Monday, March 24, 2008

Lebbeus Woods on Integrity

Some 'light' Monday morning reading: the fourth in Woods' series on the relationship between ethics and aesthetics.

Be sure to read the comments too. For what this seems to lack in hope, it makes up for in poignancy - and is indirectly an inspiration to pick up the challenge where modernism and post-modernism failed:
I agree that the passing of interest in integrity and ethical distinctions marks the end of utopian thought and aspirations, meaning a belief in progress and improving the human condition. These were the ideals of modernism, in response to the deplorable living conditions for many created by industrialization in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Sadly, these ideals were never fully applied by modernists themselves, who got sidetracked in the 20s and 30s by unsympathetic political events, the rise of Fascism and Communism, and World War II, among other things. Modernism failed, not only in architecture (becoming, in the end, elitist), but as an intellectual, political, and ethical movement. Post-modernist thinkers and architects, in reaction, had no belief in progress or ‘making a better world’ but preferred to keep a distance—usually ironic— from such thinking. Perhaps they felt betrayed by the failures of the generation before them, and rejected not only their methods and forms, but also their goals.

No comments: