Euro design culture Vs. American design culture


with respect with universities and the work ethic of students please

May 10, 06 12:10 am
sporadic supernova

I like my eggs sunny side up !!

May 10, 06 1:00 am
sporadic supernova

I'm hungry !!

May 10, 06 1:01 am

Is this a hidden question? Who works harder / better / bigger? - the answer is don't know, maybe the qualifications are easier so the work input different - but my father could beat your father in a drunken brawl!

May 10, 06 5:32 am

i preffer the european orientation.... i found it more poethic.... american design culture feels more into mass production, which in any design can be a good feature...but i dunno... (and im from America, the continent)

May 10, 06 6:54 am

european women are more chic than their american counterparts.

May 10, 06 6:57 am
job job



lamprey ---> eyeball
whirlpool drain ----> scrotum

don't make me add to the list

May 10, 06 7:29 am
vado retro

and dont forget to create these threads today...
euro graphic design vs. american graphic design
is euro graphic design harder than american graphic design
euro public toilet design vs. american public toilet design
who are the euro graphic designers who dont use computers but are influenced by american graphic designers who do use computers vs. american graphic designers who use computers but are influenced by blah blah blah

May 10, 06 8:14 am

In short look at the overall quality of the mass built architecture taken over the last 100 years in each respective geographical region.

Europe - generally poor
America - v. poor

Europe wins on being slightly less shit overall. Happy times!

May 10, 06 8:25 am

i'm white

May 10, 06 9:12 am

having practiced, taught and gone to school lots in both - europe wins hands down. case closed.

May 10, 06 9:41 am
sporadic supernova

final verdict .... pick what you please ...


case closed ....

May 10, 06 9:50 am
sporadic supernova

ooops ... here you go again

case closed ...

May 10, 06 9:51 am
May 10, 06 9:51 am

so they must make more porn in europe, correct?

May 10, 06 9:52 am
sporadic supernova

from the looks of it .....

i hope ... lol ..

May 10, 06 9:57 am

If you can't make it better, make it bigger
If you can't make it bigger, make it red
If you can make it big and red then you have created good design

This is how an old design prof. in the UK described american design do me. He was an idiot.

Jason/Sporadic, you are on probation for double posting (05/10/06 6:51) that image... I haven't had my first coffee yet.

May 10, 06 10:01 am

I was merely cleaning up his tag double posting meant.

could I get a spanking instead?

May 10, 06 10:03 am

only with a donation.

May 10, 06 10:26 am
Auguste Perret

Cameron's comment reminds me of an old Aldo Rossi comment:

In America, quaility is quantity.

Is anyone else concerned with the bad posture of that American girl, especially when compared to the European girl?

May 10, 06 4:07 pm

this is a very dumb thread. Having just come back from living for 4 months in Europe... I can say from first hand experience, that there are atrocities being built in both the US and in Europe. Design culture? not really sure what you're exactly trying to ask... but good design is present in both. Look harder.

french girls weren't much to look at... italians were alright. Serbian models in Milan win hands down.

May 10, 06 9:42 pm
badass japanese cookie

I think it's hard to say whether one is 'better ' than the other- Europe is older and in general is more established, and the U.S is still a developing country in many ways. I think it's more an issue of one culture having the advantage of experience and privilege, so naturaully european design culture would be more sophisticated.

May 11, 06 12:59 am

my cat's name is mittens

May 11, 06 1:06 am
sporadic supernova

I wear mittens when it's cold .

May 11, 06 1:35 am

While Europe thinks it is better in many ways (that is how their being brain washed there) people forget that you can live a normal life in the US. While in Europe you pretty much pay $300,000.00 for a 500 square feet miniature house, you can at least get 4000 square feet house in the us for the same price. While the only cars that is affordable in Europe are those miniature cars that not even poor people while drive in the united states, you have at least a vast amount of choice in the united states. Everything is overpriced in Europe. People in general own very little and can do very little with their money. While you can go out to eat in the United States without going bankrupt, in Europe, eating out is a luxury. Where in the United States would you pay extra money in a restaurant to use the restroom or get ketchup? Most of your money is being spent on taxes in Europe. Maybe people are not starving, but they sure as hell can’t do shit. I've lived in Europe and just going to the movies is like going on a cruise once a year. Extremely expensive. You just don’t get you money’s worth. And don't think for one second that you can work a double shift or get a second job to earn some extra cash. They will kill you on tax.

