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Old December 5th, 2015, 10:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Artificial Authenticism

Way back in the early eighties I had a chance to visit Hawaii. We were on a tour, and got to stay at some great resorts. This was back when there weren't quite so many hotels as there are now, there was still that flair of modern exoticism, and resorts were grand. I was looking for some pictures on the Internet of those resorts to post on the Brutalism thread.

It turns out that most of these resorts have been heavily redone, all under the pretenses of becoming "more authentic". This kind of hit me as misguided. After all, back before tourism came to the Islands, they never had grand large buildings and fancy architecture. It was all very vernacular. There was some colonial influences, but these were no more authentic to the island than the modern designs were. In fact, I would argue that the modern designs were in fact more authentic, as that was what was build to entice tourism during the 60's, 70's, and 80's. It was in effect late mid century modernist resort designs home ground.

That got me thinking about architects, and for that matter anyone, and their attempts at discovering some deeper kind of authenticity. We now seem to be constantly tearing down the recent, to make it look more like some imagined past that may have never really been there. But we discover that "authenticity" we replicated was in fact not authentic, and so the cycle starts again. I wonder if we will ever be able to appreciate design and style not for some individual historic identity, but as a reflection of the people and time the building was built, in all it's local and global contexts.

Sorry if this was a bit wordy and high-concept, maybe someone can attempt a clearer, more concise summary. Your thoughts?
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