Frank Gehry was the architectural impresario behind this neo-baroque celebration of all that is Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg isn’t a particularly activist CEO with messianic moralist delusions. He gave Newark a chunk of money in 2010 without strings, and he’s weighed in on the immigration debate with a failed initiative of Silicon Valley all-stars. But he’s not like Google’s Eric Schmidt who might as well be a tenured member of Obama’s staff. (OR: You can just refer to MY ARTICLE yesterday on Tim Cook).
But a comparative look at Facebook’s new headquarters juxtaposed against OTHER ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS should give us a clue exactly how Zuckerberg and his Facebook family view themselves (on a MESSIANIC MISSION, but without the creeping MORALITY that is the terminal entropic state of a bankrupt ideology):
Architecture can be a window into a regime’s psyche, frequently expressing a sign of either VAINGLORIOUS CONSOLIDATED POWER (Stalin, the monarchy) or the berserk delirium of an overstuffed, culturally bankrupt IDEOLOGY enacting a giant POTLACH CEREMONY (the Catholic Church on eve of creeping Monarchism).
Or it can be a sign of just A STRAIGHT UP CULT. Which leads me to this quote by Peter Thiel:
“Rule 1: The Best Startups Work a Lot Like Cults
In the most intense kind of organization, members abandon the outside world and hang out only with other members. We have a word for such organizations: cults. Cultures of total dedication look crazy from the outside. But entrepreneurs should take cultures of extreme dedication seriously.”
And this is what FACEBOOK’S NEW DIGS remind me of:
A social media dauphin celebrating his own cult — on the road to turning the world into the matrix — with the architectural gusto and taste of WILLY WONKA. But it also radiates a radical insecurity with its own mission that only CULTS, and in particular, their LEADERS have.