Modernism 33 quotes

Quote Context Source
Nothing is more extinct than yesterday's avant-garde. Anonymous
The avant-garde mistakes individualism (which is common) for creativity (which is rare). Anonymous
The modernists are less interested in what is true or useful than in stripping architecture of its authority. Anonymous
The Nobel intends to honor those who have helped humanity; the Pritzker honors those who have insulted it. reported by Kenneth Hitchens Anonymous
It's time for a reconsideration -- something like what architects call a post-occupancy evaluation, which looks at how a building is working for people in everyday use. This one, however, won't rag on the library's already well-documented functional shortcomings, such as the unwieldy and baffling vertical traffic flow. Instead, we'll venture into a region few architects know how to talk about: how a building feels. This one feels, in varying places, raw, confusing, impersonal, uncomfortable, oppressive, theatrical and exhilarating. Ponder any spot in this vast building, and two, three or more of those adjectives inevitably swirl together. That's the first indicator of trouble. If this building were fulfilling the showers of acclaim heaped onto it, all we'd be talking about is joy. This library, incredibly, is an uncomfortable place to read.... Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on the Koolhaas library Lawrence Cheek
Nothing looks so dated as yesterday's vision of the future. Christian De Quincey
Current architectural education is the pursuit of the carefully arbitrary. Andrés Duany
Modern architecture, as defined by the pioneers, is to serve mass culture and to be shaped by mass production. Deconstructivism does not share these aims. It is, in fact, produced by exquisite craft technique and appreciated only by a cultural elite -- it is a revival fit for Rusk. Their claims of social radicalism is comically at odds with the expensive houses and chic ristoranti of its production. Only the neurosis of its practitioners confirms its modernist currency. Andrés Duany
Because he knows nothing of the codes and practices that actually shape the modern city, Koolhaas does not understand that what he perceives as a stimulating freedom is actually a deterministic set of interlocking practices controlled by specialists in marketing and engineering, by municipal codes and banking practice. This system has been evolved and perfected for half a century by a developer-controlled think-tank called, the Urban Land Institute. The entire system is as precise as any that has ever guided the hand of the architecture. The proof is immediate: the difficulty of implementing even the slightest deviation, either aesthetic or typological. Andrés Duany
Modern architects recognize 300 masterpieces but ignore the other 30 million buildings that have ruined the world. Andrés Duany
Gehry and Eisenman can no longer get our attention. The only remaining radical act that will scandalize critics accustomed to everything is to build a classical building. Andrés Duany
Deconstructivism is the Urban Style. It attempts to compress the complexity, which is the purview of an entire street, into the ornament of a single building, there to call it the architecture of the real world. Disneyworld is more authentic. Andrés Duany
The architectural avant-garde extols cinematic illusion but denigrate its masterpiece: Williamsburg. Andrés Duany
As a cultural institution, Disney is more influential than Harvard. Andrés Duany
The Modernists are nostalgic... for a future that will never happen. Andrés Duany
Of modernity's many experiments, the first one that has aborted is individualism. Douglas Duany
What condemns modernism is not its theory, but its practice. Douglas Duany
Modernism is predicated on ignorance of the past. Douglas Duany
There is nothing more pathetic to behold than a Modernist architect trying to turn a mere house into a bid at immortality. Andrés Duany
I've come to think that, in this secular world, (architecture) students are so starved for something metaphysical, that aesthetics have taken on a sort of spiritual role in their lives, with the intoxication and conceit of playing God as form-makers. Douglas Kelbaugh
Modernism's alchemistic promise... to transform quantity into quality through abstraction and repetition... has been a failure, a hoax: magic that didn't work. Its ideas, aesthetics, strategies are finished. Together, all attempts to make a new beginning have only discredited the idea of a new beginning. A collective shame in the wake of this fiasco has left a massive crater in our understanding of modernity and modernization. Rem Koolhaas
Architecture has died and been replaced by air conditioning. Rem Koolhaas
The trouble with narcissistic architects is that other people don't count for them. Narcissistic architecture in inherently devoid of a social dimension. James Howard Kunstler
Tulane should be a center of the reconstruction of New Orleans. Instead, Dean Kroloff has shat in the nest and been subsequently chased off to Amsterdam and Nieuw Amsterdam. John Massengale
In order to be significant today, you've got to out-weird Frank Gehry. In order to be significant in five years, you'll have to out-weird the person that out-weirded Frank Gehry. The entire movement is hurtling toward the Wall of Terminal Weirdness, where it will crash because things can't get any stranger. Steve Mouzon
That which is most intensely 'of our time' today is by definition the most quickly 'outadate' tomorrow. Steve Mouzon
In art the mass of people no longer seeks consolation and exaltation, but those who are refined, rich, unoccupied, who are distillers of quintessences, seek what is new, strange, original, extravagant, scandalous. I myself, since Cubism and before, have satisfied these masters and critics with all the changing oddities which passed through my head, and the less they understood me, the more they admired me. By amusing myself with all these games, with all these absurdities, puzzles, rebuses, arabesques, I became famous, and that very quickly. And fame for a painter means sales, gains, fortune, riches. And today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the term. Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt were great painters. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and exploited as best he could the imbecility, the vanity, the cupidity of his contemporaries. Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may appear, but it has the merit of being sincere. Pablo Picasso
Thank God the architecture didn't affect the food. at Charles De Gaulle Airport Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
The architectural elite in this country has abdicated its position of leadership. It is concerned only in justifying itself to itself. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
New York's loss is Los Angeles's gain. after Herbert Muschamp hand-picked Nicolai Ouroussoff, the architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times, to succeed him as the architecture critic of the New York Times. Stefanos Polyzoides
Boston City Hall is the crate that Faneuil Hall came in. Robert Russell
Men have become the tools of their tools. Henry David Thoreau
Has there ever been another place on earth where so many people of wealth and power have paid for and put up with so much architecture they detested? I doubt it seriously. Every child goes to school in a building that looks like a duplicating-machine replacement-parts wholesale distribution warehouse. Not even the school board, who commissioned it and approved the plans, can figure it out. The main thing is to try to avoid having to explain it to the parents. From Bauhaus to Our House Tom Wolfe