Post Modern Architecture vs International Style Modernism Essay

Post Modern Architecture vs International Style Modernism Essay.

Postmodernism began appearing in a variety of artistic fields in the 1960s and 1970s, although it was most dramatically visible in the field of architecture, where it was adopted to describe the new forms of contemporary buildings, which returned to ornamentation, quotation of tradition, and the resurrection of past styles that a more purist modernist architecture had rejected. The rapid dissemination of postmodern discourse and forms in architecture helped to promote it in other aesthetic fields, thus providing concrete substance to the postmodern turn.

Indeed, people live in houses, neighborhoods, and social environments, and so architecture is nothing less than the mode of construction of everyday life. Thus, shifts in how architecture is conceived and constructed inevitably produce mutations in the very structure and texture of lived experience and the social environment. The postmodern turn in architecture involves a renunciation of modernist conceptions of stylistic purity, aesthetic elitism, rationalism, and universally based humanist and utopian political programs to beget new humankind through architectural design.

Against these principles, postmodernists like Robert Venturi, Philip Johnson, Frampton, and Michael Graves renounced the abstract and a historical formalism of the International Style, embraced an electric mixture of historical styles pursued an approach that respects both popular and professional tastes, and abandoned the utopian aspirations of modernism in favor of more modest goals.

Let us, accordingly, engage the modern turn in architecture, examine the postmodern critique, and then explore the forms and theories of postmodern architecture. We shall argue that the turn from modern to postmodern architecture involves a transition from the regime of monopoly capital to a more aestheticzed and transnational form postmodern capital. Although advocates of the postmodern like to champion it as a break from the modern, there are very few postmodern elements that are completely new or innovative.

While postmodern discourse renounces originality and the celebration of novelty and innovation characteristic of modernism, it also continues the experimentalism of modernism and the avant-garde. Like these movements, it is committed to formalism and the avant-garde, however, postmodernism declares both the death of the author and of the work, replacing the former with the decentered self or bricoleur and the latter with the text.

Crucially, postmodern writers implode oppositions between high and low art, fantasy and reality, fiction and fact. Spurning originality, postmodern writers draw on past form, which are ironically quoted and eclectically combined. Instead of deep content, grant themes, and moral lessons, ludic postmodernists like Barth Barthelme are primarily concerned with the form and play of language and adopt sportive, ironic, self-reflective, metafictional techniques that flaunt artifice and emphasize the act of writing over the written word.

Some of the stylistic techniques of postmodern literature were defining features of modernism itself, motivated by its revolt against bourgeois realism leading many critics to see postmodern literature as continuous with modernism rather than constituting a radical break or rupture. It is often argued that whereas the lines between the modern and the post modern are hard to draw in literature, they are particular clear in architecture.

But in fact, the easy dichotomization between modern and postmodern architecture is arrived at only by equating modern architecture with the glass boxes of the International Style, which is just one vision of architectural modernism, albeit one that dominated from the 1920s through the 1950s. It is typically ignored, however, that there were a profusion of modern styles, that there was considerable conflict among them, and that many architecture of the International Style themselves developed different styles, some similar to the postmodern forms commonly opposed to it.

The architectural styles of the modern era include renaissance, mannerism, baroque, rococo and neo-classicism, expressionism , art nouveau, Americann industrial style, as in the skyscrapers of louis Sullivan, and the organic regionalism of Frank Lloyd Wright. Architectural modernism, however, is said in many standard postmodern accounts to begin with the genesis of the International Style, which appeared in the 1920s, was systematized by the early 1930s, and became dominant throughout the world by the 1950s. 8) Our argument in this paper, however, is that the modern architecture constructed by the postmodern polemics a reductive construct that collapses a great variety of modernist style into a unitary category of the International Style, thus obscuring important differences. The postmodern turn in architecture is often celebrated and legitimated by a spurious conception of modern architecture that covers over its complexity, diversity, and richness, identifying it tout court with the high modernism of the International Style.

We will argue for an architecture that draws upon both modern and postmodern style to develop a mode that serves human needs and that produces a more livable and sustainable environment. The International Style modernism is largely the product of the Bauhaus School founded in Germany in 1919 when Walter Gropers was appointed director of two schools of Arts and Crafts in Saxe-Weimar which he amalgamated, changing the school’s name to Bauhaus, that is, house of building.

The school attracted top teachers and students, but its progressive ideals and plans scandalized the conservative citizens of Weimar, and so the school moved in 1925 to Dessau, Germany, where Gropius designed the edifice that became prototype for the new style and developed the philosophy that would dominate architecture for the new style and developed the philosophy that would dominate architecture for the next several decades (Benevolo 414). The International Style modernism came to the United States when Groper, Mies van der Rohe, and others emigrated in the 1930s in order to escape from fascism.

They were immediately embraced in the United States as architecture icons. The International Style is equated with architectural modernism because, like other modernist movements in the arts, it sought to make clean sweep of the past, to be modern, to use new styles, materials, and technologies, and to advance new ideas. In the words of Gropius: “A breach has been made with the past, which allows us to envisage new aspect of architecture corresponding to the technical civilization of the age in which we live; the morphology of dead styles has been destroyed; and we are returning to honesty of thought and feeling”(1925:19).

