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One thing I cringed at in Jobs' presentation was framing the 4-story high design as "human scale". The Empire State Building is also human scale.

Human Scale has a different meaning in art and architecture than it does in scientific fields. In architecture, it simply means that the building is designed to fit well with the human senses.

Wikipedia has more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_scale

It means that the building doesn't overwhelm you. Like the buildings in Paris for example.

I assume you exclude the buildings at La Défense?

Yes, absolutely.

I find, for example, the Grand Arche uplifting. Tagging an architecture as not "human scale" seems to me an attempt to pit it against human aspirations.

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