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False promises, True hopes


April 13th 1951,
New York.

Today there’s a wonderful atmosphere in the city: the weather is getting generous, the spring is blossoming, the ocean breeze is comfortable and the sky is crystalline.

I walk around Turtle Bay and get to discover a nice street market, so I decide to buy some souvenirs, a vinyl and a few postcards to bring back home something from here.
I went to a lot of amazing places this morning: the Golden Gate, the Rockefeller Center, the 5th Avenue to Central Park, the Downtown…I’m now going up from the 1st Avenue.

At a certain point I have to change my way because there are demolition works of some old factories in this area and I can’t see anything due to the rubble.

I bump into a café while I try to find my way to the East River, I turn left into the 49 street and I finally get a glimpse of the water. I’m almost there when all of a sudden the dense mass of buildings disappears into an unexpected void, on my right a mirable view opens up: the UN Headquarters tower is arising from its building site. It’s incredible: it seems to be to be the only white skyscraper of the city, it is simple in its shape, elegant pure... I would say perfect. This is going to be a milestone for New York, a unique chapter in the modern architecture for the message and the values it promotes; I really feel that the promise of a better world is at the heart of the project. I try to get closer to see more since I’m curious and completely fascinated by this vision; the dirty road is submerged by remains from the past. I see a child running out from a street a few steps ahead , he is alone and enjoying the day as well and in the moment he notices me he starts making fun of me. He turns to go away , but at the moment he looks up at the UN tower he gets petrified and he appears a bit scared. It seems like he didn’t know anything about it before, even though he probably lives down the street. I get really impressed by his reaction and have a weird feeling going trough my veins.

[noise of the photographic machine] The silence is interrupted by a woman shouting from the window: “What the hell are you doing there? Go back upstairs immediately!” Once heard his mother the child recovers himself from the anguish state he felt and finds the courage to run away. I’m alone now, in this empty space, with the image of that scared kid looking up. For him, a promise is not enough.. Maybe we need to build a better world not only for ourselves but for the ones who will arrive after us, without consuming everything. After this moment I realize that we are making a huge mistake, we are going straight to point of no return, we are ignoring the consequences that our actions have on the life of other people. I have seen hope in that baby, I’ve felt his emotions and I’ve seen his dreams as if they were mines in the past. What if we start doing architecture as something magic and playful? As something enchanting, incredible and innocent like a soap bubble, where everyone can find their hopes and dreams for a better future?

The Board:
False promises, True hopes Board


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