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"Can a house be beautiful simply because of what we know, not because of what we see?"

A simple house features on the cover of Reinier de Graaf’s new book, Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession. In this extract, the OMA partner reveals the building’s secret, politically fuelled past. The house, a small single-story building with a square plan and a pitched roof, is nothing much to speak

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"Now is not the time to be indulging in postmodern revivalism"

Bringing back postmodernism, a style of architecture that thrived on irony, could be dangerous in today’s political climate, argues Sean Griffiths. “I have nothing to say and I am saying it.” These are the words of John Cage, the American composer made famous by his musical explorations of silence. In recent weeks, it has occurred to

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"Does architecture have a Harvey Weinstein hiding within its ranks?"

Architecture has a culture of quietly condoning sexist behaviour, just like Hollywood, argues Anna Winston. “To be dangerous is to be artistically daring”. In all the comment pieces I have read so far on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, this, from British playwright Lucy Prebble’s piece in the London Review of Books, stood out. This was the

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"The architecture of the Americas is not white"

The Pacific Standard Time exhibitions in Los Angeles show that arts and culture from south of the border have shaped an architectural identity for the region that is much more interesting than what’s found in the Northeast US, says Aaron Betsky. As a longtime denizen of the Southwest (if California, in addition to Arizona, counts),

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"Designers can contribute to a better world, but not if we dictate how they do it"

Ahead of the launch of our Good Design for a Bad World, Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs asked: “Can design save the world?” In this response, Louise Schouwenberg argues that global issues can’t be placed on the shoulders of guilt-ridden designers alone. Mankind is not only a creative race but also a destructive one. It threatens to destroy even

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"A war against branding is a war against people"

By making tobacco companies follow strict packaging restrictions, we’re paving the way to a future where brands no longer reflect our lifestyles, argues Stephen Bayley. The old media are dead or dying. Display advertising in newspapers will soon disappear. Maybe newspapers themselves will disappear first. Shops may soon also become things of the past, as

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"Middle-class guilt is weaponised to keep architectural labourers from demanding reform"

A disdain for trade unions is preventing architects from challenging the industry’s low standards of workers’ rights, argues Phineas Harper. In February 2012, a mysterious website, archleaks.com appeared. Now offline, the site enabled disgruntled architects to anonymously whistle-blow on the conditions in their practices. Although the authenticity of the complaints could not be verified (neutering any

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