Post-Modernism

Topics: Modernism, Postmodernism, Architecture Pages: 5 (1494 words) Published: September 4, 2013
What is Post-Modernism?
The aim of this essay is to explain how Post-Modernism has influenced our contemporary built environment and explain what other movements have derived from it. I would argue that Post-Modernism is a worldwide movement in all arts and disciplines. A definition of postmodernism will provide a better understanding of the trend that would show how it is relevant to contemporary culture and important for the future.

Postmodernism became an important movement right after the Second World War, and the movement spread around Europe and North America during the early 20th century. According to Malpas, S. (2005, p.12) Postmodernism, focus on style and methods of representation, and is often interpreted as a successor to modernism. Similar to Architecture, postmodernism influenced all kind of art such as: Art, music, theatre, literature, dance and even photography.

In the work of Best, S. and Kellner, D. “Postmodern turn” (1997, p.152) they state that postmodern architecture was a particular reaction to the aesthetics and as they describe “Philosophical assumptions” of the International Style. This is because one believes that the International style was refusing to incorporate the architectural forms of previous generations as if they were trying to detach themselves from the past.

In contrary Best, S. and Kellner, D. (1997, p.153) claim that postmodernism returns to the past to combine and play with different styles, it embraces it for its rich symbolic and stylistic sources. In contrast to modernism, which rejects history. Postmodernist retuned to the past because they believed that we shouldn’t forget about our past, especially with what happen during the Second World War. So architects believed that incorporating architectural forms from the past would still keep the history of a place or the history of a city.

Jencks in his work “Modern Movements in Architecture” (1985, p.373) claims Post-Modernist are a group of architects who have evolved from the preceding movements because they have seen the failure of the Modernism both as an ideology and language. One could agree that Modernism as an ideology and language was a failure. However this is because the modern movement was moving to fast, in terms of architectural design or aesthetics, in the case of Le Corbusier “Villa Savoye”. Perhaps society was not ready for that sort of change. However, Le Corbusier’s design has now influenced a number of architects around the world, so I wouldn’t precisely call the movement a failure.

Post-Modernism as a cultural or collective formation started at many points and times, however Jencks (2007, p.54) states that it did not become a movement until the late 1960s and continues to influence present day architecture.

Events across the world marked the turning point in Modernity. In the work of Jencks “The New Paradigm in Architecture” (2008, p.53) he states that the First World War, Hiroshima and the Holocausts are all markers that philosopher and historians have seen as turning points, as creating the crisis of Modernity. These events changed the face of the world; this is because architects or designers in general started to become more expressive in their work. One would argue that designers would apply certain emotions into their design.

Through out the years architectural movements, get to their peak and suddenly vanish which was the case of the renaissance and Avant-garde for example. According to Jencks (2008, p.151) “architectural movements often find it easier to survive persecution than success”. One would presume that this is because, the followers of the movement try copy but sometimes it is not up to the standard of the movement or it is not within the movement’s rule. Certain followers lose direction, when they try to apply culture or other ornamentations, that it is not part of the movement. Therefore because followers lose direction, the movement is...
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