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View Poll Results: Has architectural modernism failed?
Yes 190 45.13%
No 231 54.87%
Voters: 421. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 3rd, 2011, 03:41 PM   #21
Suburbanist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Zombie Jesus View Post
Housing made of prefabicated concrete sections is particularly bad in this country, as in the cold wet winters damp and cold seep through the thin walls and cause illness for the inhabitants. Certain architects and critics are already lamenting the death of some Modernist 'classics', but ordinary people in my own city are still queuing up to be moved into either 19th/early 20th century buildings or comtemporary houses/flats which although are largely unharmonious or even ugly, are at least warm, dry, spacious and liveable.
This is a matter of shoddy construction. You can have a perfectly insulated home with prefab elements, but finishing MUST be carefully undertaken. What you describe is more like problems with haste construction than else.

There is also a whole different issue, entirely political: the need to press for demolition as the only feasible way to clean slums and derelict areas in many countries (merely restoring buildings would not be accepted if tied with much-needed relocation of the inhabitants of the place). I know Liverpool resorted to this practice a lot, and American cities perfected it, for all mass clearances are good and evil.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 04:20 PM   #22
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Commercially it was a total success.

Culturally it was poverty.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 05:01 PM   #23
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As someone said, people go to Paris and Rome to see the historic buildings... People go to see places like Singapore for the modern buildings...
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 06:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artoor View Post
Hongkong, Shanghai or Dubai may look impressive
on photos but look thin in comparison to the world class giants.
Wow! Generalize much? Is this all falling back on the tired old argument that unless a city is Paris, Rome, or London that it is not a "real" city? Grief, I hope we are more open-minded than simply judging a city on how pretty its historical architecture is. We have moved on from the Middle-Ages by now, .................................... I hope.

It is difficult to do, but as an exercise people should try to realize that there are many, many yardsticks we can use to value the worth of a city as a community. Being stuck in a regionalist rut where we only acknowledge the worth of a city in comparison to a handful that we are personally familiar with is really not a very progressive attitude. There are only a few cities in the world that are Paris, or London, or Rome. Saying all others are failures because they don't look the same is pointless and defeatist.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 07:52 PM   #25
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The concept of 'taste', as used by Suburbanist, admits of analysis. Now
taste is something calculated, something affected, something meant
for others rather than ones self. You hear that this artist, this writer,
this designer is somehow 'important'. You may utterly fail to grasp
why, how, in what sense, why on earth such a designer is important.
Nevertheless, in order not to appear ignorant, in order to appear to be
part of the educated elite, the cognoscenti, the literati, you play along.
All of this is embodied in the well known phenomenon of 'name -dropping'.
The crucial point is that taste is essentially political: Whom must I
claim to like in order to be part of the 'in' crowd ? Completely distinct
from taste is how you actually respond, and respond emotionally, to
a book, a building, a city, a gown, a poster, a tune. Are you in someway
moved, does it bring about a mood of some sort, a certain state of being, all that
sort of thing the point being that it is some complex of emotions completely
outside understanding, interpretation, or meaning. One can of course
proceed to analysis but the minute one departs from aesthetics to
analytics, the whole problem of posturing, of affectation, of the political
dimension of whats hip or not begins to exert itself.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 08:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
This is a matter of shoddy construction. You can have a perfectly insulated home with prefab elements, but finishing MUST be carefully undertaken. What you describe is more like problems with haste construction than else.

There is also a whole different issue, entirely political: the need to press for demolition as the only feasible way to clean slums and derelict areas in many countries (merely restoring buildings would not be accepted if tied with much-needed relocation of the inhabitants of the place). I know Liverpool resorted to this practice a lot, and American cities perfected it, for all mass clearances are good and evil.
But that's the thing with Modernism! The vast majority of buildings put up during the Modernist glory years were of terrible quality, yet the Modernists gave them the thumbs up anyway.

As for the demolition/clearance point, I could write a whole book about why that is the wrong approach, but I'm sure everyone is aware of the points on each side, I doubt I'll ever change you mind... and this probably isn't the right thread for it anyway.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 08:56 PM   #27
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well said sweet zombie !

Look the most honest expression of modernism of all is the house trailer,
the mobile home, a corbusian 'machine for living' in its purest form
stripped of ornament, minimalist in the purest sense in regard to
materials as well as cost.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:08 PM   #28
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Penn Station external look was quite dull and an unimpressive exercise of sheer classicism IMHO - unlike the internal hall.

To play classicism vs. modernism is a game I don't love that much. There are good theoretical reasons why architecture at some point turned from columns and Palladio to squared lines and (supposedly) unrhetorical design.

I love both modernism and classicism - each in its context.

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Old August 3rd, 2011, 11:07 PM   #29
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The problem is on the most part the worlds religion is consumerism. While before it was national pride or an actual religion like christianity or islam, these made people be creative with design no matter what the product.

