Some people enjoyed MoMA's new show, which presents design solutions to address the myriad problems plaguing the country's suburbs, but Bryan Bell was not one of them.
In a commentary for Metropolis, Bell draws unflattering parallels between the top-down approach of "Foreclosed" and another MoMA show, "Small Scale, Big Change," "in which the architects maintained a sustained relationship with the communities they served. The projects were developed and carried out with the involvement of the communities, not invented in a museum for distant "beneficiaries"."
For Bell, "Foreclosed" ignores the advances made by other publications and exhibitions in the last decade towards building an argument that, "design can play a direct role in addressing issues critical to the general public."
In summary of his criticisms, Bell offers this yardstick, borrowed from the disability rights movement, "Here is a good rule of thumb for successful projects in the field or for any future curators or designers who want to claim to help the general public through design: 'Nothing about us without us is for us.'"