Create an Awareness and Understanding of the Debates that Surround Modernism and Modern Architecture: Interior Architecture and Design Essay, BCU, Malaysia

University Birmingham City University (BCU)
Subject Interior Architecture and Design

The Brief

This essay is meant to create an awareness and understanding of the debates that surround Modernism and Modern Architecture. Your essay must be based on one of the possible five questions you will find below. Your essay should answer the question by developing analyses to substantiate your argument or stand regarding your chosen issue or question. Your analysis should cover relevant social, political, cultural, or economic contexts relating to your chosen question, building, or architect. You may view Robert Hughes’ documentary “Trouble in Utopia” to understand the arguments relating to modern architecture.

The choice of the building(s) or architect(s) should help prove your stand in the debate. The essay IS NOT a purely descriptive exercise (although some descriptive element is inevitable) but must show evidence of critical and analytical engagement. It should be checked thoroughly for mechanical errors (spelling, sentence construction, etc.) since these can affect the grade and it should include substantial analysis of visual material as well the surrounding context(s) which an inter-disciplinary essay requires.

The essay must be based on one of the following questions:

1. Modernists and Modern Architects were concerned with creating a Utopian City, and therefore a Utopian society. However, their works often failed to achieve this objective because they alienated the society it was designed for. Using relevant example(s), your analysis should strive to prove or disprove the statement
above.

2. Adolf Loos published Ornament and Crime in 1912, where he explained his theories about contemporary architecture, and the use and abuse of decoration in history. Your essay should attempt to argue the
impact (either positive or negative) of the ideology on the modern built environment.

3. “Less is More”, and “Form Follows Function” are examples of the tenets held by Modernists and Modern Architects. Argue the merits OR demerits of these tenets on how they have impacted buildings and the built environment we have today.

4. Modernism and Modernist believed in the rejection of history and tradition; and buildings should be rational, austere, and functional. Your essay should argue, through the analysis of specific buildings, whether this approach had a positive or negative impact on society at that time.

5. New materials promoted during Modernism such as steel, glass, and reinforced concrete revolutionized how buildings were built and shaped. By using relevant examples, discuss the proliferation of such materials on the buildings and how they eventually shaped global architecture.

I agree with modernism and the modernist revolution, this approach has a positive impact on society at that time.

Utilized new materials for building and advanced technology. to improve human quality of lifestyle by rejecting the working class.

Modernism is a global architecture and design movement that emerged in the 1920s as a response to accelerated industrialization and social changes. Pursuing order and universals in architecture, modernism utilized new materials and advanced technology and rejected old, traditional, historical ideas and styles, and ornamentation. Modernism emphasized function, simplicity, and rationality, and created new forms of expression with a new aesthetic.

This new aesthetic resulted in modern buildings characterized by clean lines, simple geometric shapes, pure cubic forms, ribbon windows, flat roofs, and functional, flexible open interior spaces with plainly exposed structures to make building more rational and can improve the human quality of lifestyle. Not controlled by the working class.

Some of the goals of modernism include; rejecting tradition and discovering or making art, a hierarchical system of organizing works of music, and redefining art. Other modernists, especially those involved in the design, had more views that were pragmatic (dealing with things in a way that is based on practice). The modern design of houses, furniture, and utensils, helped hasten work. Horses were replaced with cars.

Modernism has gone far across the globe, giving birth or rise to new advanced technologies which have helped in human society. In Nigeria today, certain things have been produced which has helped in so many ways. For example, in the transport sector; in rural areas, for instance, bicycles have been produced. This has helped so many individuals who do not have efficient finance to purchase cars and also it has helped reduce stress. People living in urban areas now use cars, aeroplanes, and ships as a means of transporting themselves to various places. During one’s leisure time, he or she could visit the cinema to watch movies. The internet has made it easy for individuals to get information right at their doorsteps.

In some fields, the effect of modernism has remained more persistent than in others. More cities have made a break from the past, some of the capital cities have museums devoted to modern art. Examples include; the Museum of modern art in New York, Tate Modern in London, and the centre of Pompidou in Paris which has been seen as a development within modern society.

Architecture has changed leaving behind the unnecessary ornamentation of the past; it has produced the best innovations which have made life better, faster, and more enjoyable. It has also given us the illusion of life. If not for modernism, some underdeveloped countries would have remained isolated.

Why do we need to be rational and functional?

Show the modern building how to improve lifestyle and solve their previous problem.

The functional building planning – private space =The Narkomfin Building in Moscow (1928-29): a Built Experiment on Everyday Life The Narkomfin Building (Dom Narkomfin) in Moscow was designed by Moisei Ginzburg and the the the Ignatii Milinis in 1928 to host collective housing for employees of the Narodnyo Kommissariat Finance.  ‎The Narkomfin building as reality · ‎Modern status · Collective living

Completed in 1932, the Narkomfin is one of the few built architectural works responding to the constructivist aim of reinventing the everyday life of people, (but in Russian), through typologically experimental buildings that embodied new Socialist ideals.

Architects of the 1920s had to face the social reality of an overcrowded socialist city: any single-family apartment unit with more than one room would eventually be converted into a multi-family house.

The main principle behind the conception of the building is the collectivization of all the areas that corresponded to collective functions. Reading, cooking, raising children, and doing sport, all are functions conceptually removed from the traditional -bourgeois- apartment, and relocated within a glazed, collective volume hosting communal kindergartens, kitchens, libraries, and gymnasiums. The upper roof would also work as a communal recreative space.

The individual spaces, eg. rooms for sleeping, washrooms, and toilets, as well as study and individual research areas, are, instead, hosted in a long block with ribbon windows. The windows, here, open widely towards the exterior natural setting, implicitly questioning the closed and interior nature of a “room”.The two six-story-high compounds, one destined for individual activities and the other for collective ones, are connected by a covered bridge and an exterior communal garden.

The duplex flats were divided into two types, the K Types which still included a surface for children and cooking, and the F Types, where all the communal functions, located outside of the apartments, implied that all children should be raised collectively to contrast patriarchial relationships. The transformation of cooking into a communal activity would also allow women to be freed from household responsibilities and question the privatization of couple relationships.

The designer’s experimental buildings embodied new Socialist ideals.
( Improve the quality of lifestyle and socialization – activities area, private area, communal ) This also improves the human working class – Everyone should be treated well and need a comfortable living environment. Modernism and Modernist believed in the rejection of history and tradition is also fight for freedom not under control by the traditional rules.

In this Narkomfin Building project, the architect also tries to use the modern buildings characteristic/ principle to build a functional and rational building. Beginning of the modern building contract, it had a lot of problems with the material and also build problems.

This apartment block, designed for high-rank employees at the Commissariat of Finance (shortened to Narkomfin) was an opportunity for Ginzburg to try out many of the theories advanced by the Constructivist OSA group between 1926 and 1930 on architectural form and collective living. He broke the tradition and history to utilise new materials and advanced technology. It means to improve the human lifestyle had more views that were pragmatic. Although this building is Conceived as a “transitional type of experimental house”.

After this building, they also realize some problems with the building and will be improved. For example installation matters, the material, the living type, the nature, and others. In history, this building has also helped citizens. It is a great beginning for modern buildings.

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