- Aug 2022
A reframing of what the story of the Tower of Babel means.
The moral of the Tower of Babel is to encourage power with rather than power over.
- Oct 2021
Let us then create a new guild of craftsmen without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist! Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith.
The Tower of Babel
When I first read this manifesto, I had immediate associations with the Tower of Babel. The cathedral project of global neoliberal capitalism began as a socialist utopian project in the Weimar Republic as Germany’s first experiment in democracy. The democratic experiment failed when the Nazis shut down the Bauhaus in 1933.
The experiment continued in the United States of America as the Bauhaus diaspora spread the ideas of modernism to the art, design and architecture academies around the world.
The World Trade Center in New York City embodied the vision of modern architecture that Walter Gropius had been exploring at the Bauhaus, defining the trinity of building materials of the modern world: steel, glass, and concrete.
When the twin towers collapsed on 9/11, the modernism movement came to an abrupt end. Ever since, we have been living in a distinctly postmodern world.