Saturday, February 18, 2012

"The house is a machine for living in" a paradigm of modernist sensibility

Please note: This post is currently being written, read at your own risk

From Towards a New Architecture page 107-109
The airplane is a product of close selection'
The lesson of the airplane lies in the logic which governed the statement of the problem and its realization.
The problem of the house has not yet been stated.
Nevertheless there do exist standards for the dwelling-house.
Machinery contains in itself the factor of economy, which makes for selection.
The house is a machine for living in. . .
. . . There is one profession and one only, namely architecture, in which progress is not considered necessary, where laziness is enthroned, and in which the reference is always to yesterday.
Everywhere else, taking thought for the morrow is almost a fever and brings its inevitable solution : if a man does not move forward he becomes bankrupt. . .

Published 1931, Towards a New Architecture is just as much a reflection of the progressive 'fever' of the age as it is a cause furthering that same progressiveness. What Towards a New Architecture does well is lay out in simple language the progressive outlook or worldview.

It's an outlook with rejects cultural memory in favor of a some disembodied ideal.

It's an outlook which earlier gripped America as anexciting future vista, and later has since become the mundane where every social ethic is reduced down to base animal function.

Some may wonder how can an outlook be both disembodied as well as reduced down to base animal function, because on the face of it they appear to be opposites, but we need look no further than the Cathars who likewise practices the most gross materialism while likewise rejecting cultural memory in favor of some disembodied ideal to see how men can hold both positions simultaneously.

And interestingly enough, the Cathars and the progressive worldview of our own age have much in common, because the the modern progressives are simply the most recent fruition coming out of Descartes and the Protestant revolt.

More to come. . . .

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