Architecture as a set of stylistic considerations?

24Jan13

May be one of the problems parametricism will face, if handled with the wrong hands. It is just a style, away from the information management its implies.

Giedion, Sigfried.  Space, Time, and Architecture.

(Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA: 1967).  Pgs. xxxii-xxxiii.

A certain confusion exists in contemporary architecture…; a kind of pause, even…exhaustion.  Everyone is aware of it.  Fatigue is normally accompanied by uncertainty, what to do and where to go.  Fatigue is the mother of indecision, opening the door to escapism, to superficialities of all kinds.  A symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of New York in the spring of 1961 discussed the question, “Modern Architecture, Death or Metamorphosis?”  As this topic indicates, contemporary architecture is regarded by some as a fashion…Many designers who had adopted the fashionable aspects of the “International Style,” now found the fashion had worn thin and were engaged in a romantic orgy…By the sixties its results could be seen everywhere: in small-breasted, gothic-styled colleges, in a lacework of glittering details inside and outside, in the toothpick stilts and assembly of isolated buildings of the largest cultural center. A kind of playboy-architecture became en vogue: an architecture treated as playboys treat life, jumping from one sensation to another and quickly bored with everything.  I have no doubt that this fashion…will soon be obsolete.

[…] There is a word we should refrain from using to describe contemporary architecture — “style.”  The moment we fence architecture within the notion of a “style,” we open the door to a formalistic approach.  The contemporary movement is not a “style” in the nineteenth-century meaning [of the word]…In architecture the word “style” has often been combined with the epithet “international” …The term “international style” quickly became harmful, implying something hovering in mid-air, with no roots anywhere: cardboard architecture.  Contemporary architecture worthy of the name sees its main task as the interpretation of a way of life valid for our period.  There can be no question of “Death or Metamorphosis,” there can only be the question of evolving a new tradition.

 

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