The All Nighter
 
 

In regards to the Modernism question from a while ago, There is definitely a ton of people that misuse the term. Modernism in philosophy started around 1850 CE, and continued until the introduction of “Meaningfulness” in form, first explored architecturally by Robert Venturi in his book “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture”, and by Aldo Rossi in Europe.  Both of these architects had opposing views in regards to this issue, however, and the two movements that resulted were Post-Modernism, and something else that is harder to define.  Post Modernism rose to prominence and even today, its influence is still being felt.  That other nameless movement is bringing to rise again, however, and has staken foothold, first in the practice of Herzog and de Meuron, who were taught by Rossi.  This movement now can be generally characterized as Phenomenology, which can describe architects like Peter Zumthor and Steven Holl, where Post-Modernism can contain such movements as deconstructionism, as they follow the same rejection of the modernist credo “form follows function”.

Contemporary is a term used today in response to the fact that we are an Era without a movement (more or less).  It is a general term meaning whatever is happening right now, and does not refer to a specific era.  There are several competing movements nowadays, and due little things like the internet, there are too many  to count, and every practice and thesis student thinks they’re going to write a manifesto to start the next movement.  All of the classification is rather pedantic, but when people call things “modern”, they often don’t understand what it is their saying, so if its an architect, correct them to inform them of their mistake, and if they aren’t, it is still possible they aren’t wrong, because modernism in architecture is different then in other fields like philosophy and music.  I do not know why we feel it necessary to re-appropriate whole words, but how else are we going to isolate ourselves from all of these other professions?! Go Architecture.

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