Deyan Says Goodbye to Criticism

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Deyan Sudjic, as you know if you follow the goings-ons of the museum business or you read this site on a regular basis, is soon to become the new director of London’s Design Museum. But prior to that, and up until last Sunday, he was the design and architecture critic at The Observer. As a way of saying goodbye, his last hurrah in the Observer was this piece about what he loves about architecture in his city. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and well worth the few minutes it’ll take to read it. Comes highly recommended. Here’s some:

I’ve trudged over the sand and dust of the building sites of Beijing with their tens of thousands of migrant labourers looking like warring medieval armies working under their ragged flying banners. I’ve boggled at the sprouting skyscrapers of Shanghai, with tops that look like giant pineapples.

I have been to Porto’s concert hall, Seattle’s public library and the new Dutch embassy in Berlin, all in the company of their architect, Rem Koolhaas. It was only in the embassy that I found myself in any actual physical danger from an architect who uses ‘brutal’ as a term of praise. Temporarily overwhelmed by his eloquence, I managed to walk straight into one of his razor-edged steel staircases and narrowly escaped becoming a casualty of a man unsure whether being a mere architect is enough for his degree of intellectual ambition.