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indigenous or not       2019.05.08

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2000.10.20 09:32
evolution in architecture
Do not the effects of war perhaps have an even greater effect upon the extinction of architectural styles? For example, has not the US government's wars of 100 years ago upon the Native Americans rendered "native" American architecture extinct? Additionally, did not European colonialism come very close to bringing many "native" architectures of the world to near extinction? One might even make a case that Western Europe and Japan would not be as architecturally modern as they now are were it not for the overall urban destruction of WWII.
There is also the reality that the ballooning world population has an enormous effect on how humanity reconfigures the planet. And today, doesn't the "creative destruction" of capitalism, ie, the underlying process of planned obsolescence permeating ALL consumer goods, including architecture, make for "styles" that are literally "here today and gone tomorrow?" [Is "corporeal" capitalism then THE "fittest" "style" because not only does it make money for humanity, but it also makes sure humanity spends the money it makes?]
Perhaps when it come to human activities like architecture and the subsequent creation and destruction of syles, it is not so much an evolutionary "survival of the fittest", rather simply an imaginative and concrete manifestation of the (human physiological) metabolic process.
OR
Migth it just be true that the "whiter" humanity thinks, the more it manifests extinctions?


2001.01.26
irony and feeling
To answer your question, I'm trying to come to grips with the notion of why European colonials didn't simply accept the architectures that were indigenous to the lands that they (the Europeans) colonized. I see this as a negative action because I think a case can be made that many of this planets indigenous architectures are now virtually extinct because of Western colonialism/imperialism. During the first half of the 20th century, while large parts of the world were still colonies of Europe, Western modern architecture or the International Style (again a term used more for convenience) continued the global domination of Western style and furthered the extinction of indigenous architectures.
As much as I like Classical Greek and Roman architecture and Modern architecture, I nonetheless see it as a tremendous loss to architecture in general that these styles are now so global at what seems to be the expense of so many other architectures. This is why I am less and less tolerant of architectural criticism/theory that goes to far as to say "this architecture here is good" but "that architecture over there is bad."
In a recent post, you mentioned that commercialism may be readily acceptable to the post W.W.II generations, but I have to wonder whether the end of colonialism and the US civil rights movement are a better benchmark for the acceptability of diversity in all its guises.
ps
When I first thought up the quote, "The whiter humanity thinks, the more it manifests extinctions," I was thinking of architecture.

2001.01.26
irony and feeling
And I think you assume too much that I'm being "post-modern". I was speaking about architecture [and] using other terms for convenience. Everything you said was about broader cultural issues, but you said nothing about the architectural issues I raised. You changed the subject.
I am not seeking apologies or ways to change the past. I just don't want to see present or future architecture's succumb to further "Western" theoretical dominance, especially against diversity.
You bring up assimilation, but you don't mention that the assimilation of colonialism was a forced assimilation. In architectural terms, the 'purism' of early modernism was/is a form of assimilation in the extreme, namely purge. Global assimilation is one of today's dominant cultural aspects, but extreme assimilation like that of the last century is not a lasting aspect of humanity.
Part of my thinking is also given as a kind of preparatory warning. With genetic engineering becoming more and more a common science, humanity will find itself in the next century or so having to think real hard about diversity and individuality. Some forethought in this area is certainly not going to hurt. Imagine what might happen if the genetic engineers of tomorrow were trained to design like today's architects.


2003.09.01 11:05
Re: Evolutionary theory and architecture
...you very much got, and explained far better than I could, what I was trying to get at regarding Alex's "Evolutionary theory and architecture" proposal. A. may indeed be right about there being a lack in architectural history when it comes to explaining shifts from style to style (and this interests me greatly), but I'm not convinced so far that evolutionary theory (which ever one that may be) is the best(?) way to explain shifts from style to style.
Up until (more or less) the "International Style", architectures where very much linked to geography/locale and the politics(/religion) that comes with geography [--and here Norberg-Schulz's Meaning In Western Architecture offers good explanation]. Of course, European colonialism can be seen as an "internationalization" (or is it "globalization"?) of European/Western architecture precursing the "International Style," as well as the beginning of the eradication of many indigenous architectural styles throughout the world. Is this history best explained as evolutionary? Is the shift from Mayan architecture to Baroque architecture in Mexico, for example, something evolutionary? Not exactly survival of the fittest; more like survival of the one's with the guns and the greed, and, oh yes, the holy mission to spread the Christian faith.
Personally, I sometimes wonder whether Mayan architecture may have sometime/somehow played an influencing/inspiring role in terms of (particularly) Spanish Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

2005.04.08 19:12
modernity/post-modernity
The religious analogy employed is not a stretch when you consider how this thread began, specifically in reference to a "paradigmatic shift". Christianity is a paradigmatic shift vis--vis Judaism, and Islam is (in part) a paradigmatic shift vis--vis Christianity.
Interestingly, the rise of Christian architecture did coincide with the end of 'classical' Pagan architecture--not long after Christian basilicas were built in Rome and Judea (under the supervision of St. Helena), the legislature under Constantine I (the son of St. Helena) began to steadily outlaw Pagan cults. Ultimately, under emperor Theodosius I, all Pagan cults within the Empire were outlawed, hence no more classical Temples.
Is what I do modern or is it post-modern? Honestly, I don't care.
Was it European Colonialism that began the end of many indigenous architectures throughout the "non-Western" world? Can the 'international style' of CIAM be seen somewhat as an extension of Colonialism?
These are questions that interest me much more than whether Gehry is modern or post-modern.


2012.11.04 11:42
The Language of Architecture
For the most part, spoken languages still relate to quite specific geographic locations. Up until roughly 100 years ago, specific geographic locations, too, had their distinct architectures. Colonialism began to usurp 'native' architectures with European architectures. In the mid-20th century the 'International Style' became an architectural Esperanto.
Is architecture today composed mostly of many, many personal languages?
Otherwise:
Are most of architecture's languages now lost?
What present architectures still relate to specific geographic locations?
What architectures are bilingual?
What architectures are multilingual?
What architectures exist also in translation?
What architectures now exist only in translation ?
What architectures are lost in translation?
Who speaks slang architecture? And is slang architecture ever appropriate?
Does anyone ever order language-salad architecture? Maybe that tastes best on Pentecost.
"I love my architect[ure]s because they often manage to say something I haven't heard before."


2013.01.29 15:28
Has Richard Meier's work morphed much over the years in your opinion?
"And the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Most Non-Indigenous Architecture Anywhere goes to..."

2019.05.08
Browsed some more through MOS: Selected Works, and was thus prompted to look for and make specific note of the MOS projects (quondam) collected thus far.
14122202   Barack Obama Presidential Center   3251f
16042901   House No. 8   3251g
16110501   Collector's Residence   3251h
16120902   Housing No. 4   3251i
17040901   Rosseau Lake College   3251j
17110401   Collector's Residence   3251k
18110501   No. 10 House with Courtyard   3251l
19022203   House Parts Collected   3251m
Verified the source of Gregorio Pecorelli's "Analogous Antiquity" which was quondam collected 2019.04.26 20:05 as a result of a piranesi ichnograpia web search. The images were collected for their ingenuity, clarity and size, and their affinity to various aspects of Quondam -- 2110i07.gif   3302i   3302p   3303r   3305u   3307t.

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