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-à-vis Judaism, and Islam is (in part) a paradigmatic shift vis-à-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.]
...can you elaborate a bit more on the nature of "international style" as you understand it?
(I may be wrong, but) isn't the International Style largely a Western European style?
You note the death of CIAM at 1968. European colonialism (primarily English and French) evaporated in the early 1960s. I suspect there are correlations still to be made between the International Style and late-colonialism even if the International Style is connected to communism.
...I see where you're coming from. Here are some observations.
Many African nations did not reach independence until the early 1960s--childhood stamp collecting taught me at least that.
I'm not too sure that I would relate Le Corbusier and Kahn as the same type of 'International Style'.
South America does indeed appear to have much more 'International Style' architecture than North America.
Reread Loos because the whole anti-ornament issue stems from a critique of 'primitive' tattooing, which very much evokes 'colonialism thinking'.
All this discussion has reminded me of something I sent to design-l over six years ago:
re: assimilating architecture?
date: 5 December 1998
Since c.1500, humanity (however, mostly Western/European culture) has operated predominantly under the influence of an assimilating imagination -- a process whereby everything about this planet, and even beyond, has been and still is run through the workings of absorption -- absorption of land, data, capital, whole societies, etc. (Science in general is a very assimilating process, and genocide is just one example of absorption in the extreme -- purge.)
According to chronosomatics, a theory based on the interrelationship of time and the human body (The Timepiece of Humanity - the calendar incarnate), there are roughly 200 years left where assimilation will play a major role with regard to the human imagination, and, more importantly, the next 200 years of assimilation will also be the largest and grossest ‘chunks’ of assimilation yet, perhaps culminating with the total and complete knowledge of every bit of rhyme, reason, cause and effect of the human genome. Chronosomatics also shows us that metabolism (equal doses of creation and destruction) has been steadily becoming the new and eventually predominate operation of the human imagination. Therefore there is a strong pluralism within the operation of the human imagination today as well.
Are there thus some things within the last 500 years architectural history that relate to the notion of an assimilating architecture? Is there something about the present state of architectural affairs that points to an assimilating and/or metabolic architecture? For example, is the high eclecticism of the late 19th century one form of assimilating architecture? Is Le Corbusier’s Purism akin to assimilating architecture in the extreme? Is the current widespread/global land development precisely a continuation of the assimilating process begun by the likes of Christopher Columbus? Will humanity, 200 years hence, have come extremely close to assimilating (for better or for worse) every square inch of this planet?
Personally, I think the answer is yes, but that’s not the worst of it. After assimilation ceases to be a major element within the operation of the human imagination, humanity will spend 500 years working under the influence of an almost purely metabolic imagination. Imagine living on Earth when pretty much everything thought and done is create and destroy, create and destroy, create and destroy. . . . .
the you-just-don't-get-it rendering style --0035
the beyond-your-imagination rendering style--0071
the shopping-center-for 2079 rendering style --0078
the meta-unrealistic rendering style --0086
the I-wear-my-sunglasses-at-night rendering style --0097
the 5D rendering style --0117
the lost-in-place rendering style --0169
the eye-of-a-fly rendering style --0176
the only-very-exclusive-clients-receive-this rendering style --0178
Tiring architects VS Real Architects
The late period of artists is often under-rated. Picasso's Late Period was mostly disliked while he was alive--seen as repetitious and unimportant. Yet, with Picasso dead, the late works are not so unimportant anymore, in fact they manifest one of Picasso's most creative periods.
Frank Gehry may be in a wonderful position if he continues to do architecture for another decade or so, because, when he isn't around anymore, his late works might just manifest his most creative period.
I like to look at and study the late periods of artists because of all the facile-ness and confidence and even (if you're lucky) the "I don't give a damn" found there.
Philip Johnson produced an interesting late period, and he did change 'styles' with every new project, yet his overall style has always been reenactionary architecturism.
"design" vs. "styling"
It's probably true that fashion has always been more about style than design. The design of most clothes really hasn't changed all that much over the last century or so, but the style certainly has. Style is basically ephemeral.
Design gets bad when it also becomes ephemeral because that mostly also means that the real underlying design is then planned obsolescence.
"design" vs. "styling"
Style now-a-days is largely egalitarian. Almost everything produced today harbors some degree of style. Price (which is supposed to reflect quality) is really the only thing that differentiates styles.
Overall, Modern or contemporary architecture is not a very popular style for living in.
Big Boxes are very efficient designs with little or no style?
The more style added to architecture the higher the maintenance?
My personal style anymore defaults to "no class" offset by an enormous aversion to falsehood. It makes for an easier life due mostly to low maintenance requirements.
The design of my life, however, is very complicated because art is its ongoing goal.
"design" vs. "styling"
design and style
Modern art always "projects itself into a twilight zone where no values are fixed, he [Leo Steinberg] said. "It is always born in anxiety." Not only that, he said, it is the function of really valuable new Modern art to "transmit this anxiety to the spectator," so that when he looks at it, he is thrown into "a genuine existential predicament." This is basically Greenberg's line, of course--"all profoundly original art looks ugly at first"--but Steinberg made the feeling seem deeper (and a bit more refined). The clincher was Steinberg's own confession of how he had first disliked [Jasper] Johns's work. He had resisted it. He had fought to cling to his old values--and then realized he was wrong. This filtered down as a kind of Trubulence Theorem. If a work of art or a new style disturbed you, it was probably good work. If you hated it--it was probably great.
--Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word
Consumerism and Monumentality
I agree that there is a kind of hegemony operating within architecture today (and definitely since the Modern Movement/International Style), but architecture wasn't always that way. Most of architectures' histories are like languages' histories in that they were all tied/related to specific places on the planet and reflected the culture of those places.
Reflecting on what presently constitutes architectural "history," perhaps architecture is now a world trade commodity more than anything else.
Is the next big thing to mix up the fashion brands? Wear your Foster pants with Woods belt over Eisenman panties?
Thom Mayne on Charlie Rose
First of all, presenting a sound-bite answer is not the issue here, especially since Rose gave Mayne a whole hour. Rose's question contained some leads, "is it politics?, is it style?" (I don't remember all the exact words), and given the question, I would have given the context of where I see Morphosis within architectural history, and then explained what the Morphosis design approach sets out to accomplish. I can't answer what Mayne would say himself, but that's the way I would have approached an answer to the question. What I thought after I saw Mayne's hesitation and then heard his answer is just how afraid and subsequently unable architects are at talking about style. But, more to the point, architects are afraid to discuss their motivation because a lot of the motivation (especially for Morphosis) is about creating a certain style.
style 1 : the way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed
The notion of style in architecture has been so debased by Modernism's reaction to eclecticism that architects now don't even know how to talk about it.
...I now see the rendering of Castle Howard in Vitruvius Britannicus as (what I believe to be) the true inspiration of Piranesi's architectural design sense especially as represented in his Il Campo Marzio (of which the Ichnographia is just a part). A comparison of the aerial view of Castle Howard (and of Blenheim) in Vitruvius Britannicus (1715-1725) with the aerial views within Il Campo Marzio (1762) are very similar, both in viewpoint and in the 'style' of architecture portrayed. I have yet to see any direct reference that Piranesi ever saw Vitruvius Britannicus, but Piranesi's close personal relationship with Robert Adam in Rome very much puts it (Piranesi's seeing the Vitruvius Britannicus) well within the realm of possibility. Plus, the Ichnographia is dedicated to Adam, which may well indicate a dedication to the "imagination" of British architecture overall. (I think I already related this overall idea at archinect and subsequently at quondam, but I want to thank you personally for setting my mind on this path to begin with.)
Thom Mayne on Charlie Rose
"Talking about style seems to imply that we are designing by imitation..." -- this is exactly what I mean by "style in architecture has been so debased by Modernism's reaction to eclecticism that architects now don't even know how to talk about it."
Designing via "intuitive gut reactions that fight against and/or inform mental process" is a style.
what is the good source to study folding architecture?
"What French is trying to make sure everyone understands here is that "folding" isn't a technique or a style, it's an entire school of thought (philosophically) with just as much theory and thick readings to defend/quantify it as any decon or other pomo sub-strands."
Personally, I've lost most of the confidence I've ever had in this type of sentiment/position as it relates to architectural design. Nonetheless, what MMatt wrote does reflect how most student architects are now trained to think about design, technique or style.
Yet, when it really comes down to an architectural design, folding architecture really does boil down to what it looks like. So, as far as I'm concerned, folding architecture is just another form, in the long history of forms, that architecture can take on, and, like jlxarchitect says, "if it can solve my office's project's problem, then it is Ok to use."
Otherwise, the notion of "an entire school of [failed?] thought" is stillborn, rather than being something within the evolutionary continuum of architectural design. And just because it's what is taught in school doesn't necessarily make it the truth. For example, the "Metabolist" architects of Japan talked a lot about architecture reflecting "life giving" forms, while at the same time appearing oblivious to the fact that metabolism as a operation is a creative/destructive duality. Likewise, everything Tafuri and Eisenman said/say about Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius is just plain incorrect, yet their mistakes are taught and published over and over again.
I hope you all now understand what I mean by saying that I've lost confidence...
Questions about Typography of Architecture
Susan, regarding drafting conventions, the 'architecture' font probably has it's 'origin' somewhere before the middle of the last century. I say this because it doesn't seem to be directly related to beaux-arts conventions, but does appear to have a relation to FLWright's lettering 'style'. It's prevalence within architecture may be the result of WWII engineering standardization--remember, construction documents are legal documents, thus abiguity is not exactly desired in any of its aspects. Frank Ching merely complied with the convention that was already well in place. Also, Leroy lettering, which was very standardized via templetes, was an architectural font standard up until the 1970s/early 1980s. Then there's also Lettreset and then Kroy, and then CAD.
I just looked at a "working drawing" from Le Corbusier's office from 1935 and the lettering there is not quite the "architecture"/tekton font; it is more like the "din" (I think that's the name) font, which was European as opposed to American.
Most of what I've written here is based on personal experience, and not on any extensive research, so take it only as a start toward answering "why".
You know, if I was living in the Midwest, I'd definitely hotrod my house Lisa Douglas Style...
...with help, of course...
"Look, I can do two things at once. Watch me cut the bread and cut the cheese at the same time."
Regular avant garde just won't do. I have to have extreme avant garde!
Oh, and I'm not exclusive, everyone can enjoy my taste too!
And speaking of taste, there's always caviar and crackers!
"Oh Oliver! Cork floors would ruin everything!"