Philip Nobel Strikes (Down Starchitects) Again


Has it only been a month since Philip Nobel thrust upon us his revolutionary architecture treatise topped with a rather hearty helping of critic skewering? This time, he takes on the starchitect, and not just the star architects themselves, but the origins of the term and its usefulness therein. But the very best part of “Anti-Starchitect Chic” is when Nobel divulges just how far one starchitect will go to play the fame game:

Gehry, of course, is an expert at managing his fame. Perhaps that’s why he felt compelled recently to deliver to me a T-shirt tastefully printed with “Fuck Frank Gehry,” and insist by proxy (the New York-based creator of the shirts acting as courier) that I wear it at the 2007 Temko Critics Panel (“What to Make of Starchitecture, and Who to Blame for It”). Apparently the shirts are popular at the offices of Gehry Partners LLP, and Frank was feeling frisky. My fellow panelists were amused and assumed I was a sellout, so it did have an effect on the proceedings. But I declined to wear the gift–ethics, you know, and anyway I prefer to get paid to advertise–and I responded by sending back a shirt with my name and a similar blunt message. May he wear it in good health–in front of as many cameras as possible.

The good news is, “Fuck Philip Nobel” has quite a nice ring to it as well.