Message - Re: WTC: General Observations

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Posted by  Paul Malo on September 17, 2002 at 18:29:18:

In Reply to:  Re: WTC: General Observations posted by lavardera on September 17, 2002 at 17:03:09:

You're not disagreeing with me, but agreeing when you say, "If that makes modernistic architecture stylistic folly, so be it, it has that in common with classicism and other traditional styles." That is certainly my view. The point was to defend eclecticism, which is the natural state of affairs, given the cultural pluralism that we have and generally accept today.

My quarrel is not with the Modern style. Most of my own work--and certainly my most important works--have been done in the Modern style. My quarrel is with the ideology of modernism, which we still hear proliferated in the academy, in defense of this "right and proper style." My special quarrel is with the righteousness of those Modernists who consider all other work to be debased, vulgar, immoral--or at least not hip.

You say, "My message is that criticism of modernist planning and architecture is often used to promote a traditional planning mode. . . ." Yes, of course, and I am one of those critics who do so, maintaining that too much was lost in the Modernist revolution--not merely in terms of cultural tradition, but indeed precisely in terms of planning. I like fine Modern buildings. Show me a decent modern city plan or urban design.

As I keep saying, it's not the rightness or wrongness of any particular style that is at issue so much as the limitations of the modernist way of thinking and seeing.

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