Note — Jul 18, 2021

Why Does Utopian Architecture Suck?

Kate Wagner, the creator of the blog McMansion Hell and an architecture and cultural critic, considers Ingels, megastructures, Japanese Metabolists, Buckminster Fuller, the Arts and Crafts movement, and why utopian architecture of the 60s and 70s was cool but sucked, and how today’s … still sucks.

What we are seeing here is, in effect, a scarcity mentality couched in the jargon of sustainability, pure escapism masquerading as some kind of vague ideal society of (checks notes) people who live on floating solar-panel islands presumably working from home while the rest of New York drowns. […]

The reason they suck is simple: Design, while obviously involved in the process of world transformation, cannot by itself solve social problems related to climate and urbanization.