THE POLITICS OF DESIGN

Indianapolis is just one of many U.S. cities that are quite conservative and have been for decades. The skylines of cities like this do not embrace soaring modern architecture. I have always been a fan of Sullivan’s concept: “Form follows function.” One thing that irks me about conservative politics and architecture is the desire to retreat. It is not enough to be stuck in the past, it would be better to go backwards, as if to grow is wrong. Another is the desire to “fix things” by adding non-functional decorative elements. The beauty of nature is in the efficiency of nature. The same is true for things we create to make our live more efficient.

My grandmother had hand crocheted dollies pinned to the arms of her easy chairs. This was an add-on that had no function and she thought it was “pretty.”016UGLY RD.URDI took these shots on the expressway in Indianapolis. These add-ons do nothing for function or beauty. They add cost and are, to my mind, unattractive. They are the architectural equivalent of a filibuster.

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