Another couple of quotes I want to etch onto this entry for future reference…
Firstly, another paragraph from the same entry by PartIV:
Alain de Botton is given short thrift by the architecture establishment, seemingly because he has the audacity to meddle in their affairs, of which, they assume, he can know nothing. He is suffering from the Prince Charles effect – the willingness to speak up on behalf of the common man about a subject he has currently wondered [sic] into whether by accident or purpose. Having read his latest book, “The Architecture of Happiness” I did find it a little wanting and naïve from an architect’s perspective. I’ll leave the reviews to the qualified. And indeed that’s how he came across in this debate. You could almost hear the “tut-tuts” and eye-rolls from the audience. But at least he’s willing to bring up these issues and take them to the public, which is more than most of the assembled architects are willing to do, preferring instead to incestuously breed ideas.
When at the end, he said that he was “looking forward to being able to appreciate the ugly”, I don’t think he was being ironic at all.
For a very long time, taste and artistic training have been things that only a small number of people have been able to develop. Only a few people could afford to participate in the production of many types of media. Raw materials like pigments were expensive; same with tools like printing presses; even as late as 1963 it cost Charles Peignot over $600,000 to create and cut a single font family.
The small number of people who had access to these tools and resources created rules about what was good taste or bad taste.
Over the last 20 years, however, the cost of tools related to the authorship of media has plummeted. Suddenly consumers are learning the language of these authorship tools. The fact that tons of people know names of fonts like Helvetica is weird! […]
As people start learning and experimenting with these languages authorship, they don’t necessarily follow the rules of good taste. This scares the shit out of designers.
In Myspace, millions of people have opted out of pre-made templates that ‘work’ in exchange for ugly. Ugly when compared to pre-existing notions of taste is a bummer. But ugly as a representation of mass experimentation and learning is pretty damn cool.
(found via Matt’s Iterative Architecture presentation)