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“Prospects for a Critical Regionalism” by Kenneth Frampton: The Concept of Universalization Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 20th, 2022

In this article, the author argues against the concept of universalization. He claims that it destroys traditional cultures that are the basis of mankind. Universalization is a single world civilization that dilutes the cultural resources upon which great traditional civilizations are anchored (Mirjana, 2006). This is presently expressed through movies, slot machines, aluminum or plastic atrocities, and language propaganda. Frampton blames this emerging subculture on mankind’s obsession with consumerism. The primary objective of critical regionalism was to help in the identification of present-day regional schools that serve and represent the limited constituencies upon which they are grounded (Frampton, 1983). Critical regional expression emerges because of two pre-conditions. These include a strong desire to realize an identity and sufficient prosperity.

To this end, the author stresses the necessity of differentiating critical regionalism from the simplistic evocation of an ironic or sentimental vernacular. However, the author maintains that Critical Regionalism can be expressed through dialects. On its own, it aims to deconstruct universal modernism concerning images and values that are cultivated locally, even as it attempts to change autochthonous elements through paradigms sourced from foreign foundations. The author maintains that the continents of America and Europe are the epicenters of Critical Regionalism fissures. He highlights the careers of specific architects and artists drawn from the two regions and tries to relate their works to the theory of Critical Regionalism. Examples of such architects include J. A. Coderch, Martorell, Bohigas, Mackay, Raimund Abraham, and Luis Barragan (Frampton, 1983). These artists placed a lot of focus on the regionality of their works. However, the author argues that even though this regionalism approach is liberating because of its freedom of expression, it cannot be sustained.

References

Frampton, K. (1983). Prospects for a Critical Regionalism. Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal, 468-491.

Mirjana Lozanovska, ‘Mistresses and Others: The Body as Subject in Architectural Discourse’, Interstices: journal of architecture and related arts, 7(2006): 66-75.

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IvyPanda. "“Prospects for a Critical Regionalism” by Kenneth Frampton: The Concept of Universalization." July 20, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/prospects-for-a-critical-regionalism-by-kenneth-frampton-the-concept-of-universalization/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "“Prospects for a Critical Regionalism” by Kenneth Frampton: The Concept of Universalization." July 20, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/prospects-for-a-critical-regionalism-by-kenneth-frampton-the-concept-of-universalization/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) '“Prospects for a Critical Regionalism” by Kenneth Frampton: The Concept of Universalization'. 20 July.

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