Re: def: AutoCAD Architecture
With regard to "flatness", take a look at Louis Kahn's first independent building commission - Ahavath Israel Synagogue, Philadelphia, 1935. My point being that "flatness" is an architectural aesthetic with a long history and very much independent of CAD. There are also some Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates buildings that absolutley revel in their flatness, e.g., any of the 1980s and 1990s university laboratory buildings. I also suggest you read you read Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word, within which you will find an analysis of the flatness of 1960s POP art.
Re: def: AutoCAD Architecture
I am a big fan of Le Corbusier's late work, especially the unbuilt projects. Although he hasn't stated as much (as far as i know), Koolhaas is very much inspired by Le Corbusier's late work, in particular the Palais des Congrès, 1964.
Re: signing of buildings
I was just on the phone with T., an architect friend of mine that recently visited www.quondam.com, and he liked "the architect's wife style." He actually knew the movie Two for the Road fairly well, although he admitted never having talked with any architects about it. He said his favorite part of the movie was when Mark (the young architect) is taking a picture of the cathedral and says "I can't believe how someone could build something so amazing without slapping their name all over it."
Later on in the conversation T. told me some more about he and his wife's recent visit to Spain, specifically about an artwork on part of the facade of Richard Meier's museum in Barcelona, the image is a gigantic Universal Bar Code. I said that must have been great to see, especially since Meier's buildings are so antithetical to ornamental additions. Of course a UBC on a Meier building fits perfectly because Meier's buildings are nothing if not completely 'packaged'.
so much for Liberty...
Although the quondam Liberty Bell Pavilion of Independence Historic National Park (Philadelphia) is officially for sale, the Park Service has nonetheless found a new (interim?) use for the building. It is now the security checkpoint for visitors to the Liberty Bell that is in the adjacent new Liberty Bell building. Today, while looking inside the former Liberty Bell Pavilion, I saw a man with outstretched arms being "checked" by a Park Ranger with a hand-held scanner right in front of where the Liberty Bell used to be with Independence Hall clearly in the background. Like they say, "Only in America."
Consumerism and Monumentality
I agree that there is a kind of hegemony operating within architecture today (and definitely since the Modern Movement/International Style), but architecture wasn't always that way. Most of architectures' histories are like languages' histories in that they were all tied/related to specific places on the planet and reflected the culture of those places.
Reflecting on what presently constitutes architectural "history," perhaps architecture is now a world trade commodity more than anything else.
Is the next big thing to mix up the fashion brands? Wear your Foster pants with Woods belt over Eisenman panties?