The references to honesty is a critical attack on art noubeau, the prevailing aesthetic style that assaulted 19th century eclecticism, neoclassicism above all, seeking a new honesty through imitation of natural forms such as trees and clouds, which it claimed to be the most valid sources of inspiration. Against art nouve, the International Style asserted a superior honesty in the imitation of the geometric forms of the modern machine age and sought to replace nature with man-made environments, or at least to integrate nature into a massive new technoscape of dazzling proportions

For modernist architects, the reconstruction of space and the construction of a new type of architecture thus constituted an important part of a revolution against the past. For these modernists, architecture should free itself not only from tradition but also from the natural environment, in order to create its own utopian worlds of glass, steel, and concrete. Rather than integrating architecture with nature, a principle Frank Llyod Wright adopted from art nouveau, May modernists argued that architecture should stand in bold contrast to the natural world.

Modern architects sought a new, austere style that simplicity, and purity of form, paring down line and space to their bare essentials. Whereas historicist values and a plurality of historical styles and unique architectural personalities, such as Antonio Gaudi, flourished before the Bauhaus and would be recaptured afterwards in the movements leading toward postmodernism, the architects of the International Style intended to reduce this eclecticism and plurality to a single new style that they sought to make dominant throughout the world.

The prototype for the new International Style was Gropius’s design for the Bauhaus compound built in Dessau, Germany, in 1925-1936. The site is made up of a series of rectangular buildings joined together at perpendicular angels. In typical International Style, the design is uniform, geometrically precise, devoid of ornamental detail, and completely standardized, resembling a warehouse or prison yard. This minimalist style was duplicated with equally uninspiring results, by Mies in his buildings at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Except for futurism, no other modern art movement has been so conditioned by technological ideology and the modern mechanist worldview as International Style architecture. But the standard postmodern narrative occludes the variety and diversity of architectural modernism. Certainly, not all architecture from the late 1920s to the 1950s had the look of the International Style. Not all modern architects were strict functionalists, and many sought aesthetic inspiration in machines and abstract shapes.

The most striking exceptions to the International Style were the inventive modernist constructions of Le Corbusier and poetic works. On the other hand, high modernism in architecture fit perfectly with corporate capitalism and provided a useful ideology for its legitimation. The demand to reconstructure the environment, to destroy all obstacles in the path of modernization, was a perfect ideology for a relentless capitalist development. Small wonder that the movers and shakes of corporate capitalism were taken with the international Style.

This paper presents a comparison between postmodern architecture and the International Style modernism. It also presents a groundbreaking analysis of the emergence of a postmodern paradigm in the arts, science, politics, and theory. From postmodern theory, the much-acclaimed introduction to key postmodern thinkers, the postmodern turn ranges over diverse intellectual and artistic terrain from architecture, painting, literature and physical biological sciences.

Post Modern Architecture vs International Style Modernism Essay

Postmodernism Essay

Postmodernism Essay.

The term postmodernism in the literal order has to follow modernism. But postmodernism cannot be defined thus straightway. The actual line of demarcation between them is difficult. Though postmodernism has come to dominate scholarly debates and discussions regarding the contemporary literature and culture since 1980s, it is unreasonable to think that all the literary stalwarts and cultural giants changed their perception simultaneously from 1980s. You can not demarcate that this is the end of modernism, and from this point, postmodernism begins.

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms defines postmodernism thus–“may be seen as a continuation of modernism’s alienated mood and disorienting techniques and at the same as an abandonment of its determined quest for artistic coherence in a fragmented world. ” The postmodernism writer has freed himself from the shackles of restrictions. You can not expect from such a writer to make attempts to do justice to coherent patterns of images and meanings in the world. He is concerned about the prevailing confusion but not worried about it.

He does not wish to plunge deeper into the maladies in the metaphysical sense and enter in to world of arguments and counter arguments, for achieving something tangible. The goal of the postmodernism writer is experiencing, not merely imaginings. He is a rebel against procedures and systems, wherever it blocks the capabilities of human spirit. Therefore, he smashes the traditional obstacles or all types to find new, free paths for genuine individual and social progress. He reads the issues as they are and tries to give the description and solutions appropriate to the circumstances.

On many issues his thinking touches the portals of spirituality, and transcends reason. This development augurs well for the postmodernism literature. “Postmodernism is a complicated term, or set of ideas, one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid-1980s. Postmodernism is hard to define, because it is a concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology.

It’s hard to locate it temporally or historically, because it’s not clear exactly when postmodernism begins. ” (Klages…. ) Changes in one area affect the other areas and consequently they initiate a series of changes in many segments of the society. Therefore, the scope of postmodernism is vast. The postmodernism writers are able to find their plots and stories amidst the noise and din prevailing in the society. When they are unable to visualize the perfect discipline and balance in the human society, they are willing to carry on with the available discipline.

