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Critic Pans Apple's New Campus As a Retrograde Cocoon 332

Posted by timothy
from the you-need-more-grit-and-dirt-and-crime dept.
theodp writes "LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne isn't exactly bullish on Apple's proposed new headquarters, which will hold 12,000 Apple employees in its 2.8 million sq ft. Described by Apple as 'a serene and secure environment' for its employees, Hawthorne says the new campus 'keeps itself aloof from the world around it to a degree that is unusual even in a part of California dominated by office parks. The proposed building is essentially one very long hallway connecting endlessly with itself.' Corporate architecture of this kind, adds Hawthorne, seems to promote a mindset decried by Berkeley prof Louise A. Mozingo. 'If all you see in your workday are your co-workers and all you see out your window is the green perimeter of your carefully tended property,' Mozingo writes, and you drive to and from work in the cocoon of your private car, 'the notion of a shared responsibility in the collective metropolitan realm is predictably distant."
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Critic Pans Apple's New Campus As a Retrograde Cocoon

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  • by Aquitaine (102097) <`sam' `at' `iamsam.org'> on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:29AM (#37367550) Homepage

    If you share a building with tons of other companies, and if the view out your window is a busy thoroughfare, is 'the notion of a shared responsibility in the collective metropolitan realm' near at heart and therefore contributing to some architectural faux-topia?

    Oh wait, that's New York City, where nobody looks you in the eye and if somebody says 'Good Morning' to you then you get ready to defend yourself. 'Shared responsibility in a collective metropolitan realm' indeed. Or Los Angeles, where there are no thoroughfares because everybody drives everywhere anyway.

    I also like the posts to the effect of 'architecture is art and discussing art is good.' I guess, but seriously, an 'architecture critic' for a newspaper? Theatre critics are at least answering the question 'should I go see this show,' but wtf is an architecture critic doing? 'Should I go hang out at this corporate campus?'

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:57AM (#37367764)

    Or maybe it is just an office building and the product is defined by the corporate culture and people who presumably explore the community beyond work and home.

    To a layman an office building may be "just an office building", but that doesn't mean that it is true and that the design of a building doesn't have social and psychological impact on those who experience the building and interact with it. It does, and it has a deeper impact on our everyday lives than we, particularly the laymen, are able to recognize, at least at first sight. There is a reason why architecture is more demanding and requires a lot more technical know-how than what is expected from mere designers and even civil engineers. Just for a glimpse, take Kevin Lynch's [wikipedia.org] take on a city's mental map [wikipedia.org], and try to understand the importance of being able to define a space where you can explicitly shape those mental maps to provide a better living experience to those who use it.

  • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Sunday September 11, 2011 @10:01AM (#37367794) Homepage Journal

    When it comes to iDevices the software distribution is pretty much a walled garden, yes. But on the computer side this isn't the case.

    This distinction works right up until the point where, as some rumors have it, Apple discontinues the MacBook Air and Mac mini in favor of new iDevices that are glorified iPad and Apple TV and respectively.

  • by gutnor (872759) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @02:21PM (#37369602)

    To a layman an office building may be "just an office building", but that doesn't mean that it is true and that the design of a building doesn't have social and psychological impact on those who experience the building and interact with it.

    Or in simpler term, Architects are not immune to delusion of self worth. Prostitutes in the street and opening time of the asian corner shop also has a social and psychological impact.

    There is a reason why architecture is more demanding and requires a lot more technical know-how than what is expected from mere designers and even civil engineers.

    Funny, the civil engineers say exactly the opposite and boast how they need so much more technical know-how than for mere architects. There is the same BS for any profession using their brain. For developers, work is pure abstract art and so much more challenging than for mere mortals working in a physical world with easy to grasp physics. Math people have the purest thought next to god, Physicist are gods, ...

    At the end of the day, with all my superior brain, I still had to pay a plumber 150 GBP an hour to unclog my toilet to avoid drowning in shit.

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