Design: White Gods and Cringing Natives

Tom Wolfe's look at architecture gets it half right

The past ten years have proved a weird time for architecture, and weirder still for its public. In America, vast numbers of new buildings go up. Whole avenues seem to rise overnight, like sprouting plants in a time-lapse movie; status, constantly in flux, is one big slide area. With the action, there goes an equal ferment of fashion and criticism. Classical modernism is defended as archaeology and derided as a failed Utopia. In its place, though more visible on the drawing boards than the streets,...

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