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Yale Architecture Students Gentrify Red Hook

I just found this interesting article in the New York Times:

Yale Students Imagine the Future of Red Hook

A new show in the coalition’s gritty exhibition site tries to reimagine the future of Red Hook, taking account of the area’s waterfront location, on Upper New York Bay, and of trends in urban planning and architectural design. It is on view on weekends through Aug. 20 as part of the coalition’s summer show, “Food for ... a Feast for the Eyes.” The Red Hook exhibition arose from a spring-semester studio class at the Yale School of Architecture that was organized around the theme of urbanism, but unlike other academic exercises, it focused on more than the merely theoretical.

At first glance it sounds like a good idea, but looking at the two drawings made me have second thoughts. There was something very cold and science fiction like about the drawings shown in the article. To me that doesn't capture the warm human quality of Brooklyn. But then I think this touches a larger problem - the Yale architecture students don't like in Brooklyn, of course they don't understand the community. In fact what's odd is that there are plenty of art schools in New York City that might be better suited for the project. I'd love to see what students at Pratt which is located in Brooklyn would come up with as opposed to those stark drawings from Yale.

Of course this speaks to a larger issue, the fact that even the best of plans for Brooklyn are science fiction unless there is real money at work. The sad reality that I see in Williamsburg is that developers get a small plot of land and in trying to generate the greatest return put up the tallest and most ugly of buildings. What's sad is that while there are many laws governing real estate, good taste or what might fit into the community never seem to fit into the picture.



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