Chinese architect "disgusted" by his Beijing "Bird's Nest"

Ai Weiwei, one of China's top architects and co-designer with starchitects Herzog & de Meuron of the National Stadium in Beijing, now says he's "disgusted" by the $400 million "bird's nest" stadium and won't be photographed with it:
He told Reuters, “I’ve already forgotten about it. I turn down all the demands to have photographs with it. I’m not interested. I would feel ashamed if I just designed something for glamour or to show some kind of fake image”.

The designer’s personal experience includes being raised in a labour camp after his father, regarded as one of China’s finest modern poets, was purged in the 1950’s after being denounced as “an enemy of the state and a rightist”.

Ai said, “I spent five years with him at a labour camp where he cleaned toilets, but these stories become so catchy today. I have my own problems”.

Ai reportedly likened China’s embrace of the Olympics as “pretend smile”. He said it was “kind of fake smile which is disgusting…so I hate this”.

Ai said the 91,000-seat Bird’s Nest remained a beautiful, if regretful, commission. “I did it because I love design and the idea of how it would be looked at by others”.

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