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Radical Post-Modernism

  • Author(s) : Charles Jencks, Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland, Sam Jacob
  • ISBN: 9780470669884
  • 136 pages
  • September 2011
  • Price: US $45.00 Buy this issue

Radical Post-Modernism

Radical Post-Modernism (RPM) marks the resurgence of a critical architecture that engages in a far-reaching way with issues of taste, space, character and ornament. Bridging high and low cultures, it immerses itself in the age of information, embracing meaning and communication, embroiling itself in the dirty politics of taste by drawing ideas from beyond the narrow confines of architecture. It is a multi-dimensional, amorphous category, which is heavily influenced by contemporary art, cultural theory, modern literature and everyday life. This title of AD demonstrates how, in the age of late capitalism, Radical Post-Modernism can provide an architecture of resistance and contemporary relevance, forming a much needed antidote to the prevailing cult of anodyne Modernism and the vacuous spatial gymnastics of the so-called digital ‘avant-garde'.
• Contributions from: Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland, Sam Jacob, Charles Jencks and Kester Rattenbury
• Featured architects: ARM, Atelier Bow Wow, Crimson, CUP, FAT, FOA, Édouard François, Terunobu Fujimori, Hild und K, Rem Koolhaas, John Kormelling, muf, Valerio Olgiati.

The Argument

Jayne Merkel

Counterargument: Radical Post-Modernism counter-argument

FAT’s fun-filled fresh Post-Modernism may seem 'radical' at a time when bulbous abstract Parametricism is the style du jour and the Post-Modern is rarely mentioned. But on this side of the Atlantic, it is not unusual to do Post-Modernism today...

Read on

FAT’s fun-filled fresh Post-Modernism may seem 'radical' at a time when bulbous abstract Parametricism is the style du jour and the Post-Modern is rarely mentioned. But on this side of the Atlantic, it is not unusual to do Post-Modernism today. It is just taboo to talk about it, so this issue is welcome. A reconsideration of ideas that began to surface among American Modern architects in the 1950s and that were developed in Robert Venturi’s 1966 Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture is long overdue. And it is fun to have Charles Jencks, who popularised Venturi’s programme and other notions in the air at the time, championing the development once again. It is time to talk about communication in architecture, the value of context, the culture beyond architecture, the importance of the ordinary, the real potential of technology, and ways to use minimal means for aesthetic effect.
Jayne Merkel

Charles Jencks

Argument: Radical Post-Modernism argument

Radical Post-Modernism heralds, with positive irony, the return of an intense concern with communication in architecture, the commitment to an iconography relevant to our time...

Read on

Radical Post-Modernism heralds, with positive irony, the return of an intense concern with communication in architecture, the commitment to an iconography relevant to our time. But today this must take on added factors, the digital revolution that is now leading a new kind of ornament, and a flattening of taste cultures into many overlapping streams. The emergence of the iconic building in the last ten years shows the new concern for metaphorical buildings alluding to nature and the cosmos – Herzog & de Meuron are typical in this respect – while the algorithmic architecture of FOA and Cecil Balmond characterises the new pattern-making. Pluralism in architecture is now widely accepted, and this means reaching tastes of those who are usually repressed or disregarded by mainstream modernism. The resultant buildings, in a global, layered culture of many streams, are contextual but with a difference. They are not integrated or conformist but designed around “contextual counterpoint,” that is, a rich symphony of contrasting themes.
Charles Jencks

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Simon Thornton 08 Dec 11, 03:52

I disagree with the exhumation of the word 'postmodernism'. The problem with postmodern practice was its adherence to a strict set of limitations defined by Jencks, Venturi et al. which mainly resulted only in the broadening of the scope of valid architectural responses to function, purpose and context. My interest is in embracing make-believe as a starting point for narrative, both as a strategy to include currently excluded vernacular architecture into the 'fold' and at the same time to provide a basis for a liberated high-end 'fiction architecture'. Readers who have found this excellent issue of AD interesting and would like another perspective are welcome to search 'simon thornton fiction architecture blog', where this paradigm is elaborated in terms of a 'creative non-fiction' versus 'fiction' duality .

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Samuel 07 Nov 11, 18:33

Wow Wonderful

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This is the perfect way to break down this ifnormatoin. 15 Oct 11, 02:50

This is the perfect way to break down this ifnormatoin.

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Ah, i see. Well that's not too tircky at all!" 13 Oct 11, 06:01

Ah, i see. Well that's not too tircky at all!"

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