hyper architecturism

a "what if" world

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Ancient intersection of the Via Appia and Via Ardeatina   Giovanni Battista Piranesi   Le AntichitÓ Romane II   1756

The ancients then, would choose a suitable, conspicuous roadside location in the country for their family tombs; they strove to adorn them with as much ornament as their resources and the hand of the artist would allow. As a result, their tombs would be build to the most exquisite design; they would not be short of columns; their revetment would gleam; they would be resplendent with statues, reliefs, and panels, and show elegant busts of bronze and marble.
How much these prudent men and their practice benefited both the state itself and standards of moral behavior is a subject on which I need not dwell. I shall touch upon it only as far as is relevant to our argument. And what would be your opinion? Would a traveler along the Via Appia, or some other military road, not be greatly delighted gazing at its remarkable number of monuments, as he encountered first this sepulcher, then that, then another, and then one more, all splendidly ornate, and recognizes on them the names and titles of famous men? And would not all these monuments to the part provide numerous occasions to recall the deeds of great men, and so provoke conversation that itself serves both to make light of the journey and to enhance the reputation of the city?
Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books (translated by Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach, Robert Tavernor), 1988.

As the implicit mannerism acknowledged in Complexity and Contradiction has evolved in our work into an explicit Mannerism for today, so has the architecture of Signs and Symbols acknowledged in Learning from Las Vegas evolved (via Iconography and Electronics upon a Generic Architecture) into an architecture of communication for our time--an architecture explicitly embracing symbols and cultures that are both high and low, as demonstrated by our modification of Thomas Cole's Architect's Dream. (The original painting acknowledged architecture as form and symbol; the modified version acknowledges the cultures of architectures--high and low.) Here Architecture as Sign, rather than Architecture as Space. Here is architecture for an Information Age, rather than architecture for an Industrial Age.
Robert Venturi, "Architecture as Sign rather than Space: New Mannerism rather than Old Expressionism" in Architecture as Signs and Systems for a Mennerist Time, 2004.




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