Do Starchitects' Egos Get in the Way of Good Design?

<p>One critic claims that "starchitects" are more interested in flash than function. He recommends these architects work with mainstream developers to have a more positive impact on average people.</p>
December 17, 2007, 12pm PST | maryereynolds
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"The more serious criticism comes from those inside the profession who see a move into the mainstream as a sellout. The pact between high architects and developers, to them, is a Faustian bargain in which the architect is nothing more than a marketing tool, there to provide a cultural veneer for the big, bad developers whose only interest is in wringing as much profit as possible from their projects."

The author recommends that architects work with mainstream developers instead of on specatucular commissions that feed the ego. In the mainstream, architets can "step out of the narrow confines of high culture and have a more direct impact on centers of everyday life that were once outside their reach, from shopping malls to entire business districts."

"This is especially true as the size of the developments continues to grow. New York alone is planning to add at least 35 million square feet of commercial space over the next couple of decades, much of it concentrated at sites like ground zero and the West Side railyards. Cities are being built virtually from scratch in China and the Middle East." The author believes these new developments should attract the greatest architectural minds; this is where "starchitects" can produce their best work.

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Published on Sunday, December 16, 2007 in The New York Times
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