Antoni Gaudi – brilliant architect or big ol’ trickster?

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Antoni_Gaudi

I saw this repeat of 60 minutes (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50142539n) last night and it really had me scratching my head. I remember, when I saw it the first time, I was equally confused yet intrigued about this story. Did you see this one? It was about a 20 minute piece, covered by that lovely Australian (or is she South African?) coresrepont Lara Logan, about Antoni Gaudi and the building of the massively insane church, Sagrada Família.

This is a super crazy story and intense history of a guy. I won’t go into too much detail here – as this could easily turn into a essay paper (and my inner 15-year-old refuses to write a 5 page homework assignment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaud%C3%AD ) – long story short is… this guy was considered a super genius architect, dressed liked a bum and people are still working on completing his building that he concieved…about 100 years after they started it and way after he died. For a little more context – The Sagrada Familia is a church in Spain that depicts everything that is in the bible with symbolism and design. YES. Everything. “It’s the bible written in stone” Said one dude. So…as you can imagine this is a pretty big building (when completed = tallest church in the world) and the details are insane – thus the 100 years or so it’s taken to complete.

Really interesting stuff here Lara Logan but I need take your “this guy was amazing and way ahead of his time” spin and toss it right back at you because I just don’t agree.

I found it totally shocking that people have dedicated their entire lives to completing this building and spend every single waking moment trying to put together the pieces of this puzzle that Gaudi left behind after he died. Just doesn’t add up to me. They showed this one Japanese stone carver/artist guy who works literally every day, and has for over 30+ years, on carving the stone for this church and I thought “doesn’t this dude want to do something else at some point in his life?” Even more shocking was the project manager guy who, I believe is a relative of Guadi, probably won’t even be alive when this thing gets finished! Could you dedicate your life to something (your ENTIRE life) knowing well that you probably won’t be around to see it completed and/or enjoyed? Not me. I’m a finisher. I want to see things done at 100% especially the things that I care about.

60 Minutes, Laura Logan and everyone who was interviewed in this piece praised Antoni for being a forward thinking visionary who was way ahead of his time. I think Guadi…is just an absolute maniac.

On what planet can someone go to their Church, State/Federal Government, Representative and say “Hey…I have a great idea…It’s just going to take a couple hundred years to finish, ok?” And have the response be “Sure, go for it dude!” It’s just not even in the realm of possibilities – and while some may think that is why Guadi’s church is so special I’d, again, disagree.

Interestingly enough the show never mentioned just how much this would cost BUT they did mention that the entire project has been funded by “donations from the Church”. Does that sound strange to anyone else? Well…maybe we shouldn’t dig too deep or question his will. Because Gaudi asked for it – it must have made sense right?

I think there is something to be said about leveraging real-time capabilities and executing on a plan to completion and providing real functionality to the world. To me…designing something that literally cannot be completed in one’s lifestyle is somewhat of a crock. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who could put something down on paper that is pretty insane, that would look amazing, set records, change the world etc…but if it literally can’t come into fruition or be built in actuality in someone’s LIFETIME (or two for that matter) does it really count? I don’t think so.

I’m sure this is going to be one lovely Chruch. No doubt about that. But I need to question the glorifying of this entire process and the guy who designed the un-buildable building.

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