Building Monuments

One of the consequences of our rushed, instantly gratified, and the fast-changing world is that we subscribe to a short-term perspective. Not because we want to, but because the future is too fluid. We hedge our bets. We keep our options open. We hold off on commitment.

This leaves space for innovation and responsiveness. It also compromises on quality. We do not build monuments to survive generations. Instead,  we build things that last just long enough to pay off the investment or transfer the consequence to someone else.

For the majority, this is the risk-averse way to deal with uncertainty. The minority use it as a scapegoat for bad quality and poor service. Short term solutions do not require accountability or commitment, or honour.

The alternative is to build monuments. To make bold statements about the future we envision. To pursue progress and design in uncertainty.

Perhaps, uncertainty is a result of a lack of visionaries making ludicrous bets on the future. The Hagia Sophia may not be perfect, but it reminds us what monuments can mean when we are crazy enough to build them, even in uncertainty.

If it’s important enough, a monument is the only way to do it justice.

emre ergen

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