THE CULT OF SPRAWL, MALL, AND TALL
“A void permeates today’s architectural landscape. Economies of scale ignore the scale of the spirit. The result is an architecture that promulgates isolation and homogeneity.
The pursuit of loneliness is complete.
Isolation and homogeneity are driven by economic pressures and embedded in design decisions. It is easier and cheaper to turn modular, affordable materials into repetitive designs. Greenfield developments of little boxes made of tickey-tackey are more profitable than urban renovations. Housing, strip malls, and high rises have become products themselves, and even with mass customization, something vital has been lost as customers are placated by illusory choices. Can anyone yearning for a true connection to their culture be satisfied by plastic Greco-Roman buildings, banal Banana Republic malls, or Chippendale high rises?
The greatest cost of the automobile environment, however, is not the sprawl nor the ecological waste and excessive consumption; it is the toll of soullessness.
Yet market reality cannot be ignored;
so, within our economic constraints,
what do we build now?”
-Travis Price, The Archaeology of Tomorrow
images and text copyright Travis Price 2006