Fantasy architecture seemed like a good idea for mid-summer reading when we first considered the idea of a theme issue toward the end of spring. Then we got these two letters to the editor. (Incidentally, we don’t typically get letters that say: “Swell job, keep it up!” But these were particularly pugnacious.)
"I wonder why space should be given in your magazine for 'fantasy architecture' when there is so much real architecture out there that does not get published. I love to look at graphic art, such as the drawing shown in AIArchitect, as much as the next person. However, don't we oversimplify the highest form of art when we ignore the complexity of combining aesthetics, science, politics, and finance required to create Architecture—'art to live in'? My personal opinion is that an unbuilt project may be a great piece of art, but does not deserve to be called Architecture."
—Boyd McAllister, AIA, partner
VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City
"What a stupid waste of my membership money and your time. We are not in college any more!"
—George Dove, FAIA, managing principal
WDG Architecture, Washington, D.C.
Okay, but I remember once asking a firm principal years ago about his exemplary record of volunteering to sit on university crit juries: “Do you bring real-world issues into your criticism, such as buildability and universal accessibility?”
“Of course not,” he said. “Those are things I deal with every day. I do the crits because I want to have fun.”
Well, after having worked on this issue, the entire AIArchitect team agreed, this was fun. And, more than that, it was interesting, informative, and also practical because it does open up trains of thought that very possibly could have real application.
What do you think?