The campaign against degeneracy

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Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

That's true. The glass curtain wall, floor to ceiling, has been overdone. At least FLW's National Life Insurance curtain-walled building wasn't a mere slab of glass.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

ImageImage

ImageImage

ImageImage

© 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH, © 1985 A.D.A. EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd. and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

SDR
Posts: 19776
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Compare to Thom Mayne, San Francisco Federal Building with perforated metal screen. Photo here with all user-operated flaps open:

https://www.schulmanphotography.com/arc ... thom-mayne

(Go either way from subject photo, to see a grand variety of newer towers and other structures.)

S

peterm
Posts: 6209
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Since MrWright wishes to censor some of our comments, I will instead offer those of Mr. Wright:

"Style is a byproduct of the process....To adopt a 'style' as a motive is to put the cart before the horse...."
-In the Cause of Architecture II (1914)

"...architectural values are human values, or they are not valuable....Human values are life giving, not life taking."
The Disappearing City (1932)

jay
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

let's civilly discuss and focus on Wright
There's a modern catchphrase "stick to sports", in which right wingers try to suppress professional athletes and the like anytime an athlete expresses a political opinion.
This is applicable to other fields as well; one will recall when the Dixie Chicks expressed their own political opinions and were endlessly told to "shut up and sing"...
I don't know what the commenter "MrWright"s agenda is, but it's worth noting that the effort to silence another person's political opinion is a political action in itself.
(And if "MrWright" thought that he or she was staying above the fray with their little rant, well, I ain't buying it.)

Related, the newsworthiness of a "Presidential order for uniform style mandates on federal buildings" is very much a topic to be discussed here.
It is relevant to Wright's idealism, his many comments about how architecture can represent the values of a Free Democratic America...
not to mention the relevancy to the professional field of architecture in general.

So yes, let us stick to Wright, which is exactly what everybody here (except "MrWright") was doing.

"Toleration and liberty are the foundation of a great republic" - Frank Lloyd Wright

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

jay wrote: “I don't know what the commenter "MrWright�s agenda is, but it's worth noting that the effort to silence another person's political opinion is a political action in itself.�

So well put. Especially when considering that MrWright apparently has until now been unwilling to share anything here about F LL Wright or the actual subject of the thread, his speaking out as if representing some sort of “silent majority� of Wright Chatters is rich.

Why not just speak as an *individual* and admit to disagreeing with the criticism that some of us have leveled against mandating classicism in architectural design commissions of federal buildings by an overreaching government led by a wannabe monarch?

I stand by my choosing to share this link and start this thread. Wright despised classical revival architecture in 1893 at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition. Over one hundred years later, is he the only one who should be allowed to express disgust?

As for Albert Speers, here are his own words regarding his role as an architect for the Third Reich:

“20 years. Well … that's fair enough. They couldn't have given me a lighter sentence, considering the facts, and I can't complain. I said the sentences must be severe, and I admitted my share of the guilt, so it would be ridiculous if I complained about the punishment.�
To Dr. G. M. Gilbert, after receiving his sentence. Quoted in "Nuremberg Diary" by G. M. Gilbert - History - (1995)

SDR
Posts: 19776
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I imagine that the nation's architects and critics will be speaking up about this matter. In today's San Francisco Chronicle our local architecture/urban design critic speaks about the news.

He reminds us that we are looking at a draft of an executive order, not a final decree.

"The driving force behind the quest for an executive order � whose existence was made public last week by Architectural Record � appears to
be the National Civic Art Society, a small advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that defines its mission as 'advancing the classical tradition
in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts.' "

"At best, the Civic Art Society’s self-appointed design czars are guilty of the same fault they ascribe to modernists � an elitism that views any differing
opinions with disdain. People are aligned with your world view, or they are beneath contempt."


https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/arti ... m=referral

S

jay
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

The tactic of leaking "drafts" or dropping "casual" mentions about highly controversial policy is something often used by this current administration...
The political term is "trial balloon".
Here's the first article that came up on a Google search, which, while being an opinion piece, really just illustrates how the tactic is used for authoritarian purposes.
(We should remember that the president welcomes the portrayal of himself as an authoritarian; it shouldn't be controversial here to plainly state the motive of his actions.)

https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/08/opinions ... index.html

peterm
Posts: 6209
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Yep. They have been doing these preliminary leaks since 2016. Gradually and consistently turning up the heat on the boiling frogs.

