Tuesday, April 04, 2006

MOCA . . . schmoca

Steve Litt has an article about the short-listed architects for the MOCA project here.

Improvised Schema has a first hand report about the exhibition opening here.

Let me quote from the Litt article:

MOCA director Jill Snyder says the museum wants "to produce an iconic building that is a significant architectural landmark for Cleveland internationally."

Just as important, she says, "is the recognition that this commission could be a breakthrough project for any one of the firms we are considering. We really embrace that and think it's sp consistent with our mission of supporting and commissioning new creative work."

So again, while the "leaders" tell us to Believe in Cleveland, a Cleveland institution is handing out commissions to "up and coming" firms with, in come cases, with little, if any, built work, hoping they will break-out. Why don't these people realize that you could bolster the architectural culture here and offer a "break-out" chance for a local architect.

The powers that be are still stuck in the "master architect" paradigm, believing that only a few chosen architects have the creativity to unleash architectural nirvana upon the masses. With the advancements in design technologies and the necessary collaborative relationships needed to construct buildings, the "master architect" is dead. Design is being democratized and the playing field, as Tom Friedman would say, is being flattened. Cleveland-based architects can compete with their dapper coastal brethren.

This project should have included a solicitation of design ideas through a design competition. That way local firms, and the young architectural talent locally, could have at least had a fair shot of informing the design.

This is not a rant rooted in Cleveland nativism or provincialism, but the blatant hypocrisy of our so-called leading elites.

1 comment:

Stan said...

Well said, Doc.

Litt may have well just smack us local architects in the face, as well as MoCA.