November 06, 2011

The Social Consequences of Bad Architecture

Tom Clougherty on "brutalist" architecture:

The trouble with so much architecture from the post-war period is that the state was the client – architects designed housing projects with little or no concern for the people who would actually live in them. The design of housing estates did not reflect the way people lived, worked and played. Rather, it reflected a utopian socialist ideology which central planners wished to impose upon them. Of course, that attempt failed miserably.

Opposition to post-war architecture tends to focus on aesthetic concerns. And, certainly, much of it is appalling[ly] ugly, almost to the point that merely looking at it fills you with despair. But its mostly deeply pernicious effect is surely the way in which it has affected people’s behaviour, by forcing them to live in an environment which is cold, desolate and practically inhuman.

Posted by Dr. Frank at November 6, 2011 11:09 PM | TrackBack