Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (Museum of Modern Art Papers on Architecture) Paperback – 1 Jan 1984
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A practicing architect discusses the theoretical background of modern architecture.
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Being one of the early "gray" architects, Venturi inspired a movement that eventually became characterized as "Post Modern." His early architectural work left a lot to be desired, since it seems less inspired by the many historical examples he favored, like Frank Furness, in this book and more by the banal trends in contemporary architecture at the time, eventually leading to Learning from Las Vegas (1972), where the concept of a building being a "duck," or a decorated shed, emerged.
This book's most appealing aspect is that it is immediately accessible. You don't have to be an architect to understand where Venturi is coming from, much less a grad student working on a dissertation. Venturi avoids all that senseless jargon that characterized architectural theory at the time and later came to engulf Po-Mo talk as well.
VENTURI WAS ONE OF MY PROFESSORS 55 YEARS AGO!!!!
was the first of a proposed series but, rumour has it that he knocked it out of the park with
volume 1 and no others were published. Can anyone confirm this? I bought this because I
had lost my original first edition and wanted the reference for historical purposes. Is it relevant
today? Student architects may find it stimulating as the basic theories still have legs. The design
paradigms have run their useful courses in most cases.