So it isn't that strange that Europe may have the upper hand in design. You can design a town hall in Europe made out of expensive double curvature panels and make everything non orthogonal to crank up the costs and no one will say anything. The government earns so much money on taxes that they can afford extremely expensive buildings where they work in while the general public lives in tiny tiny boxes.

May 11, 06 1:50 am

Do you prefer mayonnaise or ketchup with your fries?

May 11, 06 2:25 am

A Woman from Milan would be more chic than a woman from texas.
( I think..)

May 11, 06 2:51 am

I'm not sure where in Europe you lived, but your views are very exaggerated, although tax systems/costs/disposable income vary a lot between the different countries. However, I'm not going to argue with you on that we have a lower disposable income than our american counterparts. After hearing so much complaints about the low american salaries, a thread like "affordable car for architects" is extremely ironic - I can't even afford paying the monthly rent for a parking place. This is a political decision though, high taxes on gas and cars in order to promote public transport. But your view that high tax = good design is bothering me, since in a lot of countries (especially here in the Netherlands, where the public sector has been crucial to the development of the "superdutch" style) the budgets for public buildings are much much tighter than on private buildings. And why would a higher budget automatically give better architecture anyway?

May 11, 06 3:33 am

I am talking about the Netherlands. Have you seen the town hall in Alphen aan de Rijn. Jesus Christ.......that is tax payer’s money that have been spent. It is not even a private corporation that earns money "the right way". And the same people of that city live in tiny boxes and pay extremely high property tax. And why should they pay for a damn dog? It is obvious theses taxes are all means of making money. If they are so keen on design and architecture in their city, spend it on nice spacious public housing and make something worth living in instead of those boxes that all have the same layout through out the country. Isn’t that the least they can do for the people that pay huge amount of taxes.

About the public transport.....Why is it so expensive if they want to promote public. I used to live in Amsterdam and worked in Rotterdam and spent about 480 euros a month on public transport. Isn’t that about 1000 Dutch guilders?

And how about all the rules and regulations. I tried once to paint my front door blue because the green looked awkward. Well, it was like I committed a crime. Never knew that your house was not actually your house, but owned by the local government even though you paid for it. Try to start a business or a firm and you’ll get drowned in the rules and regulations sea.

But don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of good things in the Netherlands. Colleges and universities only cost 1500 euro a year, 3 weeks paid vacations and unlimited sick days (well not unlimited but not like in the stated where you start of with 6 days per year). Hell, I wouldn’t even mind living there or in other European countries. However as an American you need to be aware that a whopper with cheese in Europe or a weekly manicure could bring you into debt.

Btw, is bingo illegal now in the Netherlands?

May 11, 06 5:45 am

Europe is far from being a homogeneous entity... Take scandinavia for instance, people pay very high taxes but they get A LOT in return, good healthcare, good public transportation etc. and the built environement shows it. Here in the UK, taxes are pretty low, the result being that you don't get shit in return... you get nothing for nothing.

May 11, 06 5:58 am

in reponse to harold, i dont know what type of contract you had when you were working in the netherlands? - but it sounds to me that you had a tough deal.

i have worked in australia, germany and now the netherlands and i am extremely happy with the conditions, the salary, my disposable income. i think architects in NL have it pretty damn good!

May 11, 06 6:14 am

Oh, you think that the Alphen a/d Rijn town hall by EEA is an example of good design?

May 11, 06 6:49 am


i didn't think the public transit was all that expensive in the netherlands. 'course i wasn't commuting on it from city to city. no wonder it was pricey! that's like taking a train from baltimore to philadelphia. could you not live in the same city in which you worked?

May 11, 06 7:06 am

In my opinion, given the quality of life provided in the Netherlands, it's really not that expensive. The government provides amazing infrastructure to support the average citizen. Because of scaled taxation, the playing field is somewhat more level than in the United States, where the rich are taxed less than the middle class. There may be more personal wealth in the United States, but who is it helping? At least the Dutch government can redistribute income so that everyone can benefit. Ever noticed that even the highway lighting in Holland is well-designed?

