The Origins Of Postmodernism And Architecture

1200 Words5 Pages
This essay discusses the origins of Postmodernism in art and architecture in terms of Venturi’s critique and explains the meaning of the term “puritanical moral language.” It will define alternatives posed by Venturi and give examples of works by two Australian architects. The first architect is Glenn Murcutt, whose love of the Australian landscape has been the inspiration for many of his buildings. The second is architectural firm McBride Charles Ryan, a partnership of Debbie Ryan (Interior Designer) and Rob McBride (Architect) whose vision is to provide innovative solutions and technical excellence with its unique designs.

Typically modernity was a time where the industrial revolution treated the building in the same way it responded to
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The postmodernists with their historical citations rebelled against the dogmatic modernists. The term Postmodern was applied to architecture and Robert Venturi formulated an antifunctionalist thesis in his book, “Complexity and Contradiction in Modern Architecture,” 1966 and later “Learning from Vegas” 1971. Buildings and billboards in Las Vegas were re-evaluated for functionality.

Postmodernism, oppositional of modernism, exhibits the failures of modernism with its inferior structure, use of cheap materials and simplistic design, a perfect recipe for a disaster and developers. There is an absence of humanism in its buildings and a lack of engagement with its environment and the viewer. The postmodern building is the historical reference of style through use of ornamentation dating back to the Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and Art Nouveau Movements, good use of colour, a sense of humour and irony and signage that is independent of function. Venturi’s “puritanical moral language” is his way of stating that you can have both, and not be restricted to and/or; however it can’t compromise the form or the function of the building. There has to be a visual language between the building and its inhabitants and a balance between functionality and aesthetic, and when one is compromised, the design fails.

Australian architect Glenn Murcutt pours his creativity into smaller projects that let him work alone and design economical
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