Tourism & the Built Environment

Gehry’s Blossoming Beacons vs. a Paradisiacal Polder


  • Sue Spaid University of Dayton, Ohio



Floriade, starchitects, Bilbao Effect, Frank Gehry, flowers, horticulture, polders, carbon footprint, ecological costs


This paper explores the differences in ‘affect’ between Gehry’s blossoming beacons, whose visibility in the landscape lends them the role of beckoning flowers and the comparable invisibility of Floriade Expo 2022, whose horizontality granted it a subtlety that has thus far failed to elicit any of the thrill associated with the 'Bilbao Effect', even though it proffers an unparalleled botanical paradise. Thus far, it seems that people find biodiverse parks less impressive than buildings, even though thousands of people have worked tirelessly to ensure its viability. One year later, however, people are revaluating flower shows' ecological costs.

Author Biography

  • Sue Spaid, University of Dayton, Ohio

    Since 1984, Belgium-based philosopher Sue Spaid, Ph. D., has been active in the artworld as a curator, art writer, university lecturer, and museum director. Spaid, who writes regularly for HArt, was on the Contributors Board for artUS, where she published 65 articles between 1997 and 2010. She has organized over 100 exhibitions for artist-run spaces, galleries and museums, most notably “Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses, and Abandoned Lots” (2012) and “Ecovention: Current Art to Transform Ecologies” (2002). While Executive Director at the Contemporary Museum, Spaid published A Field Guide to Patricia Johanson’s Works: Proposed, Built, Published and Collected


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How to Cite

“Tourism & the Built Environment: Gehry’s Blossoming Beacons Vs. A Paradisiacal Polder ”. 2023. Aesthetic Investigations 6 (1): 80-90.