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信息大爆炸的网络之于建筑师,到底是优还是劣?第1张图片


Opinion: In Architecture, Silence Is Anything But Golden

由专筑网小R,吴静雅编译

本文最初发表于“Common Edge”。

建筑师其实常常存在着竞争关系,而网络甚至给这种竞争关系带来了无限契机,这并不新鲜,但是,这些成果的期望与规矩都发生了一定的改变。

在7月份,我被要求参加了两次小型竞赛,因为我已经成功完成了符合竞赛重点设计项目,所以我便参加了竞赛。首先,我确认参赛作品能够符合竞赛标准,同时也了解评审团的评审时间,但是我们却失败了,也像往常一样,对我们和所有其他参赛者的判决是沉默。

无独有偶,我常常“受邀”为潜在项目进行构思,几个月之前,我“受邀”与其他20家事务所共同竞标某个项目,在和客户见面沟通之后的两三个月都没有更多的交流,后来我给他们发邮件,询问一下更新内容,他们说:“现在只剩下你们三个了。”于是我只能继续等待。现在,这些经历让我能够快速地构思一些大概的想法,其实,耐心是一种美德,但是就礼仪来说,似乎减少了对其的需求。

换句话说,其实没有新消息,就是在变相地拒绝你。

建筑师的工作成果由他人判断,各项竞赛、出版刊物、潜在客户都能够对此进行判断,但是建筑师们很少获得鼓励。在当前的社会,几乎所有的东西都能够通过网络进行快速地查看,这就像是沉浸在科技的监视之中,你的作品大范围曝光,但是互动率为零。

无效的呐喊好像是现在的主流。竞赛费用的收取、免费艺术内容的收纳、开放的设计理念,这些似乎只需要轻轻点击“发送”就能完成,这其实是个很简单的呼应,但是规则与礼仪却逐渐消失。那么这是什么原因呢?其实说一句:“抱歉,你落选了。”是一件很容易的事。

“全新道德的扭曲似乎模仿了网络交易,那是对亲密接触的错误解读,接下来便是冰冷的沉默。”

对建筑师而言,接受拒绝便是工作的一部分,但是冷漠却很难接受。同时,网络会给建筑师带来无限幻想,那么谁会选择他们呢?全新道德的扭曲似乎模仿了网络交易,那是对亲密接触的错误解读,接下来便是冰冷的沉默。

当然,模拟的提交方式其实并没有说服力,如此耗时的作品也并没有多有效,其中则包括照片印刷、纸质图像、可爱的包装等等。这就像是一场舞剧、一场对话、一场诉求者与法官之间的互动。当前,数字技术已经完全融合人们的生活之中,人们所需要付出的代价便是冷漠。曾经几乎没有人了解过网购订单或是酒店预订,那么设计竞赛的落选者也不会有意识地去记住曾经付出的努力。

更为复杂的是,在这样一个共享的时间里,作品提交的客观性并不存在。竞赛的落选者可能是最后才知道结果的那个人,但是设计竞赛却早已开始。那么,当作品传播如此迅速的今天,设计师该如何保持自己的效率?在这个世界里,想要保持低调愈发地困难,互联网会成为建筑师的评判者。这并不是在质疑建筑师的能力,因为你无法质疑你所看不到的东西,但是这种评判确实非常冷漠。

在20世纪,客户们会通过私人接触联系建筑师,但是现在,人们之间互动变少了,也不需要过多的交流,就可以看到建筑师的各个作品。就像是许多约会平台那样,拒绝的现象总是默默发生。你真正看到的东西都有备选项。

这里有一个悖论。 无论我们是否意识到这一点。那些全新且冷漠的东西是整个过程的一部分,人们接受了网络的瞬时性、开放性、自由性,从而换取到隐藏在人群之中的权力。但很明显的是,技术的爆炸能够很好地服务于通信与设计。这样的变革十分轻松,但是也降低了沟通的效率。其实,人们生活在无限映射却孤独的世界之中。

