What happened to deconstructivism and does it have a future?


Interesting to notice how deconstructivism has changed since it first become prominent in the 1980s. What was once an articulation (or manipulation of) form, space, construction etc seems to have been lost in a commercial and function driven culture. For example, take a look at the early deconstructivist work. The Gehry house which represents a clear expression of the principles of deconstructivsm, namely an expression of construction and the distortion of space. The familiar to the unfamiliar and the tension between architectural enclosure, inside and outside.

Or perhaps the Parc De La Villette

However, look at the current buildings which are described as 'deconstructivist'. The Guggenheim galleries by Gehry which express very little about construction (they are all wrapped continuously in the same material with no form of experimentation with enclosure or interior/ exterior. Sure, they warp form and create spatial ambiguity but the entire space is concealed behind a continuous silver sheet. This must contrast with the original concept of deconstructivism?

Even Tschumi's current work hasn't followed the deconstructivist ideology.


Sadly, the same can pretty much be said about Hadid, Koolhaas (not sure if he was even deconstructivist to begin with), Libeskind etc. Is this just a natural response to working in a commercial culture with tight budget restraints and conservative taste? Have the architect's deliberately adapted their ethos in order to win more commissions/ be able to make a living from the profession? Or is this just a natural progression as the original deconstructivist style is now outdated?

Am I alone in disliking this perfect, smooth, crisp finish and prefer the older more rugged, detail-orientated design. Are my taste's outdated (stuck in the 80s) and I need to move with the time? Or does anyone else share these views/ tastes?

So what happened to deconstructivism? and does it have a future?

Nov 7, 11 4:05 pm

this is what happened

Nov 7, 11 7:29 pm

The Gehry house doesn't represent anything other than a tiny budget. It was an exercise in cheap construction by a little-to-no-experience architect whose inspiration - if any - beyond cheap was the California funk art movement that made things from found materials.

Somehow this was blown up into a absurd, utterly meaningless architectural philosophy that has had no positive effect on the art and science of buildings. Which of course has not prevented the deconstructivist fashion from being adopted as a brand by various group-think corporate marketing interests.

Excuse me now while I go vomit.


Nov 7, 11 8:01 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: