Reflecting on an era of architectural icons

And still they come. The Gherkins, Shards, Walkie-Talkies, Cheesegraters, Scalpels, giant iPhones, Bird’s Nest stadiums, flying tabletops, big pants. Like the conveyor belt of consumer items that older readers will remember in Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game, the supply of funny-looking buildings with funny names seems never-ending. Nicknames are converted into brands; satire and marketing merge.

There has been an era of architectural invention like few others, combined with a sense of hollowness, the feeling of not knowing what it’s all for.

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