Design Prose

Views from the Capital of the World

Posted in Architecture, City Scapes, Urbanism by designprose on April 20, 2011

There is this intangible space in the world where more than one world intersect their paths when you start to look at things more subconsciously into those layers of depth to understand any field. Architecture and design intersects with literature, literature with psychology and so much more and becomes increasingly difficult to typecast into one linear subject. I recently came across a passage in Orhan Pamuk’s book called Other Colors: Writings on Life, Art, Books and Cities. It seems appropriate to cite here, where he talks about City of New York and what kind of internal reactions he gets and impressions mark his mind as a new comer to this Capital of the World.

Until you get used to this city, you spend a good part of the day pondering these absent flavors; because we still know what a real brick wall looks like and how it is constructed, a concrete wall that’s been made to look like a brick wall is a sham that causes most of no pain. But how about when you see them beginning to put up huge buildings that are imitations of things they are not? The ostentatious postmodern structures that are now springing up all over New York City are the work of architects who do just this. These architects go out of their way to emphasize the fact that their buildings are imitations: With their enormous glass facades, their almost medieval twists and bends, they make me wonder whether they have no desire to be actually anything whatsoever. Do they wish only to deceive us, appearing to be something other than what they are? But then, can any deception so obvious be a deception at all?

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