ana010: Patrik Schumacher (2 of 4) | Media Maelstrom


Manage episode 210530449 series 2361249
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.

The second of four episodes in our series about Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects. Tim and Joe review and critique the media responses to Patrik’s controversial presentation about housing at the World Architecture Festival in November 2016.

Two of these articles, by the Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright and architectural writer Phineas Harper, are presented for extended criticism.

We had a little too much fun with this one.

Topics include:

Responses from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Zaha Hadid Architects, protestors, and supporters (sort of)

Extended critique of Oliver Wainwright’s article in The Guardian:

Did Zaha Hadid “dismiss” Patrik’s theoretical work in parametricism?

Gurgaon – a mostly private city in India

Are “thought experiments” valid and meaningful?

The housing crisis can be explained in three words: Great Crested Newts

Noam Chomsky on anarcho-capitalism

A new off-Broadway play, “Syndicalism in One Act”

Extended critique of Phineas Harper’s article in Dezeen:

What social justice warriors and the alt-right have in common

Government solutions are the simple solutions. Market solutions require more complex thinking.

Child labor

Poverty and welfare

Neoliberalism, Thatcherism, and Hayek-ianism

Adam Smith was NOT the godfather of the free market. More like the weird uncle.

The intern architect who predicted the 2008 financial crisis

View full show notes at


Media Maelstrom


How have Patrik’s libertarian ideas been perceived and communicated in the mainstream media?

Arch Daily chose not to cover the speech because of boos. Boo-hoo.

London Evening Standard – response from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Did Patrik say anything about diversity?

Is evicting tenants at the end of a lease term “social cleansing?”

City center affordability through new forms of co-housing

Replace social housing subsidies with cash handouts

Building more housing with minimum space standards does not create more affordable housing.

Zaha Hadid Architects press release

Irrelevant virtue signaling

Was this a smart response?

Press release was not approved by directors

Protestors – The fascist (who wants to get rid of government)

Supportive articles – guarded responses

“Zaha Hadid’s successor: scrap art schools, privatise cities and bin social housing” by Oliver Wainwright in The Guardian, November 24, 2016

Comprehensive article, but not unbiased journalism

Parametric tuxedo

The Trump of architecture – says who?

Facebook rants

A conspiracy theorist

Patrik’s political views are separate from the practice

Patrik has only “unleashed” his views following Zaha Hadid’s death – a despicable argument

Patrik has published articles expressing these views since 2012.

Did Zaha Hadid “dismiss” Patrik’s theoretical work in parametricism?

W magazine article – history of busting his chops

“Parametricism” has been part of the branding and messaging of Zaha Hadid Architects.

The Guardian’s Architecture and Design Critic has used “parametric” to describe Zaha Hadid’s work.

The well has been poisoned, time to march out the libertarians

Tom Woods, Peter Schiff, David Stockman

Three claps for mentioning libertarians

Fundamental faith in the market – oversimplification

Anarcho-capitalism can not solve everything

The nirvana fallacy

Private solutions – Pocket living, The Collective, eliminating space standards, AirBnb, Liberland, free private cities

Gurgaon – a mostly private city in India

Gurgaon has not solved inequality in India. Fail.

Inequality is not the best metric to use. Look at economic progress for the poor instead.

Environmental damage

Sewage treatment was supposed to be provided by a local governmental agency and they failed to provide it.

Merely “thought experiments”

Valid hypotheses about possible future opportunities

Zaha Hadid was a “paper architect” for years before a building commission. Were these designs “merely” thought experiments?

Is Patrik uncertain of what he’s saying?

“Post-truth” – is Patrik appealing to emotion?

600,000 plots of land with planning permission.


Is this a symptom of a property bubble?

The housing crisis can be explained in three words: Great Crested Newts

Permitted housing land is worth 300x the value of agricultural land.

“Getting planning permission isn’t the issue” – really?

Builders hoarding land to keep home prices high – really?

Housing supply is up 52% over three years.

“Implementable planning consent” and “conditions”

Shortages of labor and material

Pre-commencement conditions

Planning permission is not implementable planning consent

Examples of pre-commencement conditions holding up construction of “permitted” housing units:

Playground details

Services by other vendors

Documentation not under purview of planning department

Full details of solar panels, utility boxes, windows and doors, electric car charging ports

Locations of public art

Bat boxes

Great Crested Newts

Number of permits granted is not evidence of a simple permitting process

Permitting process can take 5 years

Small homebuilders in UK have decreased from 9000 to 3000

Large foreign builders don’t have necessary local connections to enter market

If Oliver Wainwright wants buildable land to get cheaper, he should want MORE land speculators to flood the market with land they’ve permitted

Noam Chomsky on anarcho-capitalism

Syndicalism in One Act

Employers advance wages to employees ahead of revenues

Two people contracting for employment is a “sick joke” – really?

