Architecture’s New Clothes by Kari K. Kuosma (Aviador, 2020) is a collection of satirical drawings and comments on contemporary architecture. The introductory essay and translation is by Roger Connah. Kari K. Kuosma is a Finnish architect, cartoonist and musician well-known for his witty and uncompromising cartoons about the architectural scene in Finland. The cartoons in this collection deal with trends in facade aesthetics, townscape development, multipurpose philosophy, the modernist mantra, and much more.
What is beauty and what is ugliness in our building, architecture and city milieux? Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder? Architect Kari Kuosma draws out and writes hilarious stories as a slanted bard and deep down absurdist. Here we get the best and worst in a range of beloved contemporary Finnish environments. Kuosma incites you to belly-laugh and cry uncontrollably at the same time he ponders deadly serious architects and their severe cult, both around the world but something very typical in Finland. He shows no mercy to colleagues or himself. This book is a journey through built culture and architecture. Using humour and naivety with so small wit, Kuosma unravels the shock and awe of the eternal beauty in past architecture against ever-changing contemporary gimmicks. After reading this book, you will certainly laugh at others as much as you laugh at yourself. Easily readable, easily understood, remember these are texts and drawings for the normal reader as much as they will be read by those unsmiling architects who pass for saints in Finland and throughout the world!
– Architecture’s New Clothes by Kari K. Kuosma (Aviador, 2020), text from the back cover