arXitecture

Articles and Review

POSTMODERNISM: STYLE AND SUBVERSION 1970-1990

 

This exhibition  at the Victoria & Albert Museum, which ended in January 2012, covered the whole range of Postmodernism from clothing, product and industrial design to graphics and architecture. The latter is a small  part of this and so the exhibition was not reviewed by arXitecture. However Nigel Halliday writing in Third Way noted how architecture is usually different and distinctive from all these other design categories. This is an important point worth making as we consider architecture in context.
 

extract from REVIEW from Third Way Dec 2011 by Nigel Halliday

Postmodernism's architecture was, by necessity, more seriously purposeful than its applied arts: for few clients will pay for genuinely nihilistic buildings. So playfulness and stylistic promiscuity are to the fore in the work of Philip Johnson and Robert Venturi.  The series of Best Products department stores designed by James Wise and the SITE group are delightfully creative and amusing. The exhibition also reminds us what a welcome relief postmodern architecture was in the 1970s, a redemptive rejection of the inhumanity of late modern and brutalist architecture........
............postmodernism was a step forward in recognising the limitations of human power to command and control, and the impossibility of taking a neutral position in your views on life. However, its two options for living are equally dispiriting.
On the one hand it offers the despair that is evidenced in wilful nonsense ...[and] on the other hand it offered itself up to commercialism.
 

TV AM Charing Cross No.1 Poultry Office block, Reading
home architecture

ethics

lifestyle


return to Articles and Reviews
To comment or offer contributions email editor@arxitecture.org.uk
 

Thank you for visiting  arXitecture - please call again