Good morning, architects. Culture maven Camille Paglia says that visual artists should take a page from starchitects and embrace the capitalist ideology that makes today's comforts possible. I think Paglia misunderstands artists. I once heard Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The New Yorker, say that artists wouldn't make art if they didn't have a problem with the way the world works. The issue is not that artists are capitalism-hating Communists, it's that artists are born against. And capitalism happens to be the system at hand. As far as gross generalizations go, Paglia's presumptions about architecture aren't wrong—it is indeed inevitably a commercial enterprise to build a building—but architects are not by and large comfortable with the qualities that Paglia holds up as a model for visual artists. No one likes being called a sell-out, even when it's meant as a compliment.
HELPING OUT. On Sunday, President Bill Clinton and former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton are lending a hand to residents in New York City struck by super-storm Sandy, with the help of the Clinton Global Initiative. Staten Island architects are already there helping out. Flooding in Venice, Italy, is making that city look even more appealing than it usually is. Flooding in New York's outer Burroughs, not so much.
FILLING IN. Cleveland is the envy of every city in the nation now that it has its own architecture coloring book (pictured). It's even got Farshid Moussavi's new Cleveland Museum of Art! I would like to color that pink.
...AND REMAINDERS. SHoP Architects built Mediabistro's kitchen... Architects working in China should get to know China's new leaders... Philadelphia's downtown needs some TLC... Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation gets an NEA grant... The Vatican has a new office for architecture.