Jan Gehl Laments 'Birdsh*t' Architecture

Jan Gehl argued at the Royal Institute of British Architects annual research symposium that architects and urban planners must do more research on how their schemes affect people.
December 8, 2013, 9am PST | NicoleFerraro
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"Danish architect Jan Gehl, founding partner at Gehl Architects -- and arguably our favourite urbanist -- gave a keynote speech at the Royal Institute of British Architects annual research symposium. He highlighted how architects needed to focus less on wacky building designs, and more on the quality of life of the people who live and work in cities," writes Rich Heap.

"He argued architecture is now too focused on designing buildings that look interesting at a distance, but don't necessarily work well up close. Gehl said part of the problem is that "starchitects" design buildings that are out of context with the cities they are located in.

"'We now have birdshit architects that fly around and drop buildings everywhere,' he said. 'The architects have been utterly confused. We have seen an increasing focus on form. Architects are now competing on form.'"

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Published on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Future Cities
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