Architecture, like any other from of art and tool (tool, becaue
architecture exists to serve specific functions, otherwise it'd be
sculpture), has always been a nexus where society, culture, and individual
design/innovation intermingle. The artist/designer responds to culture,
but also shapes culture.
Yup. Don mentioned, in his post, factors such as buget, approvals,and so
on, and all of that works against the architect/designer. I think what
happens is that a *very* few people gain name recognition, at least
within a very small circle of what might have been called, in past ages,
"patrons". OR fans who have been given, for this or that mystical
reason, control over how to spend other people's money. IN those rare
cases, we see some "egotistical" works pop up. But I think that, most of
the time, it's les about one ego, and more about, well, and interaction
of many egoes, plus "the tastes of the times".
When I think about the examples of "dumped trash can" styles that have
popped up in discissions here, it seems to me that even those are
actually expressions, too, if not of "the average taste", then of certain
strong currents/trends in contemporary culture, which is, let's face it,
jumbled, disjointed, having the idea of "E pluribus unum" *truely* put to
the test, as so many levels of society and culture fracture like an old
SOmetimes, what people *call* "ego" in architecture, they so label
becuase they don't want to face what structure thing says about the
culture in which it's rooted... Shure, people *want* to *beleive* that
our culture is all vaulted domes and shapely columns and a well-ordered,
harmonious balance of symmetry and asymmetry, btu in reality, that's just
fantasy, illusion, and teh "dumped-out trash can" style is probalby much
closer to being an expression of the reality.
IMO, of course ;)
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