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Bad Modernism

edited March 2006 in architecture
By chance I have happened upon a few articles today that make me wonder about the force of some people's hatred for that old bogey ism, MODERNISM.

1. Accuser: Robert Hughes, Art Critic. Charge: Irrelevant to ordinary people, not sensuous. Run down: Runs through most of the early modern movements of northern europe and makes all the protaganists out to be a bunch of twits, especially Malevich. Makes much of the concierge at L'Unite d'habitation having a chandelier in his flat in 1979. Link: GUARDIAN 20.03.06

2. Accuser: Bill James, Landscape Architect, Margaret River. Charge: Fails to acknowledge the social and cultural context, remaining aloof and discouraging interaction with community. Run down: A multiresidential development in Margaret River with a penitential street elevation propels Mr James into sending Modernism to the back of the class, with a warning. Link: MARGARET RIVER ONLINE 21.03.06

3. Accuser: Alexander G. Rubio, Norwegian writer Charge: Kills people, isn't frilly, unsightly discolourations. Run down: Who would put a flat roof on the (collapsed) Bad Reichenhall skating rink in Germany - a damn modernist! Can't they learn from history - and slope rooves for snow? And shouldn't the original modernists have realised that people would make cheap and dangerous knock offs of their buildings in the future! I'll pass over to Alexander now: "the grey cracking concrete manifestations of utopian modern architecture we literally piss on." Link: BITS OF NEWS 04.01.06


  • edited January 1970
    4. Accuser: Simon Jenkins, columnist, The Guardian Charge: repeats Hughes' accusations and hurls in a few extra kicks of the brogue for good measure. Sample kicks:

    "In Britain modernism was, and is, a leaking roof." :: "Modernism was never a style. It was a rejection of style, because style required hard work and talent." :: "British architecture and its cheerleaders are stuck in the modernist time-warp, unable to handle historic reference in a building. Virtually every non-residential block that comes forward for planning permission is in glass and steel, a Miesian pastiche shaped as a box, shard or vegetable, devoid of adornment or charm."

    Interesting that architects can be both stuck in a time-warp and unable to handle historic reference. Link: GUARDIAN UK 07.04.06

    4. Accuser: Rachel Johnston, columnist, The Times Charge: Modernism without the politics led to developer-downgraded derivatives.
    "So yes, they would build on the Bauhaus reputation for integrity and rigorous teaching, but all those socialist ideals could be conveniently ditched. You only had to look at the Soviet Union to see where they led to: that great tabula rasa, the perfect model for Modernism, had become an oppressive police state...So what happened to the dream? It vanished in a puff of capitalism, leaving only a scattering of tubular steel chairs behind. Its ideals were distorted."

    TIMES UK 06.04.06
  • edited January 1970
    when was they written. did they just read venturi? geez.

    at school i thought for awhile that 'post modernsm' was the current school of thought. HAHA

    architecture industry is full of bullshitters.
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