Wanted: World-destroying Architects
What started as a comment has become a short post in response to an opinion article by Adam Greenfield in the current edition of Dezeen online titled “All those complicit in Neom’s design and construction are already destroyers of worlds.”
• Adam Greenfield’s opinion article titled “All those complicit in Neom’s design and construction are already destroyers of worlds” argues that anyone who accepts money to work on any aspect of the Neom project is automatically complicit in everything that the project does.
• I disagree with this opinion. I believe that everyone is responsible for choosing which parts they work on and to what extent. If they are not comfortable with a particular aspect of the project, they can always decline to work on it or limit their involvement.
• Architecture is often seen as a symbol of power and authority, but it can also be seen as a reflection of the political and economic ideologies of the society in which it is built. In some cases, architecture may even help to shape these ideologies.
• The author paints architects who accept commissions with a broad brush when reality shows that many architects are conscious of ethical implications in their projects.
I disagree that if you accept money to work on any aspect of the Neom project, you need to know that you are complicit. I believe in and support many parts of the project, and I would gladly accept compensation for my work on those aspects. I do not think that taking money makes me automatically complicit in everything that the project does; it is my responsibility to choose which parts I work on and to what extent. If I am not comfortable with a particular aspect of the project, I can always decline to work on it or limit my involvement. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they want to accept money to work on the Neom.
Architecture is often seen as a symbol of power and authority. This is especially true of traditional, classical architecture, which is often associated with authoritarian regimes such as the Roman Empire or the British monarchy. However, architecture is also drawn to capitalist and socialist governments. In capitalist societies, architecture is often seen as a way to make money and attract investment. In contrast, in socialist societies, it is seen as a way to improve the lives of citizens and promote equality.
Architecture can therefore be seen as a reflection of the political and economic ideologies of the society in which it is built. In some cases, architecture may even help to shape these ideologies. For example, the Bauhaus design school was founded in Germany in the 1920s to combine art and industry. This was when the country was undergoing a period of political and economic change, and the Bauhaus school helped shape the new German identity. Similarly, post-modern architecture emerged in the 1970s as a reaction to the modernist movement dominating architecture.
Noem’s cutting-edge Line project is about new tech and inventions to tackle global warming, setting a new benchmark for future urban cities. The developers and architects are a small part of the project team, which includes futurists, scientists, inventors, engineers, and artists. Their innovative approach means that the line project will not contribute to global warming but instead help fight it. This is a crucial step in the right direction. The Neom team is passionate about making a difference and ensuring that our planet has a bright future. We believe that through technology and innovation, we can make this happen.
The author paints the architects that accept commissions with a broad brush when the reality is much more nuanced. As such, it is essential to consider the ethical implications of their work. This includes whether or not they are contributing to the displacement of indigenous peoples or exacerbating climate change.
While it is easy to paint all architects and the commissions they earn with a broad brush, the reality is much more nuanced. Many architects are conscious of the ethical implications of their work and make an effort to minimize the negative impact of their projects.
It is essential to hold all architects accountable for the societal implications of their work. But it is also important to remember that not all architects are the same. Some are working to make a positive difference in the world. Knowing that sitting on the sidelines affects nothing Morphosis, Zaha Hadid Architects and other studios committed to the Neom project can sleep well tonight.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis and starting his design firm, David McFadden saw a gap to fill in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed – flexibility and adaption to current work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients and staff through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early ’80s, the early ’90s, the early 2000s, the Great Recession of 2007, and the Pandemic.