From the Issue
AUDIO & VIDEO
Architecture is more than artful shelter. Architecture is culture, one of the most fundamental ways we express who we are. Architecture is our history, our mythology and our aspirations, all gathered up and mortared into physical presence. If it’s sometimes contradictory or confusing, well, how could it not be? Where is there a people in the 21st century whose culture is uncomplicated?
The long-running parade of “Spanish” architecture in Arizona is our quest for a cultural identity, and, yes, it’s confusing. And, in some quarters, controversial. Despite its ubiquity, most architects in Arizona today avoid it. Many critics disdain it. I was one of them. When I worked as an architecture critic for Tucson and Phoenix newspapers in the 1980s and ’90s, I thought it the architectural equivalent of pulp fiction and labeled the late 20th century version of it “Taco Deco.”
After living away from Arizona for more than 20 years, I returned to see if it felt any different.