In her final speech as U.S. Secretary of State, a January 31 address to the Council on Foreign Relations, Hillary Rodham Clinton drew an analogy on the future of diplomacy in the 21st Century. While she could have found an analogous relationship with a multitude of historical or political or cultural references, she chose to compare the new world order to…the architecture of Frank Gehry. Clinton made the case that his compelling, modern architecture that eschews classical formality is comparable to the need for a multifaceted, unconventional approach to world affairs.
In her speech, after describing the current system dominated by the United Nations, NATO, and other large organizations as the equivalent of the Parthenon, Clinton said, “We need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Gehry than formal Greek. Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.”
As examples of the new “architecture” of diplomacy, Clinton cited the G-20 emergence during the financial crisis, the fact that climate change is being addressed by various international groups, and recent cooperation on counterterrorism between the U.S. and Turkey.
Watch her entire speech here.
Gehry, who turns 84 later this month, and is busy these days designing a new Facebook campus for his 28-year-old client Mark Zuckerberg, must have enjoyed the name drop.