This short article by Edward Wainwright talks about the harsh edges that he believes characterize North America. He uses New York City and the sharp and immediate contrast of the “white-hot city core” and the “deep rolling waters” as his prime example. He argues that activity takes place only inside this core, never beyond it, or more importantly never on the edge. Another example Wainwright uses is of a shopping mall and the huge “antiseptic” parking lot that isolates the bustling center of activity, but serves no other purpose. Somehow we have begun to build a-contextually. The article goes on to state that the edge is not a place of possibility but of violence, regulation, and judgement. The possibilities of an ambiguous edge have become frightening, but its rich potential can not be ignored.
Do you believe the edge is really dead? What are the implications of architecture that needs no context? Shouldn’t we learn from nature and realize that the edges hold opportunities for even more interesting activity and diversity than what might already exist on the interior?