Double post today.
I went to go see a lecture by Kazuyo Sejima at the Venice Biennale. I am sure everyone has seen loads of photos/videos of the Biennale, but here's something you might not have...
(btw I felt like I was at a Lady Gaga concert with the hype of the crowds...)
In all, the lecture was pretty cool. Sejima talked quietly and was modest compared to the other European panelists. From what I can remember she talked about five ongoing projects... one that interested me was a redevelopment of an island in Japan that has a population of less than a hundred, most of them in in their 70s or 80s. With the population soon the be declining and deceased, the future seems bleak. The client wants to make it a small tourist destination in the next decade. I'm wondering how "starchitect" prestige and press can actually develop minor (usually remote) areas, kind of like Gehry and Bilbao. The whole celebrity status of the Sejima, especially at the Biennale, seems plausible and mostly likely a strategic move by the client. This worries me in a way because it questions the role of architects. Are we driven by good architecture that responds to the climate, context, and regional traditions? or are we actually to pursue a signature style and global publicity?