Friday, May 1, 2020

Architecture and Social Media

I'd love to get a photo with no car in it sometime. This is from 2017. I have never seen a modern church that was this attractive.

I've become interested in architecture over the last decade or so. There are some great accounts to follow on social media that will fill your feed with beauty.

On the other hand, following these accounts has made me aware that the generational debate over modern architecture continues. There are these camps that advocate for and against modern architecture. Although I have sometimes admired individual examples of modern architecture, I generally think it's been a mistake. There are more bad examples than good, and it's apparent that the modernists are not motivated by beauty, but by other considerations, especially personal fame and legacy. They want to leave their mark, and that is why there are so many experimental building designs that are both independently ugly and clash with the surroundings. They have more in common with graffiti artists than traditional architects or artists.

They also have something in common with research scientists. There is a culture of fame-seeking among architects that reminds me of my too-many-years spent on campus. Most of the scientists I came in contact with seemed preoccupied with name-dropping. They liked science certainly, and believed in their work, but mostly they wanted to leave a legacy and be known for what they did. Same thing with architects.

I suspect most architects are somewhere in the middle, but social media amplifies disagreements because it gives all the camps equal ability to reach a lot of people, even if the camps are small. It's a megaphone for extremism. Observing these people throw bombs at each other on Twitter is entertaining.

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