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Editorial: Cav Empt SS18

Youth and Concrete

One of the professions we never imagined would be joining us in the future was architecture critic.  When the mass of new buildings that have gone up have the twin primary functions of withstanding extreme weather events and housing the concentrated urban population, it doesn’t seem like there would be much of a racket complaining about the lack of insouciantly placed alcoves and daring friezes, but here we are.  

Really though, the arbiters of taste have been complaining about brutalist structures more or less since the concrete finished drying on the first one.  For all the complaints about the concrete structures being cold, unattractive, or impersonal, the unspoken issue seemed to be that all of those qualities are a stark reminder that these buildings exist to satisfy the multitier demands of modern life instead of capturing the fancy of the leisure class.

With poured concrete as the backdrop, so much of modern life is lived by vacant youth in vacant spaces.  With indoor real estate at a premium, the space between buildings, underpasses, rail yards, lots, medians, all those places that are there, but not really there, in between things, are the only open air respite from a fully automated, data mined daily routine. 

Exist without existing. Buyer beware. No future.