Behind the Postmodern Facade: Architectural Change in Late by Magali Sarfatti Larson

By Magali Sarfatti Larson

Magali Larson's entire examine explores how structure ''happens'' and what has develop into of the career within the postmodern period. Drawing from wide interviews with pivotal architects--from Philip Johnson, who used to be one of the first to introduce eu modernism to the US, to Peter Eisenman, pointed out with a brand new ''deconstructionist'' style--she analyzes the advanced tensions that exist among financial curiosity, specialist prestige, and architectural product. She investigates the symbolic awards and popularity accorded by means of prestigious journals and panels, exposing the interior workings of a career in a precarious social place. Larson captures the struggles round prestige, position, and tool as architects search to redefine their very objective in modern the US. The author's novel process in synthesizing sociological study and idea proposes not anything lower than a brand new cultural historical past of structure. it is a ground-breaking contribution to the examine of tradition and the sociology of data, in addition to to architectural and concrete heritage.

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Extra info for Behind the Postmodern Facade: Architectural Change in Late Twentieth-Century America

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Engineers and other technical devisers, including the industrial entrepreneurs themselves, were the mythical protagonists of capitalist industrialization and the beneficiaries of the middle class's enthusiasm for technology. Henceforth, a central part of the modernist architects' task of redefining their field would deal with the machine (representing the whole of technology and industry) and with the rival figure of the engineer, the machine's symbolic master. One ideological strategy had been evolving since the beginning of the century: It took the industrial builder and the engineer as the "noble savages" of the new age.

Second, I introduce the canonic cast of characters of the Modern Movement, such as one finds it in architectural history books. Third, I consider the ideas, achievements, and architectural language of the Modern Movement, focusing for detail on Weimar Germany, the epicenter of architectural modernism before World War II. The story resumes after the war: I briefly cover the transformation of modernism into an American yet truly "International Style" in order to introduce the theoretical "antifunctionalism" of the 1960s, mainly through the work of Robert Venturi.

2009 22:01:09] page_32 < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 The first and most important thing that modernist architects shared was the experience of World War I. Certainly, the war had been different for the victors and the vanquished, for the countries that were battlefields and those that were not. Yet the war gave a tragic urgency to the rejection of the bourgeois past, animating the intellectuals' romantic identification with the revolutionary movements of postwar years. The only total break with the past had been realized, so it seemed, by the Russian Revolution.

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