Architect: The Return of the Unreal — CCA Architecture Final Reviews

Architect

“This is not just a Postmodern revival,” Boston-based architect Sheila Kennedy, FAIA, pointed out at the final reviews at the California College of the Arts (CCA) last week. “This is the reuse of a very particular movement that employed the techniques of surrealism as a form of social and political critique.”

Though that might be giving the students (and their instructors) a bit more credit for self-awareness than they deserve, it is certainly true that the return of imagery and historical reference in architecture has eschewed -- uckily, as far as I’m concerned -- some of the more dogmatic, self-confident, and systematic excesses that architects displayed during the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of full-blown neoclassicism or neorationalism, claims to be in tune with popular taste (except in the case of 

Though that might be giving the students (and their instructors) a bit more credit for self-awareness than they deserve, it is certainly true that the return of imagery and historical reference in architecture has eschewed -- luckily, as far as I’m concerned -- some of the more dogmatic, self-confident, and systematic excesses that architects displayed during the 1970s and 1980s.

Instead of full-blown neoclassicism or neorationalism, claims to be in tune with popular taste (except in the case of Sam Jacobs), or attempts to revive what is actually an oftentimes invented vernacular, students today are drawn to the weird and, at best, haunting juxtapositions of form and image that made some aspects of Postmodernism such a trenchant critique of the then-dominant forms of Modernism.

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