Is new technology radically improving design? Stern doesn’t think so.
Question: How is technology changing the way you work?
Stern: Well in my professional office we have all the computers and lots of the bells and whistles that are around. I personally still make little drawings. And I like to use sculptors modeling clay, which I was introduced to by Louis Kahn who used it. But it goes back in the architectural terms __________ tradition in art terms in general to the tradition of sculpture. And I like to shape things, and mush them around, and play with shapes. But then of course we use other digital fabrication techniques or whatever. And then I certainly realize that you can build things in extraordinary ways that you couldn’t do even 30 years ago. So it affects me, but you know you can’t . . . You can teach an old dog some new tricks, but you can’t teach him all new tricks.
Question: Is technology dramatically improving design?
Stern: No. I still think the Parthenon is about way up there on the top. So no I don’t think that in that sense. It’s improving. It’s made more possibilities, and it has resulted in some buildings of extraordinary beauty as any other situation has. Frankly I think all of these glass buildings – and now I know I sound like an ancient mariner or something . . . But producing a bland uniformity in our cities, including our city of New York, that it’s a question of how much glass is appropriate? And I use glass as the symbol of the new technology