Silicon Valley and the Windshield Perspective
- Superb Vanity Fair article on the extravagance and gigantism of new Silicon Valley architecture, how it remains mired in the suburban slough, and why it won’t draw employees away from San Francisco:
=v= Good article. I saw an earlier story about the Apple
building that said the design was set up so that employees
would see an "idyllic California landscape," without cars.
And yet, the land use in Silicon Valley means negotiating
a car-clogged California hellscape to get there.
=v= I used to work near the Oracle building; I think it's
more distinctive than the article gives credit for, but the
larger point is true, that it's just another car-clogged
suburban campus. At quitting time, the freeway onramp is
clogged with Oracle employees, and as I biked past them I
could see nearly all of them diddling with phones, trying
to find a restaurant review that might guide them to food
for the evening (with lots of parking, of course).
=v= I've also been to Twitter and it's definitely a better
way to go, though it shares the self-enclosed approach of
the Silicon Valley campuses (free food from excellent chefs
inside the premises). There's some urban revival going on
nearby, even if employees never have to leave the building.