|date||26 Nov 2008 10:27 CST|
|place||Milwaukee, WI, USA|
|tags||urbanism, architecture, history|
|track||links to this post|
|previous||I'm intrigued by how blog parts and networks fit together|
In reading about great buildings in 1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die: The World's Architectural Masterpieces edited by Mark Irving, I'm struck by how modern architecture had lost an ability to touch people's emotions on many levels. By focusing on rationalism and fads, architecture might speak to other architects, but the users of that architecture and the general public get left out and thus can't form an attachment to a building. Great buildings engage human emotions in ways beyond the rational, or even describable.
Editor Mark Irving surveys about 5,000 years of built structures in his book: everything from churches to civic buildings to museums, homes, burial sites, and more. What is striking is that architecture seems to have taken a sudden turn in the 20th century with the development of what was called "modernism" (an awkward term for a movement that is pushing 100 years in age). The turn was away from people--away from any sense of engaging people with visual cues and structures that had anything to do with history, culture, tradition, whimsy, grandeur, mystery, or emotion--and toward a self-referential world built by and for specialized audiences.
What was missing is what Robert Wilson documents in A Certain Somewhere describes. He shows that human beings do not form entirely rational relationships with places or buildings. There is room for tremendous variation and eccentricity which the Moderns seemed to have thought must be eradicated.
The practice of architecture is not dead. More than 5,000 years of human experience revives it.blog comments powered by Disqus