The fact that art and design are a valued component of Dutch culture, and that there is money available to professionals, is totally opposite to the United States. I have friends in Holland who were able to get funding either from a government agency or a private foundation to support their work as designers. Such opportunities in the United States are far more limited, if possible at all.

Yes, there are far more regulations and restrictions for building in the Netherlands, but the overall quality of design and construction there is far superior to American standards. Compare the controlled growth of the Randstad to any typical American suburb.

I definitely don't think that the Netherlands is perfect, but I do think that it offers some insight into what is lacking in the United States.

May 11, 06 1:20 pm

If you live like an American in Europe, it's expensive. If you live like a European in Europe, it's fantastic. All a question of perspective....

May 12, 06 10:09 am

And if you live like a European in America, it is really f---ing expensive.

May 12, 06 10:21 pm

Not sure how you could live like a European in America even if you wanted to. you have to go with the flow anyway. the only time in my life when i had to own a car was when i lived in the US because public transport was so shit that i had no other choice than bying one to drive to school everyday. i had to pay for my health insurance because that's the way things work there. so i ended up spending quite large amounts of money in the end, even though i never tried to pursue a european lyfestyle when i was there. not that i regret any of it, i had a really good time there. I guess the only thing that would cost you shitloads of money as a european in the states is if you start buying imported food products and fine wines everyday. that would be a killer, other than that i dont know. in the end you spend a lot of money on daily stuff, just like you would anywhere else, with the difference that in european countries the state gets a larger share of money that gets spent throgh taxes and tends to redistribute it more evenly for the greater good. some would object to taht and call it socialism, i see it more as some form of solidarity to help those in need. but then again, even among european countries things can vary greatly, you couldn't compare sweden to the UK for instance.

May 13, 06 5:51 am
That's Chicago

I'm a former socialist who realized that "redistribution of income" is a fucked up concept... Why even try to improve yourself in those circumstances? Europe is setting itself up for a big fall... I think the UK and Germany will weather it, but the rest will go into a big decline. Of course, the USA will also bottom out in the next 50 years, so we better start paying attention to China!

May 13, 06 5:48 pm

Personally, I like my Marlboro cigarettes to have brown filters. The european onees have faggy little white ones (i'm talking reds not the light).

Incidentally, they call cigarettes "fags" in england so you know they are gay.

May 14, 06 1:22 am

Are you implying that the English are homophobic? Better grow up and join the real world.

Look up the etymology of the word "fag" and maybe you'll change your mind.

May 14, 06 3:15 am

I wonder what motivates people to work in Europe. A large part of your income goes to taxes. You are left with just enough to pay rent and utilities. Anything extra is just not possible. You can't take a second job either or work a double shift, because the extra money you make goes directly to taxes. You can't get money from a friend or parents or inheret anything without paying huge amount of taxes. In someway, we Americans are the same as Europeans. Americans will do anything to make money, so does the government in many European countries. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if in the near future most European countries will let you pay taxes for sun, rain and air.

We should consider ourselves lucky to live in the United States even though there is a lot of shit going on here. With our bad architect income, we can at least play a round of golf on a cheap golf course, live in a horrible looking but SPACIOUS mcmansion and drive a car of our own choice.

May 14, 06 4:08 am

What so you want to know?

Well, hash is legal there, right?

Yeah, it's legal, but is ain't a
hundred percent legal. I mean you
can't walk into a restaurant, roll
a joint, and start puffin' away.
You're only supposed to smoke in
your home or certain designated

Those are hash bars?

Yeah, it breaks down like this:
it's legal to buy it, it's legal to
own it and, if you're the
proprietor of a hash bar, it's
legal to sell it. It's legal to
carry it, which doesn't really
matter 'cause -- get a load of this
-- if the cops stop you, it's
illegal for this to search you.
Searching you is a right that the
cops in Amsterdam don't have.

That did it, man -- I'm fuckin'
goin', that's all there is to it.

You'll dig it the most. But you
know what the funniest thing about
Europe is?


It's the little differences. A
lotta the same shit we got here,
they got there, but there they're a
little different.


