Update 23/10/2015: In the 12 months since Gehry's outburst, the event has been used as the jumping off point for countless articles both criticizing and defending current architecture. But has Gehry's finger inspired any change in architecture or its discourse? We would love to know what our readers think - let us know in the comments.
“Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There's no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that's it.
“Once in a while, however, there's a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don't ask for work. I don't have a publicist. I'm not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don't ask questions as stupid as that one.”
This, followed by the middle finger, was Gehry’s response to a reporter asking the 85-year-old architect how he responds to the critics claiming he practices “showy architecture.”
Originally covered by El Mundo and translated by Gizmodo, the awkward confrontation happened at a press conference in Oviedo, Spain, which Gehry attended to receive the Prince of Asturias Awards for the Arts.
Emotions may have been running high considering this past week Gehry celebrated the opening of the new Fondation Louis Vuitton building which the critics have claimed to be not much more than a “spectacle.”