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Charles Jencks and Postmodernism - Essay Example

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In art, architecture, literature and music, Postmodernism is a word for many developments and stylistic responses to Modernism. Postmodernist architecture is a style which occurred as a reaction to modernism. …
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Charles Jencks and Postmodernism
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"Charles Jencks and Postmodernism"

Download file to see previous pages Postmodernism defined the exaggerated and incessantly revolutionary form of Modernism. For Jencks Postmodernism hybridises Modernism by reweaving the recent modern past and local culture.

Charles Jencks referred to Modernism as to the international style deriving from facts of the new means of construction and satisfactory to a new industrial culture. He also stated that the goal of Modernism was the change of society, both in its social structure and taste. Being an "international" and a "universal" style, this movement proved unwilling to historical and cultural context considerations. Postmodernism, according to him, replaces the shortcomings of Modernism by relating the architecture of a place with the place itself by deriving inspirations from the local construction style and culture of a place.

The Classical explanation of Postmodernism was made by Charles Jencks in 1978. He characterized Postmodernist architecture as "double coding": the mixture of Modern techniques with traditional construction so Postmodern architects could communicate with the society and create buildings that are more relevant to the surroundings as compared to the international style. ...
Post-modernism means the end of a single world view and a resistance to single explanations, a respect for difference and a celebration of the regional, local and place particular peculiarities. Yet in its suffix 'Modern', it still carries the essence of a process which is international and in some senses universal. In this sense it is always hybrid, mixed, ambiguous, and 'double-coded" architecture which results out of the process of Postmodernist thinking.
His theories hold distrust in architecture that 'expressed' through its form; whether function, or feelings & associations: Jencks argues that these expressive forms could give rise to unintended meanings and at times ends up in confusion. For example the form of the Ronchamp chapel designed by Le Corbusier relates itself to that of the hat of a man, a ship and the praying hands of a man or a flying bird. This according to him created confusion. Jencks describes Postmodernism as a movement that is irreducibly multiple, located between the demands of past aesthetics and those of present-day technologies and struggles. He opines that architecture must relate everyday meanings to more important manifestations in terms of architectural functions in a building, be they social, political, religious or cultural.
As described in the book Language of Post-Modern Architecture, the end of Modernism and architecture as social experimentation was epitomised by the blowing up of the St. Louis Pruitt Igoe public housing estate in 1972. In his book Jencks describes this event as a milestone in history that marked the formal death of modernism owing to its failure the experiment in high-rise public housing for low ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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