Are negotiations between unequal parties invalid?

Chomsky agrees with anarcho-capitalists on a whole range of issues

Chomsky: “The burden of proof is always on those who argue that authority and domination are necessary.”

“It is time to stop listening to Patrik Schumacher” by Phineas Harper, published in Dezeen, November 28, 2016

Tolerance is bad – really?

Herbert Marcuse – “Repressive Tolerance”

What do social justice warriors and the alt-right have in common?

Shutting down discussion may be justifiable, but is not productive

“Total faith in the market to solve all conceivable problems” – Nirvana fallacy

Hayekian economics distorted to grotesque absurdity – ignores 150 year school of thought

Hayek – a dog-whistle to anti-capitalists

Margaret Thatcher – some good and some bad

If you want nuance, give him more time to talk

Patrik is not responsible for Joe’s ignorance

Katie Hopkins

If you’re not talking about government solutions, you’re not talking about solutions at all.

Child labor

The best time to start working is when you’re a teenager

A fantasy that complex problems have simple solutions.

Government solutions are the simple solutions. Market solutions require more complex thinking.

Poverty and welfare

Redistributive welfare payments have not solved poverty


A freer market would create more opportunities for everyone

Charity can be voluntary

Government gives people a false sense of charity

Markets make things cheaper (like Walmart)


Associated with Thatcherism

Associated with government interventions supporting businesses. This is not libertarianism.

“A fawning architectural press” – really? I mean, really?!

Press has attacked Zaha Hadid Architects in the past.

Phineas Harper on Ben Clark on Adam Smith

Appeal to authority – Ben Clark’s “Light Bulb” award

Appeal to authority inside an appeal to authority

Adam Smith was NOT the godfather of the free market

Murray Rothbard’s critique of Adam Smith

Perhaps Ben Clark is economically illiterate

Owen Hatherly on unconstrained developers

Appeal to authority

A self-professed communist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Retail parks, car parks, and shopping malls aren’t public spaces?

What’s wrong with a prepackaged, spoon-fed suburban lifestyle?

Many developments do incorporate green space and public amenities

“Given nearly unlimited space” not a realistic scenario

Markets can never make mistakes? Not true.

Markets have natural feedback mechanisms to correct mistakes

Widespread market failure is usually due to governmental interference in self-correcting markets

2008 financial crisis resulted from governmental policies instigating, exacerbating, and prolonging market imbalances

The intern architect who predicted the 2008 financial crisis

Schumacher is ADAMANT! …yet uncertain?

We all share the same end goal of providing housing for everyone, but disagree on the means of achieving that end.

Outro: Winstnoam Churchomsky Goes to the Mall


Episodes in this series on Patrik Schumacher:

Anarchitecture Podcast Episode ana009: Patrik Schumacher (1 of 4) | Introduction and Housing Controversy – An introduction to Patrik, and Tim’s blog post about Patrik’s controversial housing presentation

Anarchitecture Podcast Episode ana010: Patrik Schumacher (2 of 4) | Media Maelstrom – Tim and Joe’s critique of media responses to Patrik’s housing presentation

Anarchitecture Podcast Episode ana011: Patrik Schumacher (3 of 4) | The Interview – Tim’s interview with Patrik at the Zaha Hadid Design Gallery in London

Anarchitecture Podcast Episode ana012: Patrik Schumacher (4 of 4) | Post-Interview Commentary – Tim and Joe review and highlight key points from the interview

Housing for Everyone – Dezeen’s video of Patrik’s controversial presentation at the November 2016 World Architecture Festival

Media Responses:

Guardian Article: “Zaha Hadid’s successor: scrap art schools, privatise cities and bin social housing” by Oliver Wainwright, November 24, 2016

“It is time to stop listening to Patrik Schumacher” by Phineas Harper, published in Dezeen, November 28, 2016

Top architect blasts ‘free-riding’ tenants living in council houses in central London and says they should be moved, to make way for HIS staff, London Evening Standard, November 25, 2016. Includes comments by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Zaha Hadid Architects Responds to Patrik Schumacher’s “Urban Policy Manifesto” by ArchDaily, November 29, 2016 (after realizing that this WAS a position that the wider architectural profession was interested in giving publicity to). Zaha Hadid Architect’s press release distancing themselves from Patrik’s manifesto.

