Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

The decade in architecture: The good, the bad, and the capitalism

Illustration by Alyssa Nassner.

Ten years ago, we had an idea. What if awards weren’t so boring? What if you got a prize not for being the best but for being the most? What if the black-clad masses of the design world could laugh at themselves? And lo, we began our own awards cycle, first at Design Observer and then here at Curbed, making up the prizes and handing them out. And now here we are at the end of the misbegotten decade, and we must ask: What exactly did it all come to, and who is responsible?

Below, we revisit our past prizes, pairing our initial write-ups with new commentary that reflects on the original award and how, if at all, our views have changed. These are the highlights of the last 10 sodden years, the ups and downs (mostly downs) as our culture and politics shriveled into a polarized narcissistic frenzy headed for climatic destruction. Enjoy!