quondam times

2006.05.27 11.27

2015.09.08 Note to self: start designing architecture that is simultaneously decadent and non-decadent.

almost; a little too much excess

2015.09.08 16:34
Architecture of Decadence
2000.02.03 15:08
austerity = extreme assimilation?
In Hugh Pearman's piece on the New Art Gallery in Walsall, he begins with:
"If you could distill the essence of pure modern architecture, and remove all traces of the usual compromises and cut corners and clumsy details and flash populist moves, then you would get a strange, unsettling, austere, but rather beautiful building."
This sentence well describes what I mean by an architecture of extreme assimilation. Assimilation in physiological terms means the absorption of nutrients, and this corporal operation occurs primarily within the intestines. The final stage of assimilation is then in the large intestines where all moisture is absorbed, and them comes the purge.
Modernist Purism and now the New Austerity seem to work toward manifesting an architecture where all the essentials have been absorbed to the extreme, i.e., to the purge of anything extraneous.
Hugh (in his last post) also mentions possible forthcoming architectural 'revivals'. Could not the New Austerity be a Purism revival? (Seeing the interior shot of the Walsall gallery also reminded me of the interior court of Kahn's Mellon Art Gallery, New Haven. I see that building, as well as many other Kahn buildings, as 'embodiments' of a 'new' austerity, of an assimilating purge.)
Perhaps one of the drawbacks of the 'being-there-right-as-it-happens-history' of today's culture is that the sense of continuum is no longer as evident as it was in former times. With everything "new(s)' being automatically understood as 'of this very moment', the sight of 'events' being part of a much larger continuum is easily lost. I have a feeling that a 'style' like Purism(/New Austerity) is going to be part of 'international' architecture (and culture) for a few more centuries. It's already proved itself durable for almost a century, hasn't it?

2015.09.08 17:15
Architecture of Decadence
The OP asked: Also, can a 21st century architect/designer operate outside the realm of decadence, or is architecture by its nature a luxury?
My answer was: start designing architecture that is simultaneously decadent and non-decadent, and in so answering I offered a variety of reasons why.

2015.09.08 17:39
Architecture of Decadence
Everything I posted above is germane to the topic of this thread, starting with a description of a very extreme decadent architecture to relating non-decadent architecture to modernist Purism.

2015.09.09 15:04
Architecture of Decadence
Is architecture really "for the most part, also degenerate and decadent?" I don't think so. For the most part, it's just plain mediocre.

2015.09.09 16:52
Architecture of Decadence
It may be almost impossible for you, Gregory, to tell the difference between mediocre and degenerate/decadent, but it certainly isn't impossible for me to tell the difference. First off, degenerate/decadent is an extreme situation, and relatively rare. There's no rarity to the mediocre, and the only thing extreme about it is its overwhelming abundance.

2015.09.09 18:19
Architecture of Decadence
An average Somalian may find an 1800ft2 house opulent, but not necessarily decadent. They may even desire it. I'm not sure that all desires are automatically decadent.
Non-decadent is not the polar opposite of decadent, because non-decadence is not an extreme situation. Non-decadence is more just being in the middle range. You could say that hermitic austerity is the polar opposite of decadence, but non-decadence is not necessarily hermitic austerity. Decadence and hermitic austerity are extreme situations; non-decadence is not an extreme situation.

2015.09.09 18:46
Architecture of Decadence
In the second post, anonitect confused the situation when offering the definitions of decadent by not mentioning the distinction between the adjective decadent and the noun decadent.
1.characterized by or reflecting a state of moral or cultural decline.
synonyms: dissolute dissipated degenerate corrupt depraved sinful
1.a person who is luxuriously self-indulgent.
Therefore, it is incorrect to regard decadent architecture as luxuriously self-indulgent. Correctly, decadent architecture is dissolute, dissipated, degenerate, corrupt, depraved, sinful, etc.

2015.09.09 19:00
Architecture of Decadence
...how exactly is hermitic austerity something more meaningful or even ideal? I'm not convinced that replacing one extreme situation with another extreme situation is automatically a meaningful solution.
Personally, I'm a glutton for (living) space. I don't have a lot of it now, but I used to. And, although I had lots of space, it was all sparsely furnished. The two extremes were kind of combined; I very much enjoyed it that way.

2015.09.10 13:03
Architecture of Decadence
I'm having no difficulty at all in understanding what's going on here. I see very clearly that you (and others) are all over the place as to what "the point of this thread" is.
The thread is titled "Architecture of Decadence" yet such architecture is not addressed at all. You ask, "Can anyone think of any examples of non-decadent architecture? I'm looking for examples from past or present," which, in turn, can be just about any architecture that is not decadent. Then you also ask, "can a 21st century architect/designer operate outside the realm of decadence, or is architecture by its nature a luxury?" Does this mean that you think all 21st century architects/designer automatically work within the realm of decadence? And, again, can you at least address what this "realm of decadence" is? And how exactly is the nature of architecture a luxury?
My posts above actually addressed the various complexities of the opening post, but, according to some other posters, that ruined this thread--I suppose because I'm interested in some kind of middle ground, instead of pretending to be something I'm not.

2015.09.10 21:19
Architecture of Decadence
Quondam - a virtual museum of architecture is completely immaterial and completely free, with no revenue generation and very inexpensively sustained, non-decadent and decadent even.




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