Architects in shock as Trump wins US election

The controversial billionaire businessman and Republican candidate beat Democrat contender Hillary Clinton in a result which has surprised many in the profession and around the world.

Trump, who made the headlines with a series of outbursts including his proposals to build a ‘great, great wall’ between the US and Mexico, is the first president in modern times to take office without any governmental or military experience.

US architect Stephan C Reinke of London-based Stephan Reinke Architects described the news as ’disappointing’, adding: ’The US is a deeply divided nation, so not really surprised. [I’m now] hoping now for a positive way forward.’

Jason Rosenblatt, director of design at NELSON

’Oh hell. I almost want to leave it at that because it is such a perfect summation of my feelings. That said, I still have (an admittedly naïve) faith in the checks and balances in our political system and the grassroots organisations that are out there protecting free speech, the rights of minorities and the other ideals that Trump seemingly threatens.

’His victory is by no means a broad referendum; our country is polarised and not swinging heavily in either party’s direction. It saddens me that this will be the first president that my daughter will know, especially contrasted to the president she could have known in Hillary and what she represents to the aspirations of women and young girls.

’I don’t believe in the doomsday scenarios associated with a Trump victory. Nonetheless I do view this as a disappointing step backwards for our country. As part of a profession that has always strived to provide solutions for the betterment of all society without discrimination, this hurts.’

John Ronan, of Chicago-based John Ronan Architects

’This election uncovered a new plot line in the American story, pitting those harvesting the fruits of globalisation —mostly city-dwellers — for whom the new economy is working reasonably well, against a disaffected population living predominantly in suburban, ex-urban and rural areas, whose existence has been upended by forces they don’t control or understand and whose vote represents both an act of resistance against a system that they feel has ruined their lives and a rebuke to the technocratic elite who brought it about. 

’This election closes an ugly chapter in an ongoing story whose plot is unresolved; it will look more like a comma than a period, in retrospect.’

Dan Ringelstein, director of SOM

’Even though we saw things shifting over the past few weeks, I’m still in shock.

’Of course, people here are calling this Brexit 2.0. This election followed suit with the global trend of more nationalistic / isolationist movements… and as in Britain, the voters came out against the establishment in favour of change. But who knows what form of change this particular decision will bring.

’People in the ‘heartland’ are feeling left out since the global economic crisis. What is difficult for many to understand here is how Trump became the answer to their voice.

‘We need to hope now that the strong divides revealed by this historic campaign don’t expand further. And we have to hope the global economy and geo-political forces stay the course.’

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