Modernism. The International Style. Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier, etc.
A clean, white world of clean white buildings and glass boxes. Machines for living in. Born of the utopian hopes of early Modernism. Destined to become the opulent apartment blocks and corporate skyscrapers of Chicago capitalism.
Based on a dream of optimised people in an optimised world. You had to be perfect to live in a glass box. And the glass boxes were going to make people better, cleaner, fitter, healthier, more productive, and now this sentence is (tellingly) becoming the lyrics from that Radiohead song. Because that’s where that kind of top-down utopianism ended up; the dream of Modernism became the malaise of late-C20th/C21st modernity.
|Prora, the elephantine Strength Through Joy holiday camp. Nazi Butlins.|
Whatever the admirable radicalism - and there is much admirable radicalism in Modernism - it culminated in a convergence with the Nazi fantasies of order and hygiene (even as the Modernists were hated and driven out by the Nazis) and, in the end, with the corporate capitalist fantasies of perfect and rational utility. The ...