Mies van der Rohe skyscraper

Sean Griffiths, founder of Fashion Architecture Taste (FAT), at a lecture tonight argued that architecture no longer serves to its people the kind of moral attitudes that it once did with baroque or gothic structures. Those structures were to help scare people into the confines of what they were built for (I am primarily speaking of religion). I think the idea that this doesn’t exist anymore is false. I think architecture has continued to have this role ever since that time period. I recall a lecture about the darkness and light of architecture over the past 100 years that i attended a few months ago that tried to relate the mass commercialism of current architecture to commercialism itself… only more direct than most would like to admit. London and much of Europe during the 1930s was a drizzly time of negativity and much of this was translated into everyday architecture of the time. The european world was in mourning so were it’s buildings. The color of choice in london buildings became black, literally. Meis designed the frankfurterstraße building which i think is a great example of this mourning architecture. But more recent architecture is typically that of airiness and bright. Almost a sign of happiness. Perhaps this is to create a sort of happiness into the people of the culture… and I would almost argue that much of it is nothing more than a ploy of pure capitalism and just a way to help fuel the people to “buy buy buy!”

i believe architecture continues to convey morality to people…. similar to architecture of Baroque and Gothic periods.

About pettydesign

James Petty is an American architect experiencing and contributing to the Yale School of Architecture.