1. What is wrong with a suburban setting?
It's a long, long list. The writing on the subject is encyclopedic. In short, the suburbs are parasitic, isolating, wasteful, a major factor in our deadly sedentary lifestyle, and of course ugly, cheap, and ephemeral. Above all, a suburban life is a disposable life.
2. Old fashioned? It wouldn't matter what shape was chosen, this guy would dig back through history to find something to compare it to, and still call it old fashioned.
His comparison to the Pentagon is particularly apt a huge, hollow structure surrounded by the clogged highways it created, like an animal fouling its own nest. Given the vast range of choices available to Apple, a 1950's "Lost in Space" reference is both disappointing and a tragic waste of an opportunity.
3. I agree is has a decidedly 60-70's look to it. Is there something wrong with that?
Quite a bit. It's morbid, and coming from what regards itself as the single most innovative institution on the planet, bizarrely hypocritical. If nothing else, whoever decided everyone should work in the Jupiter II forgot to "think different."
4. Apple is one of the "greenest" companies around.
Hawthorne is right to expose the oxymoron of a "green" building that will require hundreds of thousands of car trips per year. It's rather like they're putting solar panels on a coal-fired power plant. Any resource-responsible aspects of the campus will be significantly offset by the negative behavior required anyone who needs or wants to go there. "Green" is about long-term impact, not light bulbs.
5. This guy uses cars as an argument against Apple's environmental efforts? What a bone-head. First, where in the world can you put a building where people won't need cars to get there?
Gee, uh, I dunno Let's ask go ask the nearest kindergarten class and time how many seconds it takes for the whole room to shout "In the city!"
I'm 52, have lived in DC, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle and have never owned a car or in any way missed having one. I've much of my waking life in offices, and have yet to drive to work. It's easy, safe, and environmentally sound. Commuting is stupid, wasteful, and destructive. Cars are for fat lazy chumps who buy crap in strip malls.
By the way, the argument to tradition is a logical fallacy. "We've always done it that way" has been used to support everything from toxic waste dumps to slavery.
6. His use of "pastoral capitalism" as an argument suggests that if he had his way, everyone would work in big cities. Guess what dude, not everyone wants to do that
Guess what, dude? That fact that many people do or don't want do a thing says nothing about the logic, responsibility, destructiveness, or sanity of the behavior. Like your argument to tradition above, the argument ad populum
is a logical fallacy generally covered in high school. In practice, what most people want almost always involves short-term pleasure achieved at the expense of long-term sanity.
"Pastoral capitalism" is when the eloi surround themselves with trees, fields, ponds, and espresso machines while the underage morlocks who build the products live, sleep, eat, and work 14 hour days as indentured servants in a factory they can never leave.7. This was an interesting phrase: "Apple's campus... keeps itself aloof from the world around it to a degree that is unusual even in a part of California dominated by office parks." So, Chris, what, you're a conformist then? Or maybe a communist? Maybe Apple wants to stay a bit detached from the noise, congestion and commotion going on around them, so they can focus on their work in a quiet, peaceful environment. Once again you paint this as a negative. What the heck is wrong with it?
Isolation is socially destructive and intellectually stifling. Healthy people and organizations mingle. Cults, however, keep their members in cages to prevent them from being contaminated by unbelievers.
The reason America's greatest scientific resource is its 50 or so top research universities has nothing to do with ivy and a lot to do with throwing a lot of people from different disciplines doing a huge number of different things in a relatively confined area. In contrast, Apple's monolithic new environment will resemble a mega-church far more than a campus.