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KunstlerCast #53: Incomprehensible Buildings

Anti-Social, Despotic, Architecture

Released: Feb. 26, 2009.

A listener asks James Howard Kunstler to react to the Feb. 9 fire that destroyed a Beijing building by Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas. Kunstler believes many famous architects, including Koolhaas, often strive to confound people in order to appear supernaturally brilliant. It’s all in the service of grandiosity and narcissism, though. Rather than attempting to disturb our expectations, architects should strive to give us buildings that are neurologically comprehensible and that satisfy our need for cultural orientation. Kunstler also takes shots at a proposed skyscraper in Boston and the Southern Poverty Law Center. **Tim Halber, managing editor of Planetizen, responds in a listener comment to Duncan’s recent comments about the failures of new urbanism.

Direct Download:
KunstlerCast_53.mp3
( 29 MB | 31:34 mins.)

Rem Koolhaas CCTV building, photo by Iamdavidtheking
Rem Koolhaas CCTV building in Beijing,
photo by Iamdavidtheking.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

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