Barack Obama: First Architect

Some architecturally relevant little-known-facts about President-elect Barack Obama, courtesy the Daily Telegraph:

  • He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician
  • His house in Chicago has four fire places
  • He plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds
  • His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso

So there you go. If you weren’t sure about Obama before, you can now rest easy. Gooble Gobble! Gooble Gobble! One of us! One of us! But now, of course, the debate opens up. Who can potentially do the most social good: politicians or architects?
&#183 Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know []

10 replies on “Barack Obama: First Architect”

I think he is the good leader i look for and i hope he will done all his promises that he was promised before.

I was going to type in an extended quote from Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel Red Mars, but I’ll refrain, and just recommend that book (and all of KSR’s work) as having much to say on Jimmy’s debate topic above. His speculative fiction works definitely put a high priority on the design of structures and spaces as shaping our lives… but also understand, and emphasize, how important laws, rules, and legislation can be in forming or changing society.

and no, realist, I don’t think Obama would build soviet style fortresses. from what we’ve seen so far, Barack-the-architect would be much more likely to design some kind of self-building-kits, whereby ordinary people could assemble their own houses working together with other like-minded folks: somewhat parallel to the structure of his campaign mobilization organization. however, all the houses would have a unified, clean-line design aesthetic, humble yet inspiring messages sprinkled throughout the instruction manual, and wireless internet connectivity built right in!

@ jean – thanks for the great comment. Someone actually just recommended Kim Stanley’s Mars books and they’re next on my list!

And I like your idea of the Barack Obama Community Architecture. An open-source kit-of-parts that helps build a sense of community while actually building a community. ANYTHING that follows the structure of his brilliant campaign really can’t fail.

I live in Chicago. Obama was NO community organizer. He mobilized angry black people to force government to give them monetary grants [$$$$$] – which is just another form of re-distribution (from the worker bees to the lazy bees).

I know this is not about the economy, but what I want to suggest is not listed on the topic list, and there was no “other”.

Mr. Obama, now that you have been elected by people from both political parties, independents, all socio-economic classes, all races, all ethnic groups, I think it is time to form a new party (as Abraham Lincoln did in 1864).

So long as the country is divided into red and blue, Republican and Democratic, old and young, black and white and brown, rich and poor and middle class, unity simply will not happen because people will continue to identify with these classifications, and the old divisions and divisiveness will never disappear.

Mr. Obama, you have already referred to “not a blue America or a red America, but a United States of America” (I hope that is the exact quotation). Why not turn that into a reality and form a “United Party” or whatever other name best conveys the idea.

This would have to be done while you are in office. Any later, it would turn out to be just one more third party, and we well know what happens to them.

A number of years ago, Kevin Philips stated that the American party system needs re-alignment. I agreed with him then, and I do now more than ever – and this seems like the perfect opportunity to make it work.


Suzanne Cane
Mexico City

great post!! honestly very hard to say! I have always seen architects as social scientists.. Frank Lloyd Wright said ““There is a great difference between morals and ethics, morals are only those of the moment, the fashion of the day. What is a moral today won’t be a moral day after tomorrow and the day after that.” that speaks a lot of how an Architect thinks of social issues! he visualises 3D as opposed to the politicians often uni dimensional approach.

Great post and I have enjoyed my self after reading the facts about OBAMA. Now he became the president of America and I hope his plans to install a basketball court in the White House will be complete very soon. And I pray that he proves to be a very good leader for America. Thanks for the very interesting post.

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