The Truth About ‘Starchitect’ Comments: Maybe It Starts In School?


A really interesting thing they’ve got going over at Archinect, starting with the essay, “‘Typical School Time Bitching’ > ‘Students Considering Architect’s Building Syndrome’ (SCABS).” It was written in response to all of the Liebskind-bashing on the site’s forums about his new, pointy ROM building and breaks it down by saying that these sorts of conversations are happening because architecture schools let students, for a few short years, be “starchitects” themselves. Not burdened by real-life architectural work, they are free to go nuts in whatever direction they’d like, just like, say, Liebskind might have the ability to do. So when these students don’t like something, they critique it as if they were at the same level as that small cadre of famous architects. But that explanation is just a bare-bones description, as once you start thinking about what the writer is saying here, it opens everything up into a complicated world of sociological studies (i.e. when a designer in Des Moines is critiquing the new London 2012 logo or when the occasional Newsweek reader chimes in with strong opinions about global affairs). The article itself doesn’t get into it too deeply, because you’d really need to go back to school and get a degree in the subject, but it’s a great launching point if you’re into thinking about such things.