How MoMA's Foreclosed Exhibition Sets Design Back Ten Years

In a rousing rebuke to the Museum of Modern Art's new show "Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream," Bryan Bell takes aim at the out-of-date thinking represented in top-down architecture by star architects and curators.

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.'"

Full Story: MoMA Misses by 99%


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