Sep '06 - Dec '09
Check out the lecture:
Teddy Cruz (March 4 Video)
I was very inspired by the lecture. It isn't often that you hear an architect tackle the larger problems that face our nation and world, and can use these larger conflicts as the driver for the design of compelling structures.
Clearly, it is not the first time I hear this, architects from OMA to SOM are becoming more involved at a large socio-political scale from Dubai to China. But it seems to me that as these and other firms take on this new role, they are reinforcing (if not exacerbating) existing power structures. Teddy on the other hand is proposing that we rethink the whole power-structure system in a community-making effort.
The two notions I found particularly interesting are:
-The notion of the political equator, a line that divides the 1st and 3rd worlds. In this line you can find the most contentious spots in the world (the Gaza border, Mexico/U.S., Africa/Europe, etc...). It is a line in which people move north and big companies (hoping to extract resources) move south.
-The notion of the revealing of larger social conflicts in the built environment, through the design of new political systems and structures, as the new call of the architect.
Finally, I find these thoughts on how to plug designers into political structures particularly timely in the context of the current re-shifting of global political power structures (Waving Goodbye to Hegemony). The question is no longer IF designers will be involved at this larger political scale, but HOW.