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Critical paper , on a quote - Essay Example

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Th engineer is th hero of our age," stated th German architect and product designer Peter Behrens in th early 1900s. Behrens was one of th forerunners of modernism. Upon being appointed chief architect and designer at th large electrical appliances firm AEG, he promised to work toward th "most intimate union possible between art and industry"…
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Behrens seems to have influenced Kahn's design for th Ford Highland Park factory. In France, Auguste Choisy, Auguste Perret, and Tony Garnier revolted against th eclecticism of nineteenth-century architectural practice, proposing instead to apply classical geometry and clarity to th new building materials so as to achieve structural coherence. French architects were th world pioneers in th use of reinforced concrete made with cement--a new compound patented in 1824 and industrially produced after 1845. Othr similar ideas, trends, and suggestions to follow th new spirit of technology and engineering were also emerging elsewhere in Europe at this time. One could argue that it was not surprising that thse radical avant-garde modernists would engage in colorful rhetoric so as to liberate thmselves from th chains of tradition, bolster thir creativity, and attract attention, but thre was much more than creative thirst or rhetorical fluff in modernism. Th avant-garde modernists not only glorified th beauty of industry and th mechanical in thir writings and architectural works but also endorsed and used th new scientific methods of labor management and organization originally developed in th United States at th turn of th century. Th similarities between th techniques used by th scientific managers and by th avant-garde modernists are stunning--and troubling.
(Adler, P. S. and Winograd, T. A, 55-67)

European modernism did not arrive at an entirely novel approach to architecture and design until th 1920s, with th Bauhaus in Germany, Constructivism in th Soviet Union, Rationalism in Italy, and Purism in France. It was at this point that European architects made thir revolutionary reinterpretation of scientific management in aesthtic terms. Walter Gropius, th founder of th Bauhaus school of art and architecture in Germany, was a firm believer in scientific management methods and became one of th most influential architects of th twentieth century. He wished to formulate a new thory of architecture and to develop "practical designs for present-day goods" that could be mass-produced. As director, Gropius managed to attract a dream team of artists to th school, including Mies van der Rohe, Kandinsky, and Klee, among othrs. He and his colleagues designed industrial and no industrial buildings, decorated interiors, and collaborated with many German manufacturing firms on product design. (Adler, P. S. and Winograd, T. A, 55-67)
As a result of German influence, th Russian arts and crafts movement had been toying with th artistic possibilities of mass production since th turn of th century. While th Bolshevik Revolution spurred a myriad of competing avant-garde artistic movements, Constructivism quickly gained sway over its alternatives, absorbing such important artistic trends as Product ional Art, Projectionist, and Rationalism. Th First Working Group of Constructivists was created in 1921 within th Institute of Artistic Culture. Th institute's role was to study th practical aspects of artistic activity in production. Engineers lectured thre regularly. (Baber, 66-78) Th constructivists proposed th ideals of th "artist-constructor" and th ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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