and codes, and ask the question "Ok, 10 years from now, will this become an issue?"

And if they can't answer the question, get people on the phone that can.

Case and Point: Steven Spielberg on his movie, "Minority Report", got a think tank together in order to design his futuristic look and feel for the movie. So why not to do same for current urban design?

CitySolver
CitySolver  
4/16/2013 10:49:48 AM
User Rank Blogger
Corbusier
Its a shame Corbusier had so many poor imitators. His own buildings are often well designed and you can see why his 'streets in the Sky' ideas were so seductive with booming polutation growth at the time, but yes his high rise, for better or for worse, now dominate every major city on this planet. Maybe its time for the next Corbusier to emerge and undo the damage.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
4/8/2013 2:30:50 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Forgettable Sensationalism
I'm no architect, Richard. But by favoring auto traffic, Moses and other mid-20th century designers paved the way (so to speak) for a tremendous reliance on automobile transport. This isn't my opinion only, and it's not just leveled at Moses in New York. Indeed, Los Angeles is considered a classic example of how favoring auto traffic led to urban sprawl and pollution.

 

richheap
richheap  
4/8/2013 2:59:12 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Top 10 Shame Faced Urban Designers
Too right, Mark. The Millennium Dome is now a big 'destination' for concert-goers, all the more impressive given its location in an area known more for business than pleasure. I'd take it any day over the legions of drab, grey council office buildings that sit in many of our city centres (although I know that's not a direct comparison).

Richard Witt
Richard Witt  
4/7/2013 9:14:44 PM
User Rank Blogger
Forgettable Sensationalism
These kind of trite sensationalist articles are a a poor and shallow response to problems with our urban fabric. For example saying "Thanks in no small part to Robert Moses" New York struggles with gas guzzling transportation is ridiculous.  The comments about Le Corbusier are laughable for a man who is widely regarded by those who know anything about architecture as the pre-eminent architect of the early 20th century.

I'd prefer to see articles that demonstrate better knowlegde, critical analysis and an understanding of the complicated act of bulding a city.

shjacks55
shjacks55  
4/7/2013 4:49:36 AM
User Rank Town Crier
A misguided profession those architects
In the past, Architects were Engineers first. However the last few generations have been nurtured to think of themselves as Designers and Artists, hence the  artistic indifference to the practicality of their designs. "Shame faced" doesn't cover workers and users of those designs that died in their collapse. A glaring example is the World Trade Center towers that collapsed as much from the Architect's design flaws as from the terrorists that flew planes into them.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
4/6/2013 9:37:33 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Someone has to fess up.
I'm not so sure I would call these structures epic failures or more of an example of how difficult it is to predict the future or predict success.

Buckminster Fuller might even be added to the list of "shame" if we were just to pick out some of his failures. I'd like to encourage experimentation in design, knowing full well that not all is going to work as planned. But those that do well, may be exceedingly successful.

Toby
Toby  
4/5/2013 7:12:45 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Crime and punishment
Good job Mary ! My opinion on this is similar to yours though I feel that the real crime is Hubris, not honest error. Re No women on the list. Simple, there are very few female lead architects. A quick reference tells me there may be less than 10 in the UK for example. Celebrity architects believe they are infallible. A case in point being the first millennium bridge debacle at the turn of the millennium in London.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
4/5/2013 5:05:26 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Another nice hall of shame
Actually, I honestly did not come across any female architectural antiheroes. That said, this list is a sampling of top projects that failed to delight. I am sure a bit more digging would produce women. At least I believe it would!

Great question, and I'll be looking into it.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
4/5/2013 3:30:06 PM
User Rank Staff
Another nice hall of shame
Great job coming up with this selection of urban designers to shame, Mary.

One thing - it does stand out for me that there are no women on this list. I suspect this is because we are infallible? (Just kidding.) Really though, did you come across any shameful female architects or urban planners who just didn't make the cut for one reason or another?

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