Response04 : Le Corbusier – Playtime Movie

 Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city.- Le Corbusier

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Charles-Édouard Jeanneret or Le Corbusier was widely considered as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, He is acknowledged with changing the face of urban architecture, bringing it into the technological age. Le Corbusier believed in the perfection of pure geometrics and proportions, his style was minimal, simple, functional and hygienic.

Le Corbusier felt that “ all men have the same needs,” and that a house should be “ a machine for living. ” which he expressed in one of his urban planning work, Plan Voisin in Paris (1925). The city would be no more overcrowded streets and sidewalks, no more untidy neighborhoods; people would live in clean and organized high-rise buildings with their own roof garden.

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 At first when I read Le Corbusier descriptions about his ideal city, it seems like I’m living in a peaceful city without any annoying crowded, unorganized circulation and brutal buildings. It would be nice if the city nowadays would be like this, but after I watched the movie called ‘Playtime’ by Jacques Tati that show us of what would it be like if this ideal city become real. I’ve changed my mind.

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 In the movie the city was full of glass and steel building which is look all the same, humans dressed in grey or beige color walking in predictable straight lines. Everything everyone and everywhere seem to look the same, no excitement, no more what represents the city of Paris except the old French lady selling flowers. The atmosphere was cold and depressed, people are lacking of imagination and motivation.

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Honestly I fell asleep after 20 minutes of the movie since it was very boring and less conversation, it reflected that even in the movie is this bored and how would it be if in the real city? For me I think we, human is a creature that full of desire. We need an excitement, experiences and colorfulness. We cannot live in the giant glass box with black/white things; it limits our imagination.

Last but not least, I think Le Corbusier is dictatorial a little about his belief that human is all the same need and try to organize the city in his own way. But however I still admired his creative mind that try to provide a better living condition to people and his unique raven look.

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Response02 : Ornament and Crime; ADOLF LOOS

“ The modern man who holds the ornament sacred as the useless remains of abundance of epochs long past will immediately recognize the arduous, spoiled, sickness of the modern ornament. No one living on our level of culture these days can create ornament anymore.”- Adolf Loos 

 

After I read the essay “Ornament and Crime” by Adolf Loos I think he try to argues on ornaments that it is not as necessary or unavoidable as people think in the past. Also he declared that they are like trifles, surpluses and just made for fulfillment of aristocrats people. Loos also argues that the ornamented things were the masterpieces and very precious ones, but now in the modern age people has not much aspiration to keep, appreciate or buy them. In my opinion I agree with him but not entirely I think there are ornamented masterpieces that still important and valuable to keep even we are in the modern age that people doesn’t use ornaments as much as used in the past, but they are still relevant.

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 Since I was little my living room in my house was full with Chinese furniture, antique pottery and sculptures. It always made me think that I am living in old Chinese palace all the time. Eventually my living room now is become like a museum, it lost their main function that to welcome the guest and turn to be showing off instead. So I think ornament sometimes can confusing people and obscure the main function of things. Personally I like modern design that use simple color, plain texture and can answer to people needs.

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We can see from nowadays brand that returning the simplicity in daily life to people. For example Muji Brand from Japan that their aim is to provide the customers with fundamental products they need to live busy, modern and urban lifestyle with no unnecessary fills or fancies and must be in affordable price. Which is very make senses for me, I prefer to use product from Muji than other brand because it easy to use, practical and it can show the real function of the product without any details. As a conclusion I think things that contain more ornament become less pure.

Loos, A. Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays, Ariadne Press, 1997. Print.

Response01 : From Bauhaus To Our House; TOM WOLFE

The book “From Bauhaus to Our House” talks about the history background of architecture with critical wordings and an alternative point of view. Tom Wolfe, the writer, focused on the art designing movement that resisted conservative art in 20th century. The writer uses his critical words as a weapon to make a statement and argue that modern architecture which contains mainly of glass, steel and concrete material structure will transform the residences into a factory for living machines.

In my opinion, Tom Wolfe arguments on the architecture world were very negative. He barely knows much about architecture. He refused to listen to others but only his own opinion. I completely disagree with him. He was too attached with old traditional style of architecture that designing houses must be full of fancy details and decorations. But if we look in his perspective I also think that Wolfe is right about Modernism is boring, somehow Wolfe seem to see what will going to happen in first period of 21st century. Glass block building in the city seem almost the same nowadays. Sometimes architect forgot that what is architecture. They becoming the calculator machine that try to generate the most perfection of space for function. Some building seem like the set of order from old master and then added with new material.

Anyways for me, the modern style of Bauhaus is what I appreciate. It’s because modern architecture focuses purely on the function of the design not at its beautiful appearance. Modern architecture at Bauhaus interests was not in decorative details. This is due to the life style of people. Most working people do not care about how luxurious their house would be, function of the house is what matters to them.  The world of architecture needs to step out from the past in order to explore new creative ways of designing. Designing architecture purpose should be to suit the most people. On the contrary, being attached to the past will bring us nowhere.

Last but not least Tom Wolfe gave me an infomation about how Modernism started and how people that doesn’t have architectural knowledge thinks and sees the architeture. I also appreciate the idea of  “Starting from zero”. The way Albers teach his students in Bauhaus school that turning the newspaper into an art piece by using the real properties of paper, folding. I think this inspired me that before design or construct everything you must know the real property or characteristic of material and try to pull out its prominent point.

 

Wolfe, Tom. From Bauhaus to Our House. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1981. Print.