Beyond the Generic

Kurt Kraler

About the Artist

Kurt Kraler is currently a registered Intern Architect (OAA) at ERA Architects Inc. in Toronto, Canada. He completed his Master of Architecture degree at the University of Waterloo and was recognized with the AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate.

Kurt has also worked and studied abroad in Lund, Copenhagen, and Rome, acquiring a range of skills and experiences that inform his work. He continues to learn and engage with the production of architecture through art, critical theory and an emerging writing practice. To date, Kurt's writing has been published in Media Theory Journal, SCAPEGOAT and University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture's Planning Forum.

About the Works

My M.Arch graduate thesis entitled “The Generic Spectacle”, was a hypothesis that sought to define the widespread proliferation of Las Vegas Strip-style urbanism in countless contemporary city centres. In mid-century America, Las Vegas was developed as the centre of resurgent capitalism with a predominantly service-based leisure economy.

Through my review of the development of the Las Vegas Strip, I theorized the erasure of labour and historical context in a leisure economy, the domination of capitalist convergence and other implications of the Generic Spectacle as it pertains to the fields of architecture and urbanism.

During two separate research trips to Las Vegas in February 2014 and 2015, I set my sights outwards and ventured 'off-strip' to explore the periphery. This series of photographs recreate a single day, chronologically from morning to sunset, one-year apart.

What is captured in these photographs is the sheer scale of civic infrastructure that supports the centre; the sacrificial remains of an abandoned hotel resort project; the mass ornament of an employee parking lot; the rare blank billboard; and the dilapidated arterial roads, likely a result of the lack of municipal oversight.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.
Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.