In your influential essay ‘Towards a Critical Regionalism’ you said that ‘Modern building is now so universally conditioned by optimized technology that the possibility of creating significant urban form has become extremely limited.’ Three decades later, we live even more so in a world of ‘optimised technology’. What is the way forward for architecture, in your opinion?
The predicament facing the culture of architecture today is intimately linked to our continuing failure to realise an ecological and socially valid pattern of land settlement so that unlike the long haul prior to the mass ownership of the consumerist automobile, we have lost our former capacity to realise spontaneously compact towns and villages. Hence the ultimately unsustainable chaos of unlimited suburban development and the reduction of contemporary building to the proliferation of freestanding objects irrespective of their intrinsic quality. The only remedial possibility today seems to reside in the field of landscape architecture rather than in architecture or urban design.
What is the relationship between critical regionalism and globalisation? In your view, does globalisation pose a threat to the vibrancy of architecture and local cultures?
Clearly globalisation has been detrimental to the cultivation of local building culture by virtue of the branding of star architects who travel all over the world to design the prerequisite spectacular works, invariably indifferent to the specific climate and culture in which the buildings are situated.