The Difference Between “Cool” and “Great” Architecture
Disclaimer: this post does not reflect my opinions. It is the opinion of a professor at my school, and I’m seeking your opinions as I form my own.
When you look at the avant-garde architecture of today, do you see insightful meaning of it or do you just think it looks cool?
When you see Gehry, do you see a meaning behind the wild curves? or do you see simply a style that looks pretty nifty and is eye-catching?
Do you think that maybe contemporary architecture uses the techniques that modern advertising uses to deceive and captivate and mind-wash consumer society?
The current trends in advertising are:
In other words, brainwashing and deceit.
And creativity is based on:
- New is always better than old
- Breaking the rules = independence
- Order = repression
- Change is good
- Bigger is better
- Difference = individuality
- Never-seen-before = innovation
- Similarity = conformity
- Exaggeration is better than restraint
- Speed + excitement = being alive
- Slow + poignant = being dead
So… is there something wrong with buildings like these?
My professor claims that the avant-garde style of architecture is deceitful, and lacks no meaning or values. For instance, the infamous “Bird’s Nest” of the summer Olympics in China, why is it a nest? Does it have any connection to the actual events happening in the building? Or is it just to look “cool” and eye catching?
And the Jewish Museum:
Which is actually beautiful in the way it displays the horror and violence of the Holocaust. In this building, the violent cuts have meaning. But it doesn’t in these:
Is this avant garde style of architecture really deceitful? Does it really mimic the strategies of advertising? Is it shallow and lacking in meaning and harmony? Does that matter?