Monday, July 27, 2009

One Step Backward for Design and Architecture

Declared unacceptable: A huge yellow sign spelling out “United States”
on the Canada-facing facade of the new border station in Massena, N.Y.,
is being dismantled because of security concerns.

The US Customs and Border Protection agency is removing the yellow text from the border crossing between Canada and the USA. The belief is that the prominence of the words creates a security risk, as if terrorists won't know there is a US border crossing there if they remove the text.

This disconnect between architecture and reason is painful. The effort to upgrade the dismal government architecture of the past decades has required effort and pressure from the design community. The move by the border patrol sets things back significantly. This article in the New York Times puts things in context.

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