Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quote: 'Leitbild for Architects'

"After the explicitly defined spatiality of postmodernism and deconstructivism, it looks as if the -decades-old - ideal of boundless and undefined space is set to become the main Leitbild for architects. The boundless space is no dangerous wilderness or frightening emptiness, but rather a controlled vacuum, for if there is one thing that characterizes this age it is total control. The undefined space is not an emptiness but a safe container, a flexible shell.
From a strictly art-historical perspective, the rise of such notions as undefinedness, boundlessness and neutrality can be seen as a reaction to the ruling tendency of the preceding, postmodern, period. Yet it is also possible to look outside architecture for an explanation for changes within the architectural domain. The first thing that to present itself is the complex of phenomena collectively known as 'globalization'. Inevitably, increased mobility and telecommunications and the rise of new media, all of which have been ascribed a major role a major role in the globalization process, also affect architecture and urban planning in that they alter our experience of time and - especially relevant in this context - space. Although cause and effect have become inextricably entangled in discussions about globalization, so that it is difficult to say precisely what its effects are, international interrelatedness and the emergence of worldwide networks in an ephemeral cyberspace have undoubtedly changed our perception of the world. As a consequence, the world, especially for the inhabitants of the affluent northern hemisphere, has become both smaller and larger. Smaller, because everything is, if not in reality then electronically, closer; larger, because thanks to telecommunications, the rising tide of information and ever-increasing mobility, a larger portion of the world is one way or another familiar, seems familiar or is assumed to be familiar."
(Hans Ibelings, Supermodernism - Architecture in the Age of Globalization, p.62,64)

1 comment:

  1. Here I am understanding 'Leitbild' to mean mission statement for architects. This said it is horrible to contemplate a reality that is based on the encouragement of neutrality and boundlessness. In my opinion boundaries are needed for everything. Control is an illusion and if the author wishes to suggest that control is achieved by being neutral or without position then it is clear that this is a road for disaster as there are many ready to provide positions for those willing to abdicate their own.
    Nature abhors a vacuum and will always fill it in.