Nurturing Local Talent

Photo credit: New York Times Magazine, Office for Metropolitan History

By Design | The Franchising of Architecture
The New York Times Style Magazine
By Witold Rybczynski

Nurturing Local Talent
by Yolanda Cole

Locatects. Not a great word, but I like the idea. And so does Witold Rybczynski, architect, author and critic for the New York Times. In an article in the Style Magazine this past Sunday, he claims that the franchising of starchitects around the globe; driven by a search for recognition, excitement and self-importance, loses something in translation. That would be the “elusive sense of the place” which is instinctively the palette of local talent, what I would call authenticity. Hear, hear! I agree with the author’s assertion that architecture is a social art rather than a personal art, however, a few outlandish buildings are good for the collective soul and too many is like being in a room full of celebrities all vying for attention. So where does that leave us?  Our challenge is to encourage local architects to expand their universe of ideas and for those who shape our cities to let us shine.

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