Well, in Amsterdam, you can buy
beer in a movie theatre. And I
don't mean in a paper cup either.
They give you a glass of beer, like
in a bar. In Paris, you can buy
beer at MacDonald's. Also, you
know what they call a Quarter
Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

They don't call it a Quarter
Pounder with Cheese?

No, they got the metric system
there, they wouldn't know what the
fuck a Quarter Pounder is.

What'd they call it?

Royale with Cheese.

Royale with Cheese. What'd they
call a Big Mac?

Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call
it Le Big Mac.

What do they call a Whopper?

I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger
King. But you know what they put
on french fries in Holland instead
of ketchup?




I seen 'em do it. And I don't mean
a little bit on the side of the
plate, they fuckin' drown 'em in


May 14, 06 7:14 pm

Is this an America/Euro bashing thread? Sure, there are obvious differences between the two, but there are a lot of similarities as well. Architects are poorly paid on both sides of the pond. People in America carry huge debt loads. Not any different in the UK or most of Europe. Both regions are dealing with immigration issues. Both regions are dealing with out of control gov't spending - social programs in Europe and both social programs/military in USA.

Europe has some of the shittiest architecture I've ever seen. See that all over N. America as well. Nobody has a monopoly on bad design. Same goes for good design. There probably are more well designed buildings in Europe but there are 2.5x as many people = more infastructure = more opportunities for good design. And the infastructure is a shit load older. If the good design is 300 years old, well, that just isn't readily available in N. America.

As for how the universities teach I don't know. What I have seen is student projects in Europe and in the USA/Canada. Graphically, model building, general quality of design - neither stands out as better.

May 15, 06 9:11 am

Ali Rahim
Greg Lynn
Eric Owen Moss
Bernard Tschumi
Bruce Mau
Diller and Scofidio

Zaha Hadid
UN Studio
Future Systems

It evens out at the end

May 16, 06 1:14 am

And here's me thinking that Bruce Mau is Canadian, Tschumi French-Swiss, who has to date built only one complete structure in the States albeit with a few more in progress, and Hadid an Iraqi with British citizenship, for whom the extent of the works in her adopted country so far, has been the now-removed mind zone in the millennium dome. Oh well you live and learn….

If firms solely operated and built in one country and people were in no way informed by international movements & developments then perhaps a polarised argument along the lines of 'our architects are better than yours' could be had. Fortunately, as the modern movement demonstrated good ideas as well as bad ones are rarely limited by national boundaries.

However the notion of 'mapping' quality architecture could be one avenue to explore for anyone looking to assert which nation (or perhaps continent as the case may be) deserves the architectural equivalent of world champion. Not that the The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture sets out to do this, but it does throw out some interesting info such as the fact that there approximately four times as many registered architects operating in Europe compared to the States. Coincidentally ? the book also includes roughly four times as many buildings from Europe than from the U.S.

The notion that you can argue the merits of the quality of U.S. architecture versus that in Europe in generalisms is absurd, although entertaining, especially when the patriots get involved, so keep it going!

And to extend it – what European country churns out the best architecture?

May 16, 06 11:04 pm

You can get into Europe without having some American Border Control Official take your life story, fingerprints and then if you are (un)lucky shove a latexed hand up your arse.

Now that's cuture.

May 17, 06 5:10 am

love your comments BOTS...

May 17, 06 7:10 am

i don't know...those gloves look pretty slick. maybe that's couture.

homeland security couture.

May 17, 06 7:24 am

Tsq: Best European architects??? All Dutch, of course.

May 17, 06 10:13 pm

TSQ, It may be true that, with globalism, there is difficulty in distinguishing where ideas originate. However, I think there is something to be said about where a practice situates itself... For example, I think that Grey Lynn Form, located in LA near the auto and aero industries, has a big influence on it's architecture; likewise OMA in Rotterdam; Diller and Scofidio in the New York art scene, Gehry, in LA with his iconic pop art post modern slant..

May 17, 06 10:40 pm

squaresquared: If you mean pound for pound I'd probably agree with you; the general standard of architecture there is quite high. Although Denmark is there or thereabouts, but there's just more of it in Holland. I assume you jest in stating all the best European architects are Dutch though!

May 18, 06 12:25 am

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