Mediocrity Rules! The Simpsons Takes on The Fountainhead


Last night, The Simpsons finally got around to sending up The Fountainhead. Yes, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead: the superficially architectural Objectivist manifesto so often given to incoming architecture students everywhere by their well-meaning relatives. The book that can have the unfortunate side-effect of brainwashing said first year architecture students. In typical irreverent form, the “Bible of Right Wing nutjobs” (Lisa’s words) is transposed to Maggie’s preschool, a preschool presided over by that staunch proponent of the prosaic, Ellsworth Toohey. In her defiant self-expression, Maggie Roark uses blocks, sugar cubes, and tinker toys to produce familiar structures ranging from the Taj Mahal to the Bird’s Nest. Toohey, staying true to his literary equivalent, is clearly enjoying himself in finding increasingly creative methods of destroying the block buildings, culminating in a sledgehammer redesign of Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim (an ironic reversal of how the Simpson’s previously depicted Gehry’s “process”). Continue reading to view the full story, including Maggie’s version of Roark’s speech. UPDATE: Thanks to square for pointing out that Hulu is US only. A Youtube version of the clip has been added, but I’m not sure for how long it will stay online. Continue reading “Mediocrity Rules! The Simpsons Takes on The Fountainhead”

Stepping into The Simpsons

The line between The Simpsons and reality continues to blur. First, Frank Gehry designs a concert hall-cum-prison in Springfield, and now Kwik-E-Marts have started to appear across the country. This weekend, my roommates and I (Simpsons fans all of us) took a trip down to Mountain View to check out one such erstwhile 7-11.A beautiful day for a Squishee.At first I thought it might be thin plywood, but the Kwik-E-Mart facade is actually made from a coated, dense foam. It looks pretty good and has weathered well so far, but as you can see in the photo, it’s a relatively soft material.The intersection of cartoon and reality. Building systems and egress clash with the animated brick facade.This is a fanastic way to promote a movie. Much preferable to gluing posters and bills to every bare surface and piece of scaffolding in the city. The stores were packed and everyone was smiling, laughing, and taking pictures. In the future, I’d love to see more temporary building transformations like this. McDonald’s as Krusty Burger for the Simpsons sequel? Or better yet, maybe all Applebee’s could be transformed into Mos Eisley Cantinas for the inevitable Star Wars re-release in 10 years.Vending machine and product photos can be found on the Flickr page.