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<nettime> Dissent of WTC Architectural Fakery
bc on Tue, 21 Jan 2003 18:34:54 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Dissent of WTC Architectural Fakery


[E-mailing to all WTC architect teams, many of the decision makers,
critics, newspaper and magazine reporters, web-logs, news sites,
and a few thousand people online mailing lists. Please pass it on...]

 From various sources it is becoming increasingly clear that
the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is close to
a decision on the rebuilding of the WTC ground-zero site.

Momentum is being pushed in one-way media for a select
group of highly celebrated architectural bureaucrats who
will now push forward plans that in no way reflect open-
processes or decision-making or checks and balances.

Instead, we are supposed to ignored this, and 'believe' in
the fakery as having more substance than it actually does.
Comments are being taken for the sites, [1] and at this very
moment the news is reporting that it is still undecided between
what is portrayed as Mr. Daniel Libeskind's proposal, and one
that takes parts from each and makes a uniquely statement,
contradicting the privatization with a public, cooperative design
which takes the best aspects of each plan of the seven teams,
and then recasts another _public venue for a more inclusive,
democratic, open, transparent, and damned messy debates.

The question pending: is this going to be a public design in
which the intellectual property is a public works project, or will
it turn into one handed to an inside favorite with connections?

As reported today in the NY Daily News: Who selects the final plan?

Downtown  countdown
City nears decisions on WTC site rebuild
By GREG GITTRICH

<http://www.nydailynews.com/01-20-2003/news/story/53006p-49687c.html>

"Officials had set a Jan. 31 deadline, but now say the middle to end
of February is more likely. It remains unclear whether one design or
elements from several will be selected."

It need be mentioned that absolutely no mention has been made
in the media blitz since the architects have shown their proposals,
of cooperation between the teams to make a design amongst them,
though Herbert Muschamp indicated as much, and it is the only true
public and democratic option which would redeem this process,
and open it up to the public at large, to question issues such as
fire safety, evacuation, phased development, diverse programming-
one in which a basic zoning plan which could or could not be a
long-term guide could be created- as a context- for a memorial,
and then building around that event, to remember it, firstly, and
then to plan and develop accordingly, with in-depth introspection
and reflection, not the projection of world-class egos and idealism.

There have been multitudinous debates online, for lack of any
suitable process by which the public can 'vote' on the plan which
takes architectural components and ideas from each proposal,
for a possible kit-of-design-ideas, for future zoning development.
This has not been an option all along- and thus- the process has
been UNFAIR in this regard, as it there has never been a choice.
It has always remained a privatized exercise, never in the Public
Realm, for a nation and a world needing to question itself anew.
Not a single architect and their individualistic vision we memorize.

Please look at the criticism of the current planning, the use of a
skyscraper as a design typology, the needs to question basic
assumptions about safety, evacuations, structural design, and
the secondary role of 'finished' architectural products in a time
when sketches and vigorous debate are needed, not PR selling
of which highly-competitive group of illusionists is a best practice.

Below is the information that is said to go into the public records
of the LMDC regarding the design 'competition', so this DISSENT
of your behind-the-scenes process will be noted as unacceptable
to the question that hangs thick in this moment, for lack of clarity.
You're not selling democracy in this process, you're selling souls
until you open this process up to the critical architectural public.

THUS- please use the hybrid model, for it has been left out of all
public voting options on every online poll, it is never mentioned
as an option in articles, and it is the _best option- not the worst,
it would Redeem the process by offering choice, an active public,
and could reframe the question to a needed and appropriate scale.

Four people are mentioned as especially critical in this process,
including the Mayor of NYC, Governor of NY, lead planner of the
LMDC Alexander Garvin, and Port Authority planner Stanton Eckstut.
An attempt to send this e-mail to all involved, plus the architects,
writers and critics is to raise in a large, worldwide Internet forum
that this pending decision must be towards an open architecture,
a public architecture, towards an inclusive and hybrid model. If
this event is treated like any other architectural competition, it will
become a commodity, and instantly profane, and by pure design.

For an architectural critique of substance, one which offers a valid
option for a generic hybrid architecture, please review the following.

Re: WTC design reflections (long notes)  [design positives and 
negatives]
http://lists.psu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0212&L=design-l&F=&S=&P=11746

WTC design notes w/images (2/2) [hybrid architecture, parts of each 
design]
http://lists.psu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0212&L=design-l&F=&S=&P=12606

And, a critique of what is pitched as the 'winning' front-runner WTC 
design:
http://lists.psu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0301&L=design-l&O=D&P=9152

This message is being sent to hundreds and possibly thousands of people,
so your addressing this concern has been recorded in the Internet 
archive.
As will your official response, which is awaited, for democratic 
imaginations.

Brian Thomas Carroll
Architecture & Electromagnetism
Research/Design/Development
http://www.electronetwork.org/

PS. for those who want to make public comments/statements that will be
included in an official publication, please speak now or forever be 
silent:

http://www.renewnyc.com/plan_des_dev/frm_comments.asp

> "The remarks, which are not publicly available on the site,
> will be collected and published in a report, officials said."

This is my contribution to this so far decrepit public process:

There has been a total lack of "critical" public debate about the
WTC planning, and e-mails have been circulating online intending
to question the designs and the process, with regard to safety issues,
public involvement, the use of skyscrapers versus squares as a building
typology on the site, and in general the faux-democratic treatment of 
this
event. Efforts have been made by people knowledgable of architecture
to offer substantial critiques that go unacknowledged. You are betraying
the architectural profession by disregarding the architecture in this
competition. There is much more to the questions raised than the
answers given, and it will be a travesty upon this country and New
York City should this process continue. I dissent this process in its
entirety and find it shameful that New York's great city would pursue
such a corrupt process with the help of the most of corrupt professions,
architecture. Brian Thomas Carroll

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