Essay on The Modernism Of The Twentieth Century

Essay on The Modernism Of The Twentieth Century

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The categorization of architecture in the twentieth century has been an ongoing process
that relies, to a certain extent, on the subjective input of the classifier. Post-modernism in
particular has only one definite classification; it is the movement of architecture that emerged
following the Modernism of Europe and the International Style of the world. This literal
definition is not only an implication of its chronological order in architectural history, but the
notion of post-modernism itself depicts the twentieth century movement as a complete rejection
of Modernist architecture. The era of definite guidelines and abandonment of meaning in
architecture during a time when urban advancement had climbed to its peak was eventually
rejected and displaced with the return of a genuinely evocative form of architecture—one that
embraced human nature and its endless connections to metaphysics rather than the former
movement which embraced the physical form of urban fabric. Post-modernism is the reemergence
of symbolic representation and connotations that signify the form of a building,
where rules themselves are abandoned and the freedom to express meaning in architecture is
celebrated. It is a movement that embraces the architecture of today as a vibrant dismissal of the
bleak, conformed period of Modernism that thrived in the twentieth century.
The rejection of symbols, meaning, and metaphysics in Modern architecture was a
primary theme that motivated post-modernists to evolve the International Style into something
with more human and spiritual involvement. The International Style in America, what was
Nisar 2
known as the Modern movement in Europe, was “sleek, machine-like, and unornamented,
converged with such technologies as the ste...


... middle of paper ...


...y‟s architecture.
Post-modernism provides a definition for itself simply by being the opposing end to
Modernism and the International Style of the twentieth century. The return of meaning and
symbolic dimensions in architecture that provide significance to the building is one of the
essential themes of the movement that Modern architecture chose to ignore. In turn, the rules and
limitations of Modernism were abandoned for the freedom to evoke meaning in buildings
through any method that was most effective, from symbols to storytelling to atmosphere—postmodernism
is a style that breaks down the boundaries of its former movement. Retrospectively,
the all-encompassing themes of post-modernism are apparent in buildings from the end of the
twentieth century to the present day. Indeed, it is easy to observe that the architecture of postmodernism
is the architecture of now.

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