Modernist architects had similar assumptions which were interpreted differently by other critics. One of the assumptions is that architecture is socially emancipatory and not just one that responds to the needs of society. In other words, architecture should contribute to revolution. They feel that social emancipation should be international and not national or regional. It should be one that responds to the wider international socialism. Their argument that the materials used for construction should represent this novelty is true. Modern life’s aspirations should be reflected in both the material and designs of the buildings. In actual sense, this modern view advocates for conformity of the creative world and the existing realities.
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I believe there are several reasons why modernist architects wanted to bring about change. The world was facing social as well as technological transformation. This was an age of machines. In fact, the twentieth century marked a period when most cities in the West were experiencing remarkable change. There was population explosion in the cities as many people moved from the countryside to the cities. This fast-paced urbanization called for new approaches to architecture. Satisfying the needs of huge populations would not have been possible with expensive means of construction. There was need for more efficient ways of meeting the needs of the growing populations. The functionalist aspect of architectural development arose. That is why cities like Chicago and New York started using metals in erecting tall buildings in response to the rising number of people. There was a concerted urge to move away from the traditional architecture that was quite ornamental.
With machines, cars telephone lines, railway lines, etc. in place, there was need for architecture to adjust to the new developments. Thus, houses could be viewed as machines in which people live. As most modernists suggested, there was need for houses to have pure form, just like machines are designed for efficiency of work. Society appreciates aesthetics that reflects prosperity and progress. I feel that the post-war era made the modernists have a strong urge for social responsibility. The architects wanted to raise the living conditions of the populace.
Architects brought about change by writing extensively about the need to change. Most modern architects gave form and coherence to new architecture through these writings. For instance, Le Corbusier and others shared lots of insights about modern architecture. Through written wok, the information spread the modernist perspective to other architects across the globe.
The modernist architects used movements to change the mindset of most architects from the shackles of tradition. These movements included the Art Nouveau, Expressionism, and constructivism, among others. These movements must have made many architects to view architecture from an entirely different perspective altogether. The movements equally argued that the new machine age required corresponding new forms of architecture. It is against such spirited campaigns that many architects all over the world started to appreciate the need for change. Slender walls bereft of ornament were now being appreciated. Materials such as glass and steel were incorporated into architectural designs. The skyscrapers built with steel and concrete started dominating the skyline of most USA cities.
Reflective Journal 2
The radically different views of the financial services and the City of London
Reading The City of London-High Finance article one can see several views about the financial services expressed. The stage of the article is set at the Royal Exchange. The Royal Exchange is like the stock exchange bourse as we know it today. The presence of many people adds to the booming business that the town offers. These people are not entirely British as it would be expected but a mixture of different nationalities. They have come to trade and probably engage in other activities. This heavy traffic means there is an exchange of goods and services as well as culture. For instance, the author talks of the British walls being adorned d with pyramids of China. There is the outsourcing of goods, migration and high mobility in the city.
From the article, one can tell that the city is a center of financial transactions and trade in general. I am surprised to find out that ambassadors seal the trade deals on behalf of their countries, yet it is expected that they concentrate on politics. Though they also seem to be participating in commerce, there is a suggestion that the beneficiaries of the transactions are few. The city represents class and conflict. Only men of means and merchants transact business. The transactions also seem to be so lopsided that some players benefit more than the rest. The same state of affairs reflected here can be noticed in the world today. Countries have engaged in trade deals that are quite imbalanced. By this, several countries benefit while their valuable resources are auctioned at a pittance. In some cases, the exchanges are not equivalent. Besides prices are fixed by conniving merchants. I feel that though the exchange is supposed to be above board, there are instances where the rates are arbitrary.
On the other hand, the article shows how interdependence works for trade. This is because no country can claim to be entirely independent. This is due to differences in climate, geographical location, etc. The advantages of international commerce are further highlighted. There is a larger market from where goods can be sourced and sold. Also, employment opportunities for the producing nations are created. The only paradox is that the farm workers continue laboring on the farms with merchants becoming even richer. In other words, the trade does not seal the income gaps that exist in the whole chain of supply.
The city life as depicted in the article shows the ever-evolving spatial restructuring. We are told the global trade is taking place in a small building. This is where decisions that influence lots of people are being reached. This perhaps reflects what is now happening in the architectural world today. People value economy of space. Due to the explosion of population in the main towns and cities of the world, there has been the need to have buildings that are responsive to the ever-evolving demands of the population. The cultural exchange could be noted when the author talked of walls being adorned with Chinese art. This means that the city had the ornamental aspect, unlike today where modern architecture does not value the ornamental tradition.
The article clearly shows how the composition of cities defines their uniqueness. The uniqueness creates an exotic experience for the visitors. Perhaps it could be these experiences that have advanced the modernist’s view of the world as a global village. This is because people carry with the experiences they got elsewhere. In most cases, many people implement those experiences.