Frank Gehry crumples up a piece of paper, tosses it to the ground, and suddenly becomes inspired to build a similar-looking concert hall for Springfield, hometown of The Simpsons. Rem Koolhaas, with his eyes closed, teaches nine local children about “Lego architecture” using a model of OMA’s CCTV tower in Beijing. Since The Simpsons began airing in 1989, there have been countless references to landmarks and architects, new Dwell-reading neighbors and postmodern malls filled with identical Starbucks stores…
Dialogue from an episode aired in 2003:
Lisa: I’m impressed that you drew up blueprints, but these are for a go-cart track.
Homer: Did Frank Lloyd Wright have to deal with people like you?
Lisa: Actually, Frank Lloyd Wright endured a lot of harsh criticism.
Homer: Look. I have no idea who Frank Lloyd Wright is.
Lisa: You said his name two seconds ago.
Homer: I was just putting words together.
Some fun moments here. In fact, I suspect there is an interesting dissertation or book to be written about how The Simpsons presents spaces, from homes to Springfield (which really is a zany community) to broader geographic and social contexts. What if a two-dimensional animated show ended up offering one of the most astute mass market analyses of our spatial lives?