Macau, May 30, 2015, 9am

Macau- MAY 30- 2015Tom Wiscombe speaks at the 3rd USJ Architecture and Design Symposium in Macao. Moderated by Thomas Daniells

Iconophilia: Spectacular Architecture and Design. The history of architecture and design is often presented as the sequential invention of iconic objects: specific foreground elements that contrast with- and eventually alter- their more generic backgrounds. But if these forms once possessed symbolic or cultural content- today we see a proliferation of extraordinary forms without serious content- or seemingly unstable forms with equally unstable content. Every cultural institution and commercial development now demands its own iconic identity. Architects and designers exult in the opportunities for experimentation afforded by increasingly sophisticated digital design and fabrication technologies. Our cityscapes have become dominated by dazzling images and our daily lives filled with seductive objects. This symposium brings together a group of leading architects and designers from Asia- Europe- and America to discuss the new relationships between foreground and background- figure and field- decoration and abstraction- substance and image- transience and permanence- criticism and production- and the ways in which spectacular architecture and design affect our experience of the world.