Architecture occupies a peculiar place in the life of democratic societies. Most buildings get built because some private concern, an individual or a corporate entity, commissions it. Because procuring land and constructing buildings is expensive, the private concerns that do so typically enjoy the benefits of wealth, which include social and political influence in excess of the democratic credo of one man, one vote. Yet architecture, or most of it anyway, is a public good: what any one person or institution builds, others must live with, and often for a very long time. This situation surely produces buildings that reliably serve clients’ interests, but less reliably serve the public. How to shift the balance of power so that the rest of us get buildings and places that are good for us too?
(Read More) Via New Republic
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