14 June 2021 – For the Platte Grond website  Prosper de Roos made the documentary Neofobia with Reinier de Graaf (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and me discussing  the alleged fear of the new in architecture. The occasion was the political pressure put on architects by the Prince of Wales, ex-president Donald Trump and Dutch MP Thierry Baudet and others to build in a classical, or at least a traditional style.

Such neofobia touches an open nerve in the professional community of architects. Modernism with its drive for innovation is alive and well. In his podcast, Reinier de Graaf appeared to still embrace the promise of the new. I contrasted this with sobriety and a design attitude oriented towards broader acceptance.

Platte Grond (= map or floorplan) is a Dutch non-fiction podcast on ‘pioneers, architects and other cowboys’. The idea for the Platte Grond podcast arose in collaboration with Stichting ArchiScienza, which is dedicated to publishing about and exploring architecture and science.

Listen to the podcast Neofobia here (Dutch only)