Food for Thought: David Byrne

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Excerpted from Bicycle Diaries

Throughout the world the International Style, as the Museum of Modern Art calls it, has been used as an excuse for every bunkerlike structure, atrocious housing project, lifeless office building, and ubiquitous, crumbling third-world concrete housing block and office. Crap the world over has the imprimatur of quality because it apes, albeit badly, a prestigious style…

“These new buildings may not be beautiful. They may not even be utopian, as some architectural scholars and theorists of modernism might have hoped, but they are cheap, functional, and they don’t remind people of anything that went before…For better or worse, they imply a self-determination. They say, “the future will be ours.” The new generations will shrug off the weight of countless millennia and symbolically declare themselves free. Wrongheaded maybe, ugly for sure, but free. And there lies the religious, ideological, and emotional element inherent in these monstrosities.”

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