I'm trained as an architect, not an economist or financier, but as we count down the final hours of this year, there are some obvious observations regarding the state of the economy, at least in the United States. After five years, hallelujah, markets today are trading higher than before the economy dipped into its perceived black hole in 2008. The DOW is up nearly 26 percent on the year, and the S&P is up 30 percent. GDP of 4.1 percent for the year's third fiscal quarter seems to have substantiated a renewed trust that we are on the right track. So I'd have believed design might have followed a parallel path.
But as I've been re-reading articles that I've saved over the past year about new architectural projects, trying to assemble the following short-list for 2013, I've been unable to identify as many buildings worthy of our attention than in prior years. I've been combing the websites of the major names in architecture, and there isn't all that much to choose from with a timestamp of 2013. Lots of exciting buildings that will be completed in 2014, including One World Trade Center in New York City, and Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China, but that belongs to next year's celebration.
So yes, I'm uninspired in 2013, but I suppose this makes sense given the design and construction industry tends to lag economic conditions. Rather than my stretching my wings to deliver my typical carousel of ten projects, I'm going to highlight five projects for 2013. I will say that these five projects are truly inspiring, so I'm happy I can share them with readers.