Department Store

San Francisco, California 2017

Skyscraper Urbanism

In its first museum presentation on the West Coast, architecture studio Bureau Spectacular has designed a large-scale installation that further develops the studio’s ideas on past, current, and future architecture seen in the drawing insideoutsidebetweenbeyond, which SFMOMA acquired in 2015. Led by Jimenez Lai, Bureau Spectacular views architecture as a medium capable of rewriting cultural narratives. Questioning the banality of the existing typical urban environment, Bureau Spectacular suggests that economic efficiency is driving its character-less architecture — and that, as monuments to civilization, modern cities’ ubiquitous skyscrapers reflect a predictable, mono-cultural society.Reconsidering urban architecture inside, outside, between, and beyond the monotonous rectangular buildings seen in most city skylines, the exhibition offers an urban landscape littered with surrealistic architectural forms and jarring environments. In this installation, Bureau Spectacular prioritizes the value of architecture over efficiency, imparting adiverse urban sociology.