David Fisher Wins ‘Architect of the Year’ But Many, Many Questions Still Remain


Okay, despite the fact that Time named it one of their best inventions of the year, we’re still skeptical of David Fisher and his Dynamic Tower projects (including our most recent post here). We full admit that we might now just be guilty of wanting to believe there’s some big fraud going on here, due to things like no one really understanding how the thing will work (particularly the plumbing) or Fisher’s credentials highly being suspect , but we seem to keep running into things that don’t add up. This time around, a members-only group called The Developers & Builders Alliance, which we’ve found very little external information on (outside of press releases) other than it used to be called the Florida Builders Association, it seems to be heavily supported by Donald Trump, and based on said press releases, it exists to throw charity balls, give away awards, and hold summits of some kind, has named Fisher their choice as Architect of the Year.

What seems the most odd is that they’ve given him this award without him having built the thing that he’s receiving all this praise for. The second unusual thing is that he is reported to have beaten out big name architects like Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava, Norman Foster, and Zaha Hadid, each of whom have been celebrated throughout 2008 for things they designed that actually exist. And all of these starchitects sent in submissions for an award we’ve never heard of? Whose last “Architect of the Year Award” went to a Kobi Karp, an extremely talented architect, but local to Florida none-the-less? Third, their press release announces the award is going to “renowned Italian architect Dr. David Fisher.” You mean the same guy who has admitted that he’s never designed a skyscraper before and whose architectural legacy involves a couple of hotels and plans for a never-built plaza near Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall? And furthermore, when did he become Italian? After relinquishing his Israeli citizenship without explanation?

And to get nitpicky here, what’s with his video interview on The Developers & Builders Alliance’s site? Why is he lying down? And the DBA’s site itself seems a little weird, as you’d think “one of the largest development and construction organizations” would be able to afford better web designers or at least a temp for a couple of hours to do some copy editing. Same goes for this promotional video of theirs on YouTube, which has this fun typo, claiming Alex Sink is the CFO of the Satate of Florida. Sure, that’s a bit too critical, because, after all, the video does have Donald Trump in it, right? So there must be some clout there. But can we speculate for a minute after reading in the press release that Fisher is now “meeting with top developers to discuss a possible Dynamic Tower in Miami” that maybe Trump has heard all this buzz like we have and just wanted to get involved with it, should it turn out to all be true in the end? After all, it seems to us like the Developers & Builders Alliance seems pretty cozy with the Trump brand.

Now like we’ve said before, we’re all for giving the benefit of the doubt, and we’d love to be proven wrong by seeing one of these buildings developed. And just because we’d never heard of the DBA before doesn’t mean we wish to belittle it or denigrate its work (we haven’t heard about a lot of important stuff, believe us). But when you mix all of these things together into one big bag, it seems like every other story we run across makes us scratch our heads and say “Wait a minute…” which where we’re at once again.