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Architectural ambition

Alex Bozikovic’s review of the book Canadian Modern Architecture: 1967 to the Present raises something potentially troubling. Here’s what I’m talking about:

It is by turns an exhilarating and depressing narrative: Canada, in this book, appears as a country that announced itself on the world stage in the 1960s and 1970s with incredible ambition but, since then, has retreated toward the mean.

It is potentially troubling not only because I believe in the value of good design, but because I believe that architecture embodies the ethos and cultural context in which it was created.

And so if you believe that our architectural ambitions have retreated toward mediocrity, you might also surmise that our overall level of ambition has retreated toward the same.

That should be viewed as a serious problem.

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