I mostly ignore the House & Home section of the FT, along with How to Spend It, because neither applies to me and in fact they often irk me--I'm trying to read the news here, and your annoying content about lavish lifestyles are not only not news, but they are a sign that I am not your intended demographic; pardon my intrusion. Ironically, that is the central message of this story. The quote from Saska Sassen is telling:
“Even very good architects manage to generate a style that is not usually much admired by engaged residents and passers-by, whether the poor aficionado urban historian, old wealth, or anti-gentrification activists."I had to read that twice. But I think what Sassen is saying is that the housing and amenities that appeal to the 1% are to society and culture what the house & home/how to spend it are to news consumption for me: commanding of attention, and even driving the whole design, yet completely irrelevant and even bothersome when put into the context of a social fabric that is mostly not about them.