Aren't architectural works now primarily an expression of the architect's ego more than anything else?

Once upon a time, wasn't it more about an expression of a culture's values?
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Architecture, like any other from of art and tool (tool, becaue architecture exists to serve specific functions, otherwise it'd be sculpture), has always been a nexus where society, culture, and individual design/innovation intermingle. The artist/designer responds to culture, but also shapes culture.
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EDS
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Yup. Don mentioned, in his post, factors such as buget, approvals,and so on, and all of that works against the architect/designer. I think what happens is that a *very* few people gain name recognition, at least within a very small circle of what might have been called, in past ages, "patrons". OR fans who have been given, for this or that mystical reason, control over how to spend other people's money. IN those rare cases, we see some "egotistical" works pop up. But I think that, most of the time, it's les about one ego, and more about, well, and interaction of many egoes, plus "the tastes of the times".
When I think about the examples of "dumped trash can" styles that have popped up in discissions here, it seems to me that even those are actually expressions, too, if not of "the average taste", then of certain strong currents/trends in contemporary culture, which is, let's face it, jumbled, disjointed, having the idea of "E pluribus unum" *truely* put to the test, as so many levels of society and culture fracture like an old shale bed.
SOmetimes, what people *call* "ego" in architecture, they so label becuase they don't want to face what structure thing says about the culture in which it's rooted... Shure, people *want* to *beleive* that our culture is all vaulted domes and shapely columns and a well-ordered, harmonious balance of symmetry and asymmetry, btu in reality, that's just fantasy, illusion, and teh "dumped-out trash can" style is probalby much closer to being an expression of the reality.
IMO, of course ;)
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wrote:

1) What culture? Which values?
2) Isn't the "current culture" all about individual ego?
3) No.
4) Yes, thank God we've moved beyond that stupidity.
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