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4.0 out of 5 stars Virtuosity or ostentation?, 17 Jun 2010
This review is from: Exuberance: New Virtuosity in Contemporary Architecture (Architectural Design) (Paperback)
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Architecture always struck me as one of the most ego-driven of the creative arts, though not necessarily in a bad way - you're tasked with creating objects that will last in perpetuity and not just for the length of a theatrical run, so you can be forgiven for thinking big. The guest editor of this edition of AD, Marjan Colletti, perhaps needs more forgiveness than most, not so much for the quality of his architecture but certainly for his prose. He stuffs every line with as many buzz-words as possible, references as many concepts (real or imagined) as possible and tries desperately to sound insightful but I'm really not sure who he thinks will be impressed by this self-indulgent drivel. It just comes off as embarrassingly adolescent and pretentious beyond belief and on this evidence I doubt he could tell the difference between an architectural movement and a bowel movement - or that he'd even try.

Luckily his choice of features is much more engaging and there are some exciting and compelling examples of current design thinking elsewhere in this edition. It seems slightly ironic that it takes so much computational muscle to produce designs so inspired by natural forms and phenomenon, but seeing what a great architect can do with these facilities is fascinating. I'd strongly recommend flicking right past Colletti's ridiculous written contributions to this edition, read the pictures (and the other articles) instead, which are certainly worth your time.
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