Authors like Barth enjoy this disconnectedness prevalent in the present era. The subject of the story, “Lost in the Farmhouse,” and the method of telling it are unique and one can see the stamp of postmodernism in the technique and content of the story. It relates to a young boy’s experience in a funhouse by the shore. It is a decrepit fun house and the experience is surrealistic. It is difficult for the reader to judge whether Barth is trying to get at the truth or he revels in pure fiction! Barth is both subtle and direct in use of the metaphor in the story.

The narrator is quite vocal in his comments about the symbolic and metamorphic elements. In the initial part of the story the narrator announces that Ambrose “has come to the seashore with his family for the holiday, the occasion of their visit is Independence Day, the most important secular holiday of the United States of America. ” (p,1)It is important for Ambrose, because he sees that day as the day of welcome liberation from the adolescent struggles, the social prejudices that he suffered, and the self-consciousness that wishes to assert itself to experience something new.

He owns dynamic hopes and seeks their fulfillment. Such attitude of the individuals, especially the combustible younger generation, is the seed of postmodernism. What is the root cause for individuals like Ambrose to think the way they think? “To the postmodernist, the Western world society is an outdated lifestyle disguised under impersonal and faceless bureaucracies. The postmodernist endlessly debates the modernist about the Western society needing to move beyond their primitiveness of ancient traditional thought and practices. (Postmodernism…)The materialistic civilization impacted by the industrial and internet revolution has destroyed the ancient social structure in many areas and at the same time recreated new structures beyond the expectations of humanity. On many issues we have become directionless and destination less.

This is how Barth mentions about ‘inability to lead us through the maze. ’ Ambrose envies the good luck of Peter and Magda—something happens naturally with them and they are able to find the right exit at the right time! But somewhere, in the changed circumstances, Ambrose sees hope! Postmodernism is difficult to define, because to define it, would violate the postmodernist’s premise that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist. … The term “postmodernism” will remain vague, since those who claim to be postmodernists have varying beliefs and opinions on issues. ”(Postmodernism…) What is the impact of modernism to postmodernism? Bath explains it in style with narrations that apparently look simple, but have profound meaning. “Thrice a year—on Memorial, Independence, and Labor Days—the family visits ocean city for the afternoon and evening.

When Ambrose and Peter’s father was their age, the excursion was made by train…Many families from the same neighborhood used to travel together, with dependent relatives and often with Negro servants;…Nowadays the journey is made by automobile—more comfortably and quickly though without the extra fun though without the camaraderie of a general excursion. ”(Page, 1) This is a simple illustration, how the modern materialistic civilization has robbed the precious little joys of the families and the society. Modernism and postmodernism is all about such attitudes and developments that have engulfed the society.

People enjoying the flora and fauna and the beauty of the nature, today stand on the naked rocks. Post modernism is about fearless thinking and free writing. Such writing transcends all barriers. It ‘crosses the moon and beat the stars. ’ It does not care for nationalism, religion, politics—these are all primitive concepts according to postmodernism literary trends. It is not against materialistic progress but if progress in area, were to destroy the joys of humanity, what is the use of such prosperity? Barth explains this with a simple illustration.

When the family is on a holiday at the Funhouse, he writes, “Father came back from talking to a coast-guardsman on duty and reported that the surf was spoiled with crude oil from tankers recently torpedoed offshore. Lumps of it, difficult to remove, made tarry- tide lines on the beach and stuck on swimmers. ”(p. 5) Does this contribute to plenty and prosperity of humanity? —such view points are the highlights of the post modernism literature. In the story “Lost in the Funhouse,” Barth makes passing but stern references to inequalities still prevailing in the society on account of racialism.

Even though this concept has no legal sanctity in the American Society, in actual practice; black people do suffer from inferiority complex. Their economic prosperity, as compared to the white race, is still the distant dream. The capitalism of America has created a society of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Religion does not serve the intended purpose for peace and for improving the standard of life of the people. Ambrose’s observation is indeed the concern of the intellectuals and statesmen, to whom world peace and prosperity is of great concern. He states, “Nothing was like what it looked like.

Every instant, under the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, millions of living animals devoured one another. Pilots were falling in flames over Europe; women wee being forcibly raped in the South Pacific. ”(p. 7) Conclusion: An author whether of modernism or postmodernism era, follow the same ideas, without rigid genre distinctions and boundaries between high and low. But the difference between the two is in attitudes. Modernism has certain fixed layout, and if anything beyond that happens, they lament such fragmented view of human subjectivity.

Postmodernism does not think on these lines. Fragmentation according to them is a dynamic process and that needs to be celebrated and enjoyed. Barth explains this theme in his story and seems to say to his characters, if perfect discipline is not available in any area, carry on with the available discipline! Enjoy even the nonsense! Nothing in the Nature is to be pitied or condemned. Everything has the purpose behind it and is happening as it should. From the transcendental point of view, nothing happens by accident—all that we see are incidents!

You may also be interested in the following: modernism vs realism, realism vs modernism

Postmodernism Essay