Chipperfield criticizes the impotence of contemporary practice

Chipperfield criticizes the impotence of contemporary practice
Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects

With a world plagued by the current economic crisis, David Chipperfield fears that the architects’ role is shrinking and the professions ability to influence the shape of our cities is diminishing.

Since the inauguration of this year’s Venice Biennale, Chipperfield has been amidst of a few heated debates, most notably debunking the harsh criticism of Coop Himmelb(lau)’s Wolf Prix – who claimed the “hollow” event was “no longer about lively discussion and criticism of topics in contemporary architecture” – by affirming Prix “hadn’t even visited Venice”.

Interestingly, Chipperfield has now initiated a debate, using similar rhetoric as Prix, that calls attention to the dwindling role of the architect and the impotence of contemporary architecture. The catch? He blames politicians.

Continue after the break for more.

This week at the London Design Festival, Chipperfield shamed politician’s for only being interested in architecture if it is related to regeneration.

As reported on BDOnline, Chipperfield stated: “Politicians are only interested in design if they can see results. It seems a shame if the only way can justify design is if it will help industry.”

“A museum gets built and all of a sudden they’re interested in it – not because it’s a museum but because they can sell it as part of a regeneration program.”

Chipperfield argues that contemporary architecture and design is at risk of becoming nothing more than an “anaesthetic” with “architects working on bars and interiors”, rather than solving serious socioeconomic issues.

He also criticized the media for “sidelining” architecture in the lifestyle pages.

“One of the things that depresses the hell out of me is we only talk about lifestyle.”

“When you are on a large boat with no control over where it’s going you become more and more interested in re-arranging the furniture – talking about lifestyle. My concern is that design is a palliative.”

Reference: BDOnline

About this author
Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Chipperfield criticizes the impotence of contemporary practice" 26 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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