Reading 16 – Kipnis

Understanding the underlying themes evident from the rise of modernism through to post modernism, a critique of the new architecture is both necessary and debatable as to the overall importance to the evolving human ecology. Kipnis’ approach in Towards a New Architecture deems it necessary to expand upon the historical a priori, attributing modernism to an expansion or reaction to the previous regime while post modernism is but a skewed representation of previous architectural arguments. Kipnis calls this general history a “shapeless well of recombinatorial material,” whether that is of any use is not clear. What Kipnis does make clear, however, is his idea of a “cultural progeria,” a retraction from new architecture because of the belief that we may have exhausted all possible forms. Kipnis goes on to suggest that this is not necessarily in line with “the suppositions of post modern combinatorics,” which, while I understand, I only  partially with. Post modernism, while undoubtedly a sole moment amongst the historical a priori, was also undoubtedly affected by the progeria that took place throughout the modern movement. In fact, without that hyper growth, post modernism may have become more of a follow up rather than a severely opposing critique. Kipnis questions where this progeria has brought us to the conclusion of “‘Westernity’ as a cultural experiment.” This may just be a question of generations. It seems that the progeria may have affected the baby boom generation, those that became a product of post modernism, but the 21st century has brought on a whole new slew of forms open to advancement and critique which this new generation can now embrace and critique.

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About jasonsedar

My final year of architecture school at the University of Calgary!
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