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December 16, 2007

Times critic Ouroussoff offers starchitect defense, but what about public review?

Atlantic Yards Report

A New York Times Week in Review lead article headlined Let the ‘Starchitects’ Work All the Angles is summarized as "A big name on the blueprint doesn’t mean sellout at play. It may mean visionary at work."

Though Atlantic Yards is not mentioned, architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff continues his implicit defense of AY architect Frank Gehry, declaring that 1) it's good that starchitects are working on major projects; 2) the architects have no power over a development's scale or density; and 3) it's up to the public to do the hard work to discern the difference between cynical and sincere agendas.

Those are not unreasonable arguments, but Ourousoff fails to acknowledge that starchitects, by virtue of their fame, may in fact have some power, and that the public's capacity for discernment is aided or hindered by the effort by the starchitect's clients to survive what he calls "an often tricky public review process."

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Posted by amy at December 16, 2007 10:30 AM