Thank you, Steve…
A patient comes to the hospital.
What’s your problem, sir? – asks doctor.
Everybody ignores me, – replies the patient.
The doctor turns around and yells to the receptionist: “The next one, please”
In my last essay I’ve congratulated architectural community with such a successful PR move as inviting U.S. President to the Pritzker Prize ceremony. I also said that overall architectural PR sucks. I repeat it: our PR sucks. It sucks big time. It’s an epic failure. It’s a shame. It’s a sad fact affecting our profession more than we can imagine.
The confirmation of that fact came immediately upon my cheers to Obama who was supposedly attracting a public attention towards the architects. Apparently he wasn’t. I mean… of course he has attracted a public attention. But not towards the architects.
Next day after the Pritzker Prize ceremony Huffington Post – the most powerful online paper has issued on it’s “Style” section’s front page an article. D’ you wanna know the title of the article?
Michelle Obama Bold In Blue at Pritzker Architecture Prize Event (PHOTOS)
No kidding! That’s the only thing Huff had noticed about the Architectural Nobel. Obama’s wife “bold blue”! This is not about Obama’s speech presenting the architecture as “the most democratic art”. This is not about the white-hair masters like Eduardo Souto de Mouro and Frank Gehry attending the event. This is about “bold blue” of Michelle. Great pick, Huffington Post! I’m sure your editors know what public really wants.
The article/slide-show of the first lady in blue has generated 360 comments. The one and only comment mentioning architecture was mine.
…I wrote: It’s not about Michelle Obama’s “bold blue”. It’s about architects. Don’t you think so?
…I got an immediate reply: It’s the style section, so I don’t think it’s inappropriate.
…I got pissed off & answered: Styles change, style doesn’t. Presidents’ wives come and go, architecture stays.
Nobody even noticed me. They kept discussing the fashion…
Being the only reason for the event architects are still openly ignored. We are getting ignored not only by the public, but by the “doctors”, like in that stupid joke. Or in the other words by the clients… And this is what my second episode is all about.
The only guy who can rival the U.S. President celebrity’s status is Steve Jobs. And yesterday he all of a sudden was also talking architecture. “Apple” has decided to build a new HQ, a colossal structure for 12,000 people – “the most beautiful building on Earth” as guru Jobs has referred to it. (Knowing the perfection of “Apple” products I have no doubt it will be a superior piece). So Steve Jobs made a rare public appearance in front of the Cupertino City Council. Cupertino is the city where Apple is based and where they have purchased 130 acres of land for the new campus.
Steve Jobs presents the project to the City Council. It’s a cool presentation: 21 minutes and 13 seconds long. Jobs talks about everything: about his childhood, about the lot history, about the existing buildings, about the trees, about the Apple employees’ age and the taxes. He also talks about architects. For 3 seconds! From 3:30 to 3:33. He says: “…we have worked with the architects… with the best in the world actually…” That’s all. That’s the only time he mentions that architects are involved. No names, no details, no acknowledgements. That’s the only time you hear the word “architect”. Thank you, Steve.
P.S. The only other celebrity that can compete with Barack Obama and Steve Jobs is Lady Gaga. Gosh, I hope she writes a song about architects… And look, she’s also very bold in blue…