This piece in the Times today caught my attention. It was hung on the announcement of the Stirling Prize shortlist.
“In Britain no one wants to take any risks,” thundered David Chipperfield, the aforementioned shortlisted architect. Richard Rogers agreed: “There should be more exciting buildings in this country.”
But it was the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Jack Pringle, who hit the nail on the head: “[In Britain] it’s all about making the business case... Everything has to be justified in a terribly Presbyterian way.”
Hang on a minute? Maybe I am turning into a Puritan — actually I think I am — but isn’t this just a bit rich? Can you imagine any other profession complaining that their customers are boring and value-obsessed? Criminals? They are just not what they used to be, we have no fun defending them anymore. The sick? Why don’t they catch some really interesting diseases, ones that we could really test our mettle against.
What is it with signature architects that makes them act out like a bunch of spoiled brats?