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‘Miami Vice’ gives architecture a bad name

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

A while back, I stopped at a locally owned burger emporium for one of my periodic hits of cholesterol. The giant cheeseburger was stupendous, but the decor was something else again. In architecture, there are few things as tawdry as yesterday's red-hot fashion. Judging by its unsettling paint job, this restaurant had apparently been redone during the 1980s, when a television series called "Miami Vice," of all things, inspired any number of hack architects and decorators to run around purportedly "updating" buildings with appliques of glass block, neon and stucco, lastly topping them off with the color scheme then approvingly known as dusty rose and teal. It's clear enough why fashion trends exist. For marketers, it's a diabolically clever way to ensure that people never remain satisfied with what they have, and instead will eternally crave a newer car, a different cut of clothing, or what have you. What's harder to understand is exactly what makes the rest of us -- including design p...