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New Group Calls for Public Architecture for Private Gain


esign Without Meaning (DWM-USA) advocates fairness in corporate support of public structures worldwide.

As a design-marketing tool and unprecedented opportunity to connect emotionally with massive numbers of high-income prospects, public, name-brand structures such as museums, universities and opera houses are in a class by themselves.  

As consultants, we are committed to helping the corporate sector and its loyal lobbyists in the greater exploitation of design and architecture. After all, as old guard philanthropists die off or bequeath their fortunes to besotted heirs, who remains to write those all important checks?

Museums, hospitals, opera houses, and universities are entitled to more than a voice; theirs must necessarily be the only voice. Because without their critical support, where would any of us be?

Moreover, DWM calls for the reduction and gradual elimination of the outmoded “design vocabularies” or architectural “humanisms” in favor of a more efficient corporate model.  We are dedicated in spirit as well as practice, to the high corporate ideal of maximizing usable space for the accommodation of as many of the top personal income quintiles as possible.

DWM believes this new understanding of design will soon eclipse traditional notions regarding neighborhood scale and “appropriateness”, human proportion and classical dimensions, “welcoming” entrances and grand staircases, transitional spaces from public to more private, meditative alcoves, courtyards open to the unpredictable sky, fussy, expensive wood and stone work encasing doors and windows when a simple red dot adhering to a pane glass will usually suffice. 

DWM is committed to supporting the greater exploitation of public design as a private resource.  As corporate leaders are coming to understand, the Return on Investment in public architecture can be considerable. A single “Investors’ Night” for 10,000 upscale prospects at a major museum can be worth millions more than the checks underwriting the entire design/build program.  The possibilities and advantages are endless.

Nominations are open for the 2011 “Meanie Awards”

The Society for the Advancement of Design without Meaning/USA is pleased to announce the 2011 Meanie Awards in recognition of a public design that best articulates a private brief.  Nominate your favorite “Meanie” by April 1, 2011 in the following categories: museums, universities, schools, hospitals, government buildings, libraries.  Special note:  Nominations for best-designed prisons, battered women’s shelters, drug rehab clinics and so on will be assiduously ignored.


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