Has financialization gone too far?
As chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke can explain a lot about its response to the housing bubble. What he can't explain is whether much of our finance industry is more trouble than it's worth.
To accurately assess trends in architecture and urbanism one needs a time horizon longer than 365 days. Just to design a building often takes longer than that. Even so, 2008 may come to be seen as a watershed year for contemporary architecture. The electrifying campaign for the U.S. presidency, the sputtering housing market and the global economy's free fall, the ever-more chilling and urgent need to slow the pace of global warming: these developments and more awakened architects to the realization that they've more important things to design than monolithic, high-end goodie bags.