Your Taste in Architecture is Shit.

Yoseph
3 min readAug 5, 2022

Have you ever seen a slick rendering of a new apartment building or masterplanned community? Curvy lines, futuristic aesthetics, everything is pristine…

They’re shit. They’re absolute shit and you shouldn’t like them. No one should.

Why? Because don’t judge a book by it’s cover is an age old saying. And with designing spaces for people to live, work, play, inhabit, grow, start families in, spend hours of their day working or hanging out, doing whatever it is us humans like to do with our time… when you’re designing a space from the outside in so that it looks cool in a rendering, cool from space, cool from a plane, you are making a place that is arbitrarily shitty.

Want some examples?

Here’s a rendering from Bjarke Ingels Group for a development near the High Line in NYC. There are two people in the photo. The stream of cars on eiher side has been blurred into an artistic set of red and white lines, instead of the noisy, dangerous, polluting chasms they will in reality exist as.

The buildings look cute though. Great.

Let’s look at another. A generic “Future Cities” image.

Remember — these “future cities” are supposed to be better. This would be an absolutely shit place to live. It would not solve resource problems, because it would be incredibly resource intensive. It is not efficient.

It looks kind of cool. That’s it. Besides that, hot garbage. Shit.

Ok, let’s actually see what happens when someone has enough money and power to execute on one of these designs. Let’s take a look at Brasilia, the postmodern capital of Brazil.

This place is already built and been around for a few decades now. Want to know something? It’s horrible. It’s awful. Try walking anywhere. You can’t. Driving is the only option, and that’s horribly inefficient and awful for your health. This is a city designed to destroy your mental health, physical health, and the environment. And look cute and orderly while doing it.

Ultimately, you need to change how you see architecture. Architecture is about designing for people, and designing for uses. To do so, Architecture, renderings, and your taste in design must embrace one of the most essential truths in the universe: Chaos.

Yes, embracing chaos, change, age, destruction, the way our bodies decline and decay, and all the other confusing, gray area sides of life is the only way to understand how to appreciate good architecture.

So the next time you’re on Instagram or Pinterest or reading an article about some new master-planned city, balk. It’s horrific. If you see a sleek rendering of some futuristic space where the cars are cute little red lines on the roads and a few poeple casually hang out under the shadow of the imposing monolith design, remember. It’s shit. Absolute shit.

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Yoseph

Software Engineer passionate about the future of cities. Currently building libraries for Azure IoT.