Apple_Campus_2_renderingSilicon Valley’s tech whizzes have transformed technology and society. And they have done so in a region noted for its suburban ordinariness, with its great inventions starting life in tinkerers’ garages.

That’s about to change.

Paul Goldberger recently wrote in Vanity Fair about The Shape of Things to Come, about the new buildings being commissioned by the tech titans of Silicon Valley, and what effect they will have — or not — on the suburban nature of the tech hub. He joins DnA to talk about his findings.



In this interview, he describes how Silicon Valley was a place where buildings “were a kind of “whatever,” just like clothing, which is why “the first Silicon Valley structures were to architecture as the fleece vest or hoodie is to haberdashery” (below right, the garage of Steve Jobs’ home where he and Steve Wozniak put together the boards of their first computer.)

Steve Jobs garageAnd he goes on to talk about what it is becoming, with the advent of two major buildings, the new campus for Apple by Britain’s Norman Foster and the new headquarters for Facebook, by LA’s Frank Gehry.

Along the way, he questions the platonic purity of Foster’s gleaming ring with a hole in it; and he talks about the “fun” informal interiors to be found in most tech companies, including the future Facebook by Frank Gehry.

But he also asks if these buildings will in any way change the fundamentally suburban nature of the Silicon Valley — a suburban character that does not appeal to many younger tech employees who now live in San Francisco and get bussed in via the now controversial tech company buses.

Gehry and Zuckerberg with modelFinally, the discussion is about today’s corporate titans and the nature of the workspaces they have created; are they the makers of a new kind of company town?

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