Additions to Learning from Las Vegas

Additions to Learning from Las Vegas

    The Design for Attention – Signage and Monument

    The iconic Learning from Las Vegas highlighted the observation of the notion of Duck Shed (where the building is formed out of an Icon) and Signage (where the signage describes the building, and no longer require the façade articulation). This blog highlights the additions to the Las Vegas observation.

    009_01_Artistic craftsmanship and Heritage background

    In the past buildings are remembered for their Artistic craftsmanship and Heritage background.

    009_02_Statue of Liberty

    In the last decade building becomes the icon of the city. This sounded the race for the design of the iconic building representing a city. Since then many architects have been tasked to design for attention. With capitalism, representing city no longer limits the agenda. Now we have corporates, political parties and charity organisations seeking to pursue the similar path for building for attention. Learning from Las Vegas becomes a good precedent for many Casinos seeking to attract customers via their building design.

    009_02a_Learning from Las Vegas

    While Learning from Las Vegas is contextual, this blog intents to record 4 majors types of the Design for Attention in several locations.


    1. Structural Awe – height / Cantilever
    Sizing up the competition for height in multiple cities, we have also the world largest cantilever of 83m, Busan Cinema Centre.

    009_04_Odd Shape

    2. Unconventional Form – Tabula rasa from the site context. (Aldar Headquarters Building, CCTV headquarters, Galaxy Soho)

    009_05_Technological Awe

    3. Technological Awe – LED SCREEN (Umno Headquarter, Canon Building, Hong Kong)

    009_06_Socially integrated

    4. Public Accessible (122 Leadenhall, London (left), Hearst Tower, New York (right))

    While some may adore and admire the grand Design for attention, we seek to differentiate the needs for building user, pedestrians, building owner, neighbourhood and cityhood.

    How does the Design for Attention help improve the working efficiency of the workers in the building, and improving the living condition of the surrounding users, and not prioritising in portraying awe and admiration?

    009_07_Social Divide

    Having designed for merely the building owner and without social consideration can lead social seclusion and further issues on crime rates and political instability. Such is the case in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    009_08_Ryugyong Hotel

    Politically motivated, the Ryugyong Hotel is merely a shell for its vacant interior. Empty with no users, it served to only a monument for the city.

    These exemplify the influence of Architecture to the worker, social and political impacts. While sometimes architects are succumbed to the influences of attention and client’s agenda, we must not forget the other users.

    Thus in judging quality of architecture, perhaps the verdicts should fall onto its building users (being the main tenant) rather than by international jury, by pictorial visuals or magazine/online commentary. While at times we parade on the architectural successes via the showcases of architectural awards, perhaps best we need to experience the design work firsthand.

    Again, this questions the fundamental needs of architectural designs?
    For international jury?
    For attention seeking visual?
    For client’s agenda?
    Or for building user, pedestrians, building owner, neighbourhood and cityhood?


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