As business became more powerfull in the 20th centrury it constantly comprimised design in order make the product cheaper. Look at modern music, art, clothes, cars and architecture - all of this now is made for function. Artistic creativity and thought in design is now only in a minority of products. As business creeps into art it spoils it, function becomes a priority and artistic creativity becomes an expense where on the most part it is abandoned for extra profit margin. Look at anything that involves design in todays world and compare it to something similar made 100 years ago, and you will be able to see how business has squeezed all human creativity out of it, just to serve you a little bit better. Business likes modernism because it is cheaper - since it mostly involves straight lines, smooth edges and relatively little detail. Although i do love modern icons, most modern buildings now give no care for the streetscape or how it makes people feel.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 03:52 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossy22 View Post
Look at anything that involves design in todays world and compare it to something similar made 100 years ago, and you will be able to see how business has squeezed all human creativity out of it, just to serve you a little bit better...

This is a gross simplification. And simply NOT true.

Let's consider a simple thing like watch design, for example.

Ole Mathiesen, circa 1960s:


http://www.designshopuk.com

If this isn't elegant design, then I don't know what you mean by the term.

The problem with your argument is that you assume that all modern design is solely concerned with commerce. Think again. There is great design in every age.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:11 AM   #31
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Has architectural modernism failed?

Before:


http://www.andreas-praefcke.de

After:

image hosted on flickr

Metropolitan Opera House by mattcrucius, on Flickr
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Old August 4th, 2011, 05:53 AM   #32
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I think it's not about the general style, it's about the individual building and it's design...
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #33
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"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters. Maybe… this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won't all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes."

-- Jacqueline Kennedy's response to the proposed demolition of Grand Central Station 1968

This quote seems to be more relevant now than ever and not just in a strictly architectural sense...

Last edited by ajs0503; August 4th, 2011 at 08:40 AM.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyscraperer View Post
As someone said, people go to Paris and Rome to see the historic buildings... People go to see places like Singapore for the modern buildings...
Unfortunately, I can't say that I've gone anywhere for the sole purpose of seeing a modern building, apart from the Space Needle in Seattle, which I must say was one of the most boring experiences of my life.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs0503 View Post
"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters. Maybe… this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won't all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes."

-- Jacqueline Kennedy's response to the proposed demolition of Grand Central Station 1968

This quote seems to be more relevant now than ever and not just in a strictly architectural sense...
Well, no one is saying it was a smart idea to tear down Grand Central Station, and no one is advocating or supporting destroying other magnificent historical structures.... but that is not what this thread is about. We are not judging modernism by the destruction of our older buildings. I see it as shockingly simplistic to think of everything from the past to be superior, and everything from the present to be inferior. Life is simply not that black and white.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #36
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Well, give me on 'old' city anytime . I do like glassy, steely and shiny skyscrapers, but after a day I get bored. As much as they may differ, after a while they all look the same to me. I'd rather take a stroll through Westend for example. And yes, I value craftsmanship.

Most important though is not the buildings but the people that inhabit them and the streetlife outside of the buildings.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #37
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Most old building are more detailed because in the past the rich people are more rich then now and they want to show it by build very large expensive castles and buildings with golden statues and stuff.

(sorry for my english)
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Old August 4th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #38
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i like steel and glass but modernism will never reach the beauty and perfection of classic architecture
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Old August 4th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs0503 View Post
Unfortunately, I can't say that I've gone anywhere for the sole purpose of seeing a modern building, apart from the Space Needle in Seattle, which I must say was one of the most boring experiences of my life.
Well, yeah that's true, I phrased it wrongly.... But Singapore is indeed full of amazing modern buildings and Paris full of lovely historical buildings. What I ment to say was that when people go to these cities, that's what they see.

As I said before good building is not so much the matter of it's style, it's the actual design, like I can say I like this brutalist building, but I don't necessarily like brutalism as a style in general.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossy22;82516555
As business became more powerfull in the 20th centrury it constantly comprimised design in order make the product cheaper. [B
Look at modern music, art, clothes, cars and architecture -[/B] all of this now is made for function. Artistic creativity and thought in design is now only in a minority of products. As business creeps into art it spoils it, function becomes a priority and artistic creativity becomes an expense where on the most part it is abandoned for extra profit margin. Look at anything that involves design in todays world and compare it to something similar made 100 years ago, and you will be able to see how business has squeezed all human creativity out of it, just to serve you a little bit better.
You might argue about originality, but mass production... greatly expanded access to those goods (music, art, clothes, cars and architecture) compared to the situation before the Industrial Revolution and mass production for each of those goods!

We might live in "blunt and characterless" houses, but I bet the average person in any developed country and almost all underdeveloped country lives with a far better standard of objective quality and welfare than before. One needs to stretch the reasoning to argue that urban housing in London of 1700 (plague, epidemics spread by raw sewage and rotten water, fires) is better than now.

Same applies to anything else you cited. Without de-railing the topic, cars must be mostly blunt and made-for-profit, but there are 1,2 billions of them all over the World. If only "creative inspired, untamed by business" cars were to be produced, only a few rich people would be able to buy Aston Martins, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Same for clothes: someone doesn't need to rich to be able not to dress exactly like everyone else in the village.

Quote:
Business likes modernism because it is cheaper - since it mostly involves straight lines, smooth edges and relatively little detail. Although i do love modern icons, most modern buildings now give no care for the streetscape or how it makes people feel.
Same rebuttal: 200 years ago, most slums and tenements were built without an iota of care about how people working in factories would feel.

Moreover, architecture is overrated in its ability to frame a people's state of mind.
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