Category Archives: modernism

Mixing Politics with (dis)Pleasure: Patrick Geddes, Architecture, Evolution and the New Right

The American right’s current infatuation with the writings of Ayn Rand raises, once again, the Medusa’s head of Malthusian “social Darwinism.”  Rand’s writings themselves are an odd conflation of Emersonian self-determination and social-Darwinist “principles” (if they can be considered such), … Continue reading

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Architectural Cyborgs – Nanotechnology and the Potential for Living Architecture

The real destiny of the machine [is] to merge itself with natural organisms. –       Jack Burnham, Beyond Modern Sculpture, 1968 Prelude: In 1928, R. Buckminster Fuller presented the design for his Dymaxion House to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, biology, Buckminster Fuller, cybernetics, ecological design, ecology, environmental design, environmentalism, Geodesics, infrastructure, modernism, nanotechnology, organicism, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Domes, Films and Toys: The Role of Education in the Works of Bucky Fuller and Charles and Ray Eames

In Architecture or Techno-utopia:  Politics After Modernism, Felicity Scott maps the migration of military technologies into the popular imagination, focusing specifically on how these technologies became potent tools for the counterculture of the 1960s.  Not surprisingly, her lens is focused … Continue reading

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Buffalo Grain Elevators – The Future That Could Have Been; The Past That Is Disappearing

For whatever reason, whether it was because they were more interested in the systems of abstraction, purism and essentialism that were being developed in the arts at the time, or because the technical and cultural conditions of their era were … Continue reading

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Buffalo in Detail – Decoration and Abstraction: A Photo Essay

The city of Buffalo was woven into the discourse of Modernist architecture when Walter Gropius published images of its daylight factories and grain elevators in the Jahrbuch in 1913.  In this publication, these buildings were presented as examples of a … Continue reading

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Provocation 2: Resurrecting the Form Follows Function Bugbear

Disillusionment with the modernist techno-utopian, deterministic paradigm of architectural design, embodied most famously in the dictum, “Form Follows Function,” came quickly on the heals of modernity’s most aberrant manifestations – the atomic bomb and the systematic genocide of Nazi Germany.  … Continue reading

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The Devil is in the Details – Buffalo Downtown

The relationship between architecture and photography has always been a complicated one.  Early modernists, like Walter Gropius and Erich Mendelsohn, quickly grasped the value of photography, and the mass dissemination of photographic reproductions through popular media, as a means for … Continue reading

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