Parametric architecture’s abstract hubris lies in ruins, but Sam Jacob finds it all rather picturesque
Every success harbours the seeds of its own failure. Somewhere in the hubristic peak of complete accomplishment lurks the complacency, arrogance and absence of doubt that fans the inevitable, all-consuming bonfire of vanities. It’s just this kind of raging self-immolation that has cindered the global economic landscape – in days, the terrain
has been completely transformed.
The speed of transformation has hit built culture hard. The collapse revealed a world undescribed by the maps and charts we had drawn. Buildings find themselves completed in a different landscape, appearing on the skyline like giant mausolea for a failed ideology, or abandoned, half-built, like freshly minted ruins.
The markets had evolved into hyper-sophisticated, super-calibrated, cleverly geared systems whose logistics supported an ever-finer kind of abstraction. They became a machine for manufacturing value and growth in vaporous form, decoupled from substance. Their fall marks the failure of a particular kind of algorithmically programmed fantasy of abstraction.