You could say that, in the current explosion of building, architects are getting more and more opportunities to not live up to the potential of their field. [laughter] You could say: all across the globe, architects are blowing it. Of course, they blame the client, the money, the economy, and so on. But you could say that we have more lost opportunities than ever – but there are more opportunities. And that’s important.
Related, on construction cranes as economic index:
It makes a nice contemporary cap to the 'tallest is best' theory of cultural/architectural history: defensive towers -> church spires -> office buildings -> construction cranes. The icon of early 21st century urbanism is just the means to the end, the signifier of architectural potential, as long as the credit flow holds up, anyway.