Inflation is a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money, as a result of it, governments tend to print more and more bills.
Around the 1980’s, Bolivia was coming out of a long period of dictatorships, democracy was still weak due to the constantly threat of the army to come back again to take control of the nation.
In one year, we had 5 presidents, a lot of economic and social instability, we actually beat the world’s record of inflation with 30.000 % in one year, at that time, one should take a bag to collect his salary, a lot of money with no value. One bag full of bills was not enough to by the weakly market of a family.
Lot and lots of bills, like those glossy, fantastic, spectacular buildings of today, buildings and projects published at an incredible speed on all kinds of media, but mainly in our favourite, the web. Each one of this buildings fighting to be the most attractive, the most convincing, the most “sustainable”, the most…….MOST
At the architectural school in Bolivia, one of the main subjects of urbanism was Analysis (the reading of the city), it was based on the theory’s of Kevin Lynch, who with simple concepts: borders and limits, landmarks, interactive points and fields, gave a direction to the main themes of city planning. Our proposals and analyses were always based on it, our task or let’s say our central issue was to repair and reinforce the continuity of the city, proposing for example projects (architecture) which could act as landmarks of cultural identity, giving a meaning to the place.
In any case we learn that one of the objectives of architecture was (is) to provide symbols to the citizens, which recalls aspects of their civilization: cultural values and aspirations, mysticism and philosophies, institutions and technology, in fact cultural objects on which old and new inhabitants were (are) identified.
Today’s architecture is as many other products a visual object, the building as visual product is a consequence of the commercialization of the world, and technology has contributed a lot to this aspect. The contemporary building industry has arrive to such extreme of extravagance and virtuosity that everything is possible. Astonishing structures that instead of giving us a sense of newness, these projects frequently appear force and alienated.
This booming of architectural objects has become the perfect alliance to politics, every Major of a city or a town wants to have his own Gughemhein.
An author’s architecture, an exhibitionist and narcissistic art, in which museums, ministries, bridges and even plazas have principally the function of calling the attention not over what their function is, but mainly about itself and overall, over the inventiveness and courage of their creators.
With the globalized world, in which the media is the lord, we look at all those strange buildings like the bills of inflation of my youth.