Market v. Meaning
by Giancarlo La Giorgia
On June 10, internationally renowned architects Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman shared their often-conflicting opinions on what they consider to be the most pressing issue in architecture today, during a discussion entitled "Urgency" at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montréal.
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The event was attended by dozens of local architects, students, and admirers, and concluded with a panel discussion, where they were joined by architect and CCA Founding Director Phyllis Lambert, a well-known philanthropist and member of the influential Bronfman family.
Koolhaas presented his views first, discussing the death of the icon — "partly due to ridicule, partly to overdose and certainly [connected to] money" — and the dilemma this represents for architects.
"If you look back over the past 2,000 years, architecture dignified civic and public life. Then the market economy happened, replacing all former values and erasing almost all ideology over the entire world. What it represents for all of us today is an invitation to simply be extravagant and spectacular. It will not be subtle," he said.
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