LEAKED: Extraordinary Schumacher email reveals ZHA fracture by Richard Waite in Architect’s Journal, January 5, 2017. Patrik’s leaked email stating that the ZHA letter was not approved by the firm’s directors.

Dezeen Reader Comments, November 22, 2016. One commenter notes “This is Trumpism essentially – for architecture.” This may have been the basis of Wainwright’s “The Trump of Architecture” moniker.

Class War protesters. NSFW.

Somewhat supportive articles:

Patrik Schumacher has provided a necessary challenge to housing by Paul Finch in the Architect’s Journal, November 22, 2016. Balanced critique.

We need more Schumachers prepared to shake up consensus thinking by Austin Williams in Dezeen, December 1, 2016. Argues against censoring Patrik.

Patrik Schumacher is right to oppose regulations, says architect-turned-developer Roger Zogolovitch by Amy Frearson in Dezeen, November 29, 2016. Sympathizes with suggestions to reform planning standards.

How Patrik Schumacher Will Keep Zaha Hadid’s Name On Top by Fred A. Bernstein in W magazine, November 3, 2016. Excellent article, published a month before Patrik’s WAF housing presentation, about Patrik’s history with Zaha Hadid and vision for Zaha Hadid Architects under his leadership. Referenced by Oliver Wainwright to suggest Zaha “dismissed” Patrik’s work in architectural theory, specifically parametricism.

Zaha Hadid did not dismiss parametricism, according to… Oliver Wainwright:

Zaha Hadid: creator of ambitious wonders – and a fair share of blundersby Oliver Wainwright in the Guardian, March 31, 2016. Describes Zaha as “Creator of an entire “parametric” universe beyond buildings”

Zaha Hadid beyond buildings: architect launches new design gallery by Oliver Wainwright in the Guardian, May 23, 2013. Describes gallery exhibits as parametric: “Everything is taut and rippling, squeezed and clenched, like it’s spent too long working out in the parametric gym.”

Zaha Hadid Architects 2014 promotional video – Uses the term “parametricism” to describe ZHA’s work and argues for it’s relevance to contemporary society, consistent with Patrik’s theoretical work.

Land Banking:

Revealed: housebuilders sitting on 600,000 plots of land by Graham Ruddick in the Guardian, December 30, 2015.

Britain has enough land to solve the housing crisis – it’s just being hoarded by Oliver Wainwright in The Guardian, January 31, 2017

Land banking: what’s the story? (part 1) by Pete Jefferys at, December 14, 2016. Includes a reader comment by planner Helen Howie noting 5 years to achieve implementable planning consent.

New home planning ‘permissions’ up – but system remains a constraint by the Home Builders Federation, January 3, 2017

Pre-Commencement Conditions – White paper by the Home Builders Federation

Remove barriers and SMEs could deliver 25k more homes a year by the Home Builders Federation, January 15, 2017. Analyzes decline of small and medium home builders (80% decline over the past 25 years)

Noam Chomsky on Anarcho-Capitalism

Herbert Marcuse, the godfather of modern identity politics at Note, Marcuse’s relationship to Nazi propagandist Martin Heidegger should not be construed to imply that Marcuse (who was Jewish), was a Nazi sympathizer. But the collectivism of modern identity politics, whether in the form of social justice or the alt-right, shares a common root with the collectivist dogma that was central to Nazism. Marcuse was influential in propagating this collectivist thought into its modern form.

Wolfson Economics Prize 2017; Topic: WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADS???

Ben Clark’s 2014 “Light Bulb” Prize

Owen Hatherly in Wikipedia. Why not try communism?

The Tom Woods Show Ep. 756 Was Margaret Thatcher a Libertarian Hero?

The Adam Smith Myth by Murray Rothbard

2008 Financial Crisis:

Explaining the Economy to Dad – Tim’s November 2008 analysis of the financial crisis two months after the crash, describing how he anticipated and avoided it with his own investments.

The Big Short – Entertaining Oscar-nominated film about the 2008 financial crisis, based on the book by Michael Lewis.

Meltdown by Tom Woods – Austrian explanation for the 2008 financial crisis

The Great Deformation by David Stockman – Explanation for the 2008 financial crisis – Patrik’s publications, interviews, and lectures, including his two-volume book on architectural theory, “The Autopoiesis of Architecture”

Join the Conversation

Use hashtag #ana010 to reference this episode in a tweet, post, or comment

21 episodes available. A new episode about every 48 days averaging 82 mins duration .