Current architectural styles?

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I apologize for "parachuting" into this group but I'm trying to learn if there is a generally accepted name for the style of housing architecture that is currently popular in the USA. These houses are typically very vertical with high-pitched roofs. Multiple (often unnecessary) roof lines, giving them a layered appearance. Narrow eaves. Turrets, gables, etc. They stand in total contrast to modern architecture, ranch style houses and the prairie school and seem to emphasize form over function. The only names I've heard for this style are pejorative, such as "Yuppie Pseudo Victorian", "Kitsch Neo Gothic", etc. I was wondering if there is a name for this architectural style that is not derogatory?
--
Donald R. Newcomb
DRNewcomb (at) attglobal (dot) net
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BWE - Big White Elephant
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BWE is reserved for use by the Bucket Wheel Excavator and I'd thank you not to sully the holy acronym. Harumph.
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Donald Newcomb wrote:

Dual garage frontal? (the garages are often the forward and irritatingly menacing element) Megacottagic? Cementboardorific? (and the extremelylimited color palette that goes with cement board) Gablemanical? (what you are decribing below.)

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++ wrote:

\\ spelling eror - Gablemaniacal.
the color palette comes from the cheapest Hardie board or clone. Ex. http://www.jameshardie.com/homeowner/prodhome/default.php

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Donald Newcomb wrote:

No.
Well... at least not from most of this group.
Are you looking for a name? The problem with almost all of them is that they are uniformly poorly designed and, even in many cases, downright ugly. If it's a "style" in its own right it would be derogatorily named. Kind of like putting a tu-tu on a rhino and saying it's pretty.
(and from the text of your post, you seem to agree that there really isn't a nice thing to say about them, either)
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3D Peruna wrote:

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I don't think so, unless some uneducated builder/developer/designer/realtor calls them 'traditional' to distinguish them from whatever the masses think is the opposite from that, say 'modern', or 'contemporary', or 'ranch', or any other reasonably accepted stylistic appellation.
It isn't a conscious 'style' underpinned by any kind of ideal, other than any espoused by PT Barnum. It's more of a marketing formula. It's the architectural equivalent of that stuff graphic designers put into their mock-ups:
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorem_Ipsum
BTW, the shine one the 'form follows function' line wore through to the cheap white metal under it long ago. I don't know anyone with an architectural education under the age of 80 who sees that as anything but quaintly naive, or cynically pompous. (I wonder if even *that* will even get a rise out of someone.)
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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There is a reason for that. It is used because (1) the text itself does not color a client's perception of the page-layout design, and (2) it allows clients and designers to make consistant and direct comparisons of layouts and typefaces. It allows a page-layout designer to look at the text as a graphic element, rather than being distracted by the text's content. When one is doing page layout (well, if one is even minimally competent, that is...), one looks at the emotional impact of the grapical elements of the page. There are well-established (and well-researched) compositional guidelines that are applicable to all of the visual arts, and involve porportion, position, arrangement (vertical versus horizontal versus diagonal), numbers of elements, and so on. The graphic/page-layout designer is supposed to arrange the graphic elements so that they reinforce the message of the actual text. Having a standardized chunk of nonsense- text allow the designer to do that.
At any rate, assuming even a minimal level of visual-graphic competence, the standardized nonsense text is, in reality, quite the opposite from what you indicate. It's actually rather a *good* example of "form follows function" when it comes to page layout and typeface design/choice, because its form was designed to fulfill a very specific function, which it does very well.

The problem with the saying is that, even in the biological world, "form follows function" holds true only up to a point, and often a rather limited point at that, because even a very specific function ends up having an vast variety of natural solutions (i.e., forms).
Certain basic principles exist - such as, a mollusk will have a smooth interior to its shell because that smoothness prevents unnecessary injury. but look at the tremendous variety in the sizes and shapes and colors of shells. OK, yes, all shells are "containers" at their most basic level, but that's as far as the similarities often go. A Mussel shell is a shelter/container, and a Giant Conch shell is also a shelter/container, but they are otherwise dissimilar.
Now, it *is* true that some forms are inherently either dysfunctional or even non-functional (such as a cubic shell with an abrasive interior). And, similarly, some floorplans are barely functional, but the arrangements were arrived at using constraints other than pure functionality, including marketing constraints such as the notion that "everyone wants a fireplace", so designers are instructed to ignore how much it might interfere with a room's functionality, or at least, functional efficiency.
The point being that one can take a specific function, and arrive at multiple forms/spatial arrangements that will work, albeit better for some people than for others. ANd therein lies teh other complication: different people have different needs, and what is functional for one person can be quite to opposite for another person.
So, "form follows function" has good alliteration and rhythm, making it a cute "sound bite", but it's a general guideline more than an absolute law.
- K.
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My remark was in the context of post-modern architectural context. Changing the context changes everything.
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Changing what context? If you mean the "Lorem ipsum..." part, I made my comment because your presentation of its useage was not correct, which in turn made your analogy inaccurate...just trying to clarify, that's all.
As for the rest of what I said, I don't think it strays far at all from the context of 20th and 21st century architecture.
I'm admittedly not too sure what is meant by "post-modern", because, as far as I can tell, it can mean anything from design using clean lines but tastefully including some historical elements/decoration/references, to designs that look like someone covered a shoebox with glue and then dumped a box full of knick-knacks over it, to designs that look like a crushed egg-carton... So, I admittedly was not specifically addressing "post-modernism", jsut making a few comments re: my thoughts re: the "form follows function" bit...
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I think "crap" is a decent name for the style, though "nifonging crap" works too. Or we could go with "neo-profit driven" style.
--
Edgar



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Edgar wrote:

nifonging crap would be redundant. Nifongian is probably a good start...
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I like that :)
--
Edgar



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various people continued juvenile inappropriate naming:

Thi all falls under the category of the drawing so bad that when mommy is shown it for the fourth time, she realizes that baby needs encouragement. So she says "Oh, how creative, darling" but saves the "Oh, how good!" for the drawing that actually shows promise.
It's simply innappropriate to make fun of anyone's name. The person you are making fun of in hopes to somehow making smaller so you can momentarily congratulate yourself on being bigger, probably has perfectly decent relatives who might be nice people to know, if you weren't the person making fun of their surname.
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I'm definitely not bigger, and this is a open forum, if you don't like it don't read it, or go the extra mile and plonk us. We're not going to change the world in here, as much as you think we might.
--
Edgar



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Edgar wrote:

Who's "us"

I'm thinking I was suggesting that it is inappropriate to make fun of someone's surname, especially an attempt to turn a surname into a common currency root insult. I would be wrong to fail to comment on such an insult.
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Pretty much everyone else who took the nifonging thread exactly as it was...a joke thread.

Exactly, and you also suggesting that us groupies in the alt.architecture newsgroup have the unlimited might to bring such a thing to pass, that is, turning a name into a common currency root insult. Believe me when I say, we don't, and the word will probably not get farther than this and other related newsgroups. If it goes further, then I truly underestimated the power of this newsgroup.
--
Edgar



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"No good deed goes unpunished" EDS
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++ wrote:

quisling
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