Charles Jencks: Postmodern Classicism & the new synthesis (November 5, 1980)



Charles Jencks begins with a brief history of the International Style and the development of Modernism, arguing that it split into two branches: Postmodernism and Late Modernism. He reviews the critiques of Modernism relating to society, aesthetics, and sustainability.

Jencks defines about what makes a building Postmodern, stressing playful concepts, classical elements, and explorations of unease and disharmony. He cites works by James Stirling, Robert A. M. Stern, Ricado Bofill, Mario Botta, and several Japanese architects.

Jencks defines Postmodern Classicism through semiotics and the classical orders. He also describes the necessity of primitiveness and how mass culture turning Classicism into kitsch propelled the Postmodern movement.

Jencks discusses the evolution of Postmodern Classicism through the 1970s. He talks about Stirling’s Stuttgart museum, and Michael Grave’s Portland Building as prime examples of architectural semiotics, playful site investigations, use of cliches to clarify, and low cost construction.

This video ends abruptly before the talk ends.

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