response to readings

As we all know, we are living now in a developing era, technological innovations are witnessed on a daily basis. Thus, allowing social and cultural transformation. This lead to the need of finding new ways of understanding, to deal with these changes.

Mark Taylor justifies the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 as a shift from an industrial to an information society, due to the technological developments that had a great impact. Taylor explains the scope as a shift from a world structured by grid to a world organized like networks. He also differentiates the effect of the Cold War “division” and that of globalization “integration”. But as web link and relate, defining connections in which nobody is in control, and as those connections grow, everything is brought to the edge of chaos (moment of complexity).Taylor continues: “poised between too much and too little order, the moment of complexity is the medium in which network culture is emerging”.
Taylor talks about Le Corbusier as he introduced the grid to architecture, and talked about the importance of geometry in his 1924 manifesto. Le Corbusier also emphasized the straight line and grid in contemporary cities, and that modern cities are made by removing everything that is natural and pre-modern and thus starting from scratch. As talking about the industrial era, Taylor continues to talk about the relation between production and consumption.
He then talks about Mies Van der Rohe as he was devoted to the logic of the grid. The grid is shown in his work, simple, elegant, and used grid. In Mies opinion, “architecture has a little or nothing to do with the invention of interesting forms or with personal inclinations. Postmodern architects rediscovered the expressive and symbolic value of architectural elements and forms that had been evolved through centuries of building. All of these that had been abandoned by the modern movement. They sought meaning and expression in the use of building techniques, forms, and stylistic references. One of the famous postmodern architects is Robert Venturi that Taylor talked about. He rejects in a statement of his the black or white world view of modernism, by saying “black and white and sometimes gray”. He was the forefront of this movement. He published a book ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ it drew from the entire history of architecture, both high style and vernacular, both historic and modern. The move away from modernism’s functionalism is well illustrated by Venturi’s adaption of Mies van der Rohe’s famous maxim “less is more” to “less is bore”. In his architecture he sought to bring back ornament because of its necessity.
Taylor says that Venturi replaced pure forms and structures with images and signs drawn from popular media and culture. Taylor continues to talk about the difference between Venturi and Frank Ghery (another postmodern architecture), as he say that Ghery was able to find and explore the riot of forms, while Venturi wasn’t able to translate his theories into practice.
Andrea Branzi talks about the crisis facing architecture these days as a result of modifications in the mechanism of cultural production and of urban function itself. The concept of culture itself is changing , as for the role of the architect in this era, where the quality that we ask of the city today has nothing to do with form or composition, but only with the quality of social services and the market, Branzi continues.

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