Deyan Sudjic

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Deyan Sudjic (2013)

Deyan Sudjic, OBE (born 6 September 1952)[1] is a British writer and broadcaster. He is the director of the Design Museum, London.[2] He grew up in Acton, London; his parents spoke Serbo-Croat at home. His father worked for the BBC World Service.[citation needed] In 1970 he contributed to Schoolkids OZ, the subject of an obscenity trial the following year.

Later he was the design and architecture critic for The Observer, the Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University, visiting professor at the Royal College of Art, and co-chair of the Urban Age Advisory Board.[2][3]

In 1983, he co-founded, with Peter Murray and Simon Esterson, Blueprint, a monthly architecture magazine and went on to be the magazine's editor and then its editorial director. From 2000-04, he was the editor of Domus. He was the director of Glasgow's UK City of Architecture and Design program in 1999, and the director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2002. He was also a juror for the design of London Aquatics Centre, which was designed and built for the 2012 Olympics by architect Dame Zaha Hadid.[citation needed] Sudjic took up his post as director of the Design Museum in 2006.

In 2012, Sudjic was awarded an honorary degree from the University for the Creative Arts.[3]

Power and Architecture[edit]

During the book "The Edifice Complex", Deyan Sudjic take us throughout the history between the architecture and power, understanding power as all the political, economical, social and cultural factors, and how the architect ends overpowered by all the institutions, politicians and the people who domain the power itself, serving all the wishes of such client or benefactor. He tries to clear down the idea that architecture rather than being in art trade, architecture is also a part of communication that throughout implicit signs and signifiers of constructions give us the idea that is also communicating. An act that is questioned that if it comes from the architect or from the powerful people, creating specifically a kind of propaganda.

During the analysis, Sudjic asks himself, why all the great projects are distribute between a small groups of architects, with out being necessarily submitted in competitions and public opinion. The projects are made by the architects with a magniloquence spirit, and reflect other interests that are not necessarily the architect’s interests, revealing the hidden power behind the architectural design field of knowledge. Cathedrals, temples and palaces accomplished a communicative function until the beginnings of the 20th century, but it doesn’t mean that we are exempt in our "modern age", where rich and powerful people still have the same dynamics in a way that is diversified in architectural construction typology

The author starts with the example of Albert Speer, architect whose was at Hitler’s services. Such historical description goes through some politicians who construct buildings with political order, or to ratify their position in the political and economical power. Mussolini, Giuseppe Terragni and even Le Corbusier, are subjects of this critical review, ending with contemporary star-architects like: Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid and the one who named the sue-man Santiago Calatrava, all overpowered by politicians and business man.

It is questioned if in our modern age (and I would include if in all ages) architecture does not is an end in itself, that is architecture or even architects, but that the end that is questioned reside directly to clients, who belong to rich and powerful people sphere’s. The façade that is constructed, is just a staging made by clients who wants us to believe that buildings are from the architect itself. "Their work depends on their engagement with the political context of the world." [4]

Along the history, architects finishes at political and economical power services which is ratify by all the users, that determined by a specific space-time, dwell, live and experience the constructed buildings. And how all the projects are subjected by all the majesties, in order to remain in the collective imaginary throughout time and fragmented history. References to Rockefeller Center, World Trade Center, and the Santiago de Compostela’s cultural city and so many other models are described as examples of buildings aimed to deconstruct social reality and create another reality that powerful people want us to see.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Weekend birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 6 September 2014. p. 50. 
  2. ^ a b LSE: "Advisory board"; retrieved 17 May 2013
  3. ^ a b "UCA honorary degrees 2012". University for the Creative Arts. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Sudjic, Deyan (2007). La arquitectura del poder. Mexico City: Ariel. ISBN 9788434469006. 

External links[edit]