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Design and Postmodernism Reading – B.A. Robert Venturi Learning from Las Vegas: the forgotten symbolism of architectural form. 1972.

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Presentation on theme: "Design and Postmodernism Reading – B.A. Robert Venturi Learning from Las Vegas: the forgotten symbolism of architectural form. 1972."— Presentation transcript:


2 Design and Postmodernism

3 Reading – B.A. Robert Venturi Learning from Las Vegas: the forgotten symbolism of architectural form. 1972

4 CCS Tutorials 10.00am 11.00am First Year Studio This week: Groups 3 and 4 Marks correlate directly with seminar attendance

5 Design: Raizman, D. A history of modern design. Graphics and products since the industrial revolution. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd; 2004, pp (See also: Chapter 14) Woodham, J. M. Twentieth Century Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1997, pp Fine Art: Honour H, Fleming J. A World History of Art. 7th ed. London: Laurence King Publishing; Edition, N.B. Search Index on Postmodernism and Modernism and Postmodernism.

6 Website: Robert Venturi biography on the Pritzkerprize website Video Culture Fix: Postmodernism (videocassette). London: BBC; 2001.

7 All books, videos…on Stage 1 CCS Bibliographies, are on the Academic Reserve Look up title in online Library Catalogue: iLink Write down Shelf Number (eg 709 HON) and take this to Staff at one-stop desk on entry floor of Library On receipt of book etc, make sure you check the deadline for return. Fines are expensive !

8 Postmodernism in Design... rejects what were viewed as the Modernist dictates of the design establishment built on 60s rejection of the values inherent in the Modern Movement Acknowledges consumer culture; earliest manifestations in 60s and 70s Pop and Italian Radical Design foregrounds the consumer and emphasises the idea of design as communication stresses the importance of signs and symbols as a means of reviving communication through design argues that the richness of historic and contemporary cultural tradition must be acknowledged once more finds its signs and symbols in the international visual language of history but equally in vernacular design and popular culture values irony and wit and often requires or assumes recognition of its quotations to achieve this – communication through a universal language is indebted to mid-century semiotic theory is indebted to 1970s architectural theory

9 What is Postmodernism? it is an academic term applied within a wide range of fields – philosophy, cultural studies, linguistics, literature, art and design history it identifies a new phase of social and cultural development, citing as key factors; the dominance of visual and mass media; the development of digital technology and an information society; the importance of consumption and the consumer

10 To begin In its simplest form postmodernism is most clearly understood in terms of its rejection of the values, forms and theories associated with Modernism or Modernity

11 Modernism in design and architecture rejected the forms and values of a previous age – particularly the revival of historic styles, ornamentation and decoration offered a democratic and utopian solution to the problems of mass production – good design for all argued that aesthetic beauty would naturally arise out of reason and truth – embodied in ideas such as form follows function, truth to materials evolved a simple, pure and unifying aesthetic reflected in Mies Van Der Rohes dictum, less is more

12 From design as solution to design as communication

13 60s and 70s Pop and Radical Design Semiotic theory Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. Robert Venturi Learning from Las Vegas. Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown..., 1972 The Language of Postmodern Architecture, 1973, Charles Jencks

14 Semiotics Roland Barthes Mythologies 1957 French 1972 English

15 "Every object in the world can pass from a closed, silent existence to an oral state" Barthes, R., Mythologies, New York, Hill and Wang, 1998, p.109 "We shall therefore take language, discourse, speech etc., to mean any significant unit or synthesis, whether verbal or visual: a photograph will be a kind of speech for us in the same way as a newspaper article; even objects will become speech" Ibid., p.109

16 Architectural theory Robert Venturi Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture Learning from Las Vegas. 1972

17 Blatant simplification means bland architecture. Less is a bore Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. 1966

18 Architecture can no longer afford to be intimidated by the puritanically moral language of orthodox Modern architecture. I like elements which are hybrid rather than pure, compromising rather than clean, distorted rather than straightforward, ambiguous rather than articulated, perverse as well as impersonal, boring as well as interesting, conventional rather than designed, accommodating rather than excluding, redundant rather than simple, vestigial as well as innovating, inconsistent and equivocal rather than direct and clear. I am for messy vitality over obvious unity Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. 1966

19 there are didactic images more important than the images of recreation for us to take home to New Jersey or Iowa: one is the Avis with the Venus: another Jack Benny under a classical pediment with Shell Oil beside him...These show the vitality that may be achieved by an architecture of inclusion, or, by contrast the deadness that results from too great a preoccupation with tastefulness and total design Learning from Las Vegas. 1972

20 Robert Venturi. Architect and theorist

21 Charles Jencks. Architect and theorist Colosseum Chair and Stool. 1984

22 Memphis. Established late 1980 Group portrait. 1982

23 Memphis makes extensive use of plastic laminates – formerly a metaphor for bad taste references popular culture and vernacular design extensively adopts an anti-modernist use of colour, decoration and surface design makes repeated ironic reference to modernism and functionalism blurs the boundaries between art and design chaotic, riotous mixing of materials and forms – anti-unity, maximum creativity

24 Memphis. The new Made in Italy, which draws from global culture, from real time, from computers and television by satellite. Thus, Sottsass and his associates have shown us the way out of the cul-de-sac of the Bauhaus

25 Ettore Sottsass. Memphis Milano Carlton Bookshelf. 1981

26 Ettore Sottsass. Memphis Casablanca Buffet. 1981

27 Nathalie Du Pasquier. Memphis Arizona carpet. 1983

28 Javier Mariscal. Memphis Hilton Trolley. 1981

29 Memphis furniture. 1983

30 Culture Fix: Postmodernism. (videocassette) BBC Video to be placed on Academic Reserve

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