有些竞赛可以让参赛者看到所有的作品,如果可能的话,人们也应该感谢落选者的努力付出。毕竟,人们还是应该习惯自己的行为受到瞬时的互动与评判。

This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Architects compete, and the internet provides unlimited opportunities for competition among all who wish to offer up something for consideration. None of this is news. But there’s been a change in both the expectations and the etiquette around all of those offerings.
Earlier this month, I was asked to submit to two small competitions. I had completed successful projects that matched each competition’s focus, so I dove in. We confirmed that our entries met the criteria and deadlines; we knew the day of jury deliberations and the release date of their decision. As usual, we lost (success only comes for those willing to accept failure); also, as usual, the verdict for us and for all other runners up was silence.
Similarly, I am often “invited” to submit ideas for potential projects. A few months ago, I was asked to compete against 20 other firms for a project. After meeting the potential client and providing ideas, there was no communication for two months, so I sent an email them asking for an update. “It’s down to three of you,” I was told. So I continue to wait, as architects always have, the pleasure of the patron. Only now, the technology that allowed me to easily submit some pretty snappy ideas was not reciprocally used to inform me of … anything. Patience may be a virtue, but common courtesy reduces the need for it.
In other words, no news has become the new “no.”
Architects have always offered their work for judgment. Competitions, publications, potential clients—there are any number of submission opportunities, but precious few rewards. And with nearly everything provided quickly and easily via uploads and email attachments, it often feels like a dreary, high-tech version of speed dating: a perpetual loop of maximum exposure, but minimal interaction.
Shouting into the void is now the expectation. The harvesting of competition fees, the procuring of free art and editorial content, the open-ended trolling for design ideas—all of this has become as simple as getting people to hit “send.” It should be just as simple to respond, but that etiquette has largely disappeared. Why should this be so, when it’s easier than ever to contact multiple parties simultaneously to say, “Sorry, we didn’t choose you”?
“The perversity of this new ethic mimics virtually all internet transactions: The false promise of intimacy and engagement, followed by stony silence.”
Rejection has always been part of the deal for architects, but indifference cuts harder. Meanwhile, an endless parade of architectural fantasias appears on the internet. Who chooses them? The perversity of this new ethic mimics virtually all internet transactions: The false promise of intimacy and engagement, followed by stony silence.
Of course, analog submissions were lame in their indirect, time-consuming product fetishism: bound photographic prints and paper drawings, lovingly packaged and gently carried about like offspring. (And then, eventually, returned.) But at least it was a dance, a dialogue of sorts, a dynamic between supplicant and absolute judge. Now digital technology is fully baked into every part of our culture, and the price we pay for its vast efficiencies is cold indifference. Almost no human ever touches an Amazon order or a hotel reservation, and the losers of design competitions rarely have any sense that a human ever saw what they offered.
To further complicate matters, the objectivity of blind submissions is nearly impossible in a world where everything is shared instantly. Losers may be the last to know (if ever), but the work of everyone entering has been on the internet long before the competition happens. So while embargoes are still required, how can they be effective when the work can be universally spread, independent of the designer? Anonymity is virtually impossible in this new world. The thousands of sites available end up making the designer part of the judgment. This coarsely efficient ethos isn’t insulting, because you cannot insult what you do not know, but it is cold.
In the 20th century, clients generally found architects through personal contacts. Now everyone can review entire portfolios without any interaction, exchange of thought, or chemistry. Architecture is offered and viewed apart from the designer. As with a dating site, the resulting rejection is anonymous. It is assumed that what is found on screens is a viable substitute for actual contact.
There is a paradox here. This new, nasty indifference is actually part of a bargain that’s been struck, whether we realize it or not: We’ve accepted the instant, free, open connections of the web in exchange for our invisibility. And despite that, it’s clear that almost every aspect of communication and design is better served by this technological explosion. This revolution connects, effortlessly, but more often than not that attempt at communication goes unreciprocated. We live in a world of infinitely projected monologues.
Some competitions allow entrants to see all entries. If that’s possible, then thanking the losers for their efforts seems equally possible. But there is a new ethos, one in which the power of instant interaction and judgment rules over the messy humanity of manners and dialogue. Get used to it.

        
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