Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Post Modernism Lecture Notes 8/12/2010

Introducing post modernism

Initially born out of optimism, an aspirational reaction to World War 1, with a view to harnessing technology to improve peoples lives,

Ends up doctrinaire, almost blind to obedience to rules, above all.

Form follows function.

Modernism is associated with...

  • Experimentation
  • Innovation
  • individualism
  • progress
  • purity
  • originality
  • seriousness

Fundamental to modernism is the idea of originality. All of modernism design is mostly serious because of the foundations that it is made to build upon the future.

The postmodern condition is characterised by-

  • Exhaustion
  • pluralism
  • pessimism
  • disillusionment

But.... some overlap

Modernism is an expression of modern life/ technology/ new materials and communication. Where as Post Modernism reacts to the new Modern Life. But bother emerge out of ideas created by the modern world.

Jean Tinguely 'Homage To New York' 1960

  • 1917- german writer Rudolph Pannwitz, spoke of 'Nihilistic, Amoral, postmodern men'
  • 1964- Leslie Fielder described a 'Post culture' which rejected the elitist values of modern culture.

Post Modernism dates;
1960s beginnings, 1970's established as term, 1980's recognisable style, 1980's and 90's dominant theoretical discourse, today and simmering.

Uses of the term Post modernism;

  • After modernism
  • the historical era following the modern
  • contra modernism
  • equivalent to late capitalism
  • artisict and stylistic electicism
  • global village, phenomena; globalization of cultures, races, images, capital products

Le corbusier 'Plan voisin' 1927 Utopia and tecnological determinism

Post modernism started with an idea that modernism has failed us.

  • Postmodernism has an attitude of questioning conventions (especially those set up out by modernism)
  • Modern aesthetic


  • A rection to these rules
  • Starts as a critique of the international style
  1. Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas, 1972
  2. Ideas developed by Charles Jencks 1977
  • Only rule is that there are no rules
  • Celebrates what might otherwise be termed as kitsch.

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