Postmodernism Chapter 3

Postmodernism Chapter 3 talks about the characteristics of postmodernism and where it fits in. After posing several questions, the author goes on to compare modernism to postmodernism. This comparison he makes is somewhat hesitant because he says that the structure between modernism and postmodernism lies in the ways that they are different. Because of the complexity of modernism as well as the complexity of postmodernism, it is hard to illustrate the relationship between the two. Table 1.1 in the reading lists out vocabulary associated with postmodernism and modernism. When reading the list it is apparent that there is no simple way to compare the two.

Here are some examples from the list:

Modernism: purpose                          Postmodernism: play

Modernism: presence                        Postmodernism: absence

Modernism: design                           Postmodernism: chance

Modernism: type                                Postmodernism: mutant

Modernism: selection                        Postmodernism: combination

That list makes it seem that the two are nothing more than opposites, but what the reading seems to say is that it is a lot more complex than that.

What I found interesting what the author said about modernism and postmodernism as it related to architecture. He explained that a modernist design for a town would be straight forward with no room for change while the postmodernist would characterize a town as uncontrollable. I wouldn’t agree with either of these points of view. As an architect I like to believe that I have the ability to layout, create movement, and plan the perception of a space. However, I also know tat architecture cannot totally control someone. People will make a space their own. People affect architecture just as architecture affects the people.


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