Herzog & de Meuron in Beijing. Jean Nouvel in Minneapolis. Zaha Hadid in Guangzhou.
Is the globalization of design creating a fertile dialogue or erasing local identities?
Avinash gave the final word
I’d argue that it actually strengthens local identities. And this is essentially a function of time.
A great example, one that I am familiar with, is Louis Kahn’s Indian Institute of Management Building in Ahmedabad, India. The building has little, really, to do with local building traditions in Ahmedabad (which were in themselves heavily influenced by 150 years of colonial rule).
At the time, one might have argued that its influence was so great that it erased local identity. But what it actually did was open up the possibilities for a new local Ahmedabadi architecture, with a unique vocabulary of its own: exposed brick and concrete, large, airy spaces that are carefully shielded from direct sunlight, yielding surprisingly cool interiors. Today, even domestic architecture in Ahmedabad has this distinct flavour.
Local identity is resilient and fluid, and cultures re-invent themselves all the time.
Friday, August 6 at 4:29pm