Petition the mossback AIA

MRDV twin Seoul tower design at left; image of Twin Towers under attack at right. (

MRDV twin Seoul tower design at left; image of Twin Towers under attack at right. (

John Massengale has a great post called “I am not a fashionista” on his blog. At its conclusion is a link to a petition to ask the American Institute of Architects to diversify the architects and architecture it promotes. At the bottom, click on the link that says “I am not a fashionista.” Or click on the link at the bottom of this post.

John refers to a proposed building in Seoul that looks like the Twin Towers blowing up, and notes that it received positive reviews in many corners of the architectural establishment. I recall writing about it and noting the defensive crouch assumed by MRDV after the resemblance to 9/11 (which was unavoidable) was noted. Who, us? We had absolutely no idea!

The AIA recently hosted its monthly online “#aiachat.” It was about diversity – of the gender and racial variety, not whether more types of architecture should be represented in AIA advocacy. Even though I’m not in the AIA (and am not an architect), I was permitted to join the chat, notwithstanding my ignorance of the style of diversity under inspection. The moderator politely set me straight. But others under the same delusion who had joined the chat earlier and tried to clarify the topic or bend it toward a broader diversity had the impression that their comments were studiously ignored.

AIA’s new president, Elizabeth Chu Richter, probably would not want to think that it is a stick-in-the-mud that represents only the most regressive of agendas. She would be horrified, and rightly so. Well, it is just as bad to discriminate against a belief as against a gender or a skin color. If I thought all architects should be shot, that would be a belief worth discriminating against. But the organization representing the interests of all architects should obviously advocate all valid architectural styles. That is basic.

Of course, there’s a cottage industry of architectural history the purpose of which is to demonstrate that all architecture but modern architecture is invalid. Right. Which is just as valid as believing that all baseball players should be white and all presidents should be men.

Get with the program, AIA! Sign the petition. It is here.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Petition the mossback AIA

  1. Paul Bessieres says:

    There is more to these two pictures than equality given to members of the AIA, women, men, black, green, yellow, purple, etc, The Korean towers appear to be a copy of the act against USA in 2011. There is no logical reason to conceive and build this design other than this as there are so many design that can generate interest or full rental of the building. For me the design is completely in bad taste, especially for a country that says that it is a partner.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.