Is mid century modern done?

The golden age of American Architecture/Design post WW2 , has it now become unpopular with the globalist view of architecture taught in architecture schools?

Aug 27, 18 5:21 pm

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I don't know if I'd call it the golden age of American Architure, or that I'd agree that architecture schools as a whole teach "a globalist view"...

But, other than a few niche projects, yes it is done.

The more interesting question is: Why shouldn't it be done?

Aug 27, 18 5:29 pm
Non Sequitur
Are we done with exceptionally vague one box fits all rationalization of post ww2 architecture in order to answer whatever flavour du jour social “question”?

I guess not.
Aug 27, 18 5:31 pm

They teach architecture in architecture schools?

Aug 27, 18 6:11 pm

Mid-Century Modern is not done. Neither is FLW Prairie style. Both are being reinterpreted today very successfully. Some genres, like Post-modernism, Brutalism, Deconstructionism, and Parametricism are as dead as the parrot in the Monty Python skit.

Aug 27, 18 6:22 pm
Featured Comment

Unlike the Norwegian Blue, Post-modernism, Brutalism, Deconstructionism, and Parametricism do not have lovely plumage.

I think we have moved beyond Mid Century Modern, is it still influential?, yes, but would a contemporary Mid Century Modern building meet the needs of a modern tenant?  

Your comment implies that the Americans are not steering the design of architecture since the mid century modernist, this is simply not true, most of the tallest buildings in the world are products of American firms. American firms consistently win major commissions around the globe and each firm's design ethos is apparent despite adapting to regional and cultural influences.  Most of the globally successful European architects find it necessary to locate a significant branch office in the US and that is probably a result of our global dominance of architecture and the allied engineering practices that go along with it.  This American dominance is hard to trace as we no longer hold onto a singular architectural dogma but we in the US are still doing significant architectural works but there is no longer two or three styles that conform to what we might easily identify as a movement.

The globalist view in architecture schools is also not something that is universal and varies regionally and even from school to school. I think we have a much more diverse idea of what architecture will be and that is probably a good thing except for the academics who are looking for a convenient label to apply to what is going on today in architecture. 

Just my thoughts

Over and OUT

Peter N

Aug 27, 18 6:38 pm

You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. 

But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say : “ This is beautiful.” That is Architecture. Art enters in. 

My house is practical. I thank you, as I might thank Railway engineers, or the Telephone service. You have not touched my heart. But suppose that walls rise towards heaven in such a way that I am moved. I perceive your intentions. Your mood has been gentle, brutal, charming or noble. The stones you have erected tell me so. You fix me to the place and my eyes regard it. They behold something which expresses a thought. A thought which reveals itself without word or sound, but solely by means of shapes which stand in a certain relationship to one another. These shapes are such that they are clearly revealed in light. The relationships between them have not necessarily any reference to what is practical or descriptive. They are a mathematical creation of your mind. They are the language of Architecture. By the use of raw materials and starting from conditions more or less utilitarian, you have established certain relationships which have aroused my emotions. This is Architecture.

Le Corbusier

Aug 27, 18 6:58 pm
Featured Comment

I love the lazy posts whose authors can't even bother to formulate a coherent question.

I'll go next: "Something something sustainable something ephemeral prototype something blerg?"

Aug 27, 18 6:58 pm

mid century modern will never be 'done.'

Aug 27, 18 7:50 pm

It must be done. Architecture must be "of its time" to be valid. It's not 1952.

^ From a guy who does traditional houses, LOL.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Mr. Jaffe

Exactly. You guys are so easy... :)


Mid-Century Modern is so 1950s.

Aug 28, 18 10:21 am

2050 is also mid-century. it's ahead of it's time.


Mid-Century Something.


My partner & I looked at an excellent Mid-Century home last weekend. We decided to pass on it - not the right neighborhood - but boy was it fun to poke around!

That said if we'd bought it, I'd have given it a full Northwestern makeover.

Aug 28, 18 11:32 am

Which is "done"?

Aug 28, 18 11:35 am

Well this is called 'selective curation of memories'. You can make a case for how awesome 90s grudge music was by playing a few objectively good tunes in that genre. But you also have to ignore oceans of absolute drab that came out of that period as well. Mid century modern furniture has had a revival and has been cool for more than a decade now. But back in the early 90s I remember curbs full of that stuff. People just wanted to junk their uggo 70s furniture. And a lot of it was copy of a copy of a copy. Just ugly stuff. Mid century modern architecture never made a comeback like that purely because the aesthetic can not meet the modern energy codes.

Non Sequitur

90'S GRUDGE WAS THE HIGHEST POINT IN MUSIC HISTORY! BLASPHEMY! caps not intended... but cadding, and I'm too lazy. Also, I present to you my Ten-Club membership to support my initial statement above.


Of course it's selective. Just like every image posted by anyone anywhere

There was bad mid-cen-mod, and there's beautiful work now, of course. But "done"?  The good stuff still inspires a lot of folks, both architects and normal people, I believe.


It's not good because it's old, It's old because it was good.


To me, mid century modern architecture was always about slender elegance. You just can't recreate it with modern palette. Everything is chunkier now. Even just using insulated glass gives it a completely different read. Even California has energy codes eliminating the most energy wasteful assemblies. Mid Century Modern was a style, not an ideology, and the style has evolved into something else.


^ Well-put. Proportion was key, and it seems impossible to accomplish that anymore. Not in wood, anyway.

wurdan freo

It's "Grunge" you lames...


Maybe we are talking about Grudge music style that only existed in Canada, ok? Not everything revolves around you Donnie.

Non Sequitur

yeah, typed that one too fast. I'll show myself out.


2nd building reminds me of Alien...I don't even dislike it that much. Whereas the first building looks like a converted garage or garden shed, ugh that roof trim. Pretty lame also to base an argument on comparing a suburban bungalow with a downtown office building.

Non Sequitur

I can't get past that patio furniture and potted plants... like, why are they taking up valuable patio space? plant a garden for Connery's sake!


This was my home for many years in San Jose

Aug 28, 18 11:58 am

Is that an Eichler?


Sure is, I rented a room there from the original owner - designed by Anshen and Allen for Eichler


Gorgeous. Clerestories (rather than 2x blocking) between projecting beams are so wonderful. And that wafer thin roof edge cantilevering, what, 4 feet? I admit, I'm getting a little turned on....


Here is a kid's playhouse based on the Farnsworth House. Gotta admit being on dry land, rather than in the water, is quite a change.

Aug 28, 18 12:39 pm

That playhouse is bigger than most NYC apartments. Fuck that kid.

Non Sequitur

looks like they made a 20' error on locating the house thou. It's no where near the water!


This just came up on my Spotify playlist

Seemed appropriate.

Aug 28, 18 1:27 pm

I thought we were only starting with the "golden" age

Aug 28, 18 3:35 pm

Is that where all those golden showers happened?


Where does the Madam sleep?


wherever he wants



Aug 28, 18 9:29 pm

If American Architecture is so influential, then how come McMansions never caught on? That is the only AmeriKKKan ArKKKilltecture. 

As for "globalist" view of architecture, if the AA is spending a minute thinking about American anything, they suck. Globalist Architecture is what 99% of the world thinks about, not fat, Big Mac sucking american high culture.

Aug 28, 18 10:21 pm

??? ... mcmansions did catch on


You confuse built world with Architecture. McMansions have nothing to do with Architecture.

Where are the Asian and Arab mega projects being designed?


It's just another style which will come in and out of fashion.

Sep 1, 18 6:19 pm

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