History rhymes, doesn’t it?



Hannah Arendt

The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)

“ In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true... The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness. “

SDR
Posts: 19776
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thank you. And while we're watching out for that, we'll want to beware of this, too:

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... nsus-2020/

On Oscar night 2020 we might quote Bette Davis: "Fasten your seatbelts, folks . . ."

S

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

A member of the Facebook group “the Wright Attitude� just shared this post, containing numerous Wright quotes which I think might be relevant to this conversation. One in particular jumped out at me: “I don't build a house without predicting the end of the present social order," Wright said in 1938. "Every building is a missionary."

His entire post:

"The corner window was indicative of an idea conceived earlier in my work that the box was a fascist symbol and the architecture of freedom and democracy needed something besides the box. So I set out to destroy the box as a building. Well, the corner window came in as all the comprehension that was given to that act as the destruction of the box. The light came in where it had never before, vision came out, and you had screens instead of walls. Here, the walls vanished as walls and the box vanished as a box and the corner window went around the world, but the idea of the thing never followed it."

Frank Lloyd Wright intended to create a release of an entire sense of structure by way of organic and democratic principles. That includes designing unique structures which were destructive of a fascist order that Mr. Wright recognized as very oppressive. Fascism is known throughout the world as dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy. Sometimes fascism and anti-fascist debates are referred to unimaginatively as "political crap".

Wright's ambition was to always elevate and uplift the human spirit and American society through architecture, not to confine the civil social order using the symbolic simplicity of fascist boxes.

"I don't build a house without predicting the end of the present social order," Wright said in 1938. "Every building is a missionary."

Into the later years of his life he was inventing a form of "pure optimism." Even in his 90s, he kept his mind open to expanding possibilities... He was not overly focused on the historical continuity of a preserved and conserved experience.

A few here have really misunderstood the reasons for Wright's innovative designs and instead they impose a prohibition on debating Wright's intentions and what Wright truly believed, or in the words of Wright, "the [noble] idea of the thing".

Tom
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Hmm:
Two Italian architects I really like are
Giuseppe Terragni and Giovanni Munzio.
That doesn't make me a fascist.
Last edited by Tom on Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

SDR
Posts: 19776
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

There will always be a ready supply---not overflowing, mind you, but ample---of mechanics, craftsmen and artists (including, and first on the list per
Wright, architects) in any location, ready and more than willing to ply their trade in service to the society if not to themselves. And these men and
women will be hired by whatever person or party needs their skills.

(Even being blacklisted wouldn't stop them, as we learned this week from the recently departed Kirk Douglas . . .)

We needn't necessarily conflate these people with their overlords, in other words---the "politicians" we're forbidden to discuss, among them. Please
don't tar them all with that brush !

Heaven forbid we are all accurately informed and conscious of our own history, bugs and all . . .?

S

Tom
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

I agree with peterm's last post.
Seems odd that discussion on the content of
democracy would be off limits in a forum on FLLW.
I assume EVERYBODY understands that.
The problem is about tone - a musical term.

Also, talk about the relation between art and the form a society takes is inherently limited.
There is no natural intersection between a form of architecture and a form of society.
That will make the discussion difficult too.

At least these are my starting assumptions.

... Love the National Life Insurance project.
Of all the unbuilt projects that's one I'd like
to have seen built.
It would be a great form for large scale housing.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/building-the ... egulations
Last edited by Tom on Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

RA
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:10 pm

Post by RA »

Let's suppose that this administration requests proposals for a building which will be "The Center for Family Values" or even something much less controversial such as a new addition to the library of Congress. What might be the response to the firm/architect that submits such plans?

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