Ockmans and Hines View on the Urban and Domestic Life and Design
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The Second World War was the crucial moment in the humanitys history. It was the time of innovations and new technologies mostly in the realm of the military. Although the war ended, the development and modern trends continued progressing in the field of the civil architecture and engineering. In order to raise the spirits of the citizens, some ideological changes in the accommodation and its design occurred.
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To begin with, the one of the current tendencies that existed after the Second World War was the change of the urban life into suburban. In spite of all the critical thoughts, Thomas Hine mentioned in his article that the latter was the perfect place to bring up the children. The houses in such neighborhoods were built close enough to each other, and today they are considered to be unequivocally urban (Hine 40). However, they were small enough, and this peculiarity assisted in lessening the number of overcrowded cities. Later in 1953, after the Korean War, the domestic buildings became larger (Hine 45). They distinguished in the lavish decorations. Some odd hues and shapes were the fashionable features of that time making the houses a typical example of their creators. Meanwhile, the architecture absorbed and combined impacts of modern traditions and tendencies of the eastern United States, England, and Italy. Particularly, it was a typical Californian horizontal house with a big garage, firstly seen at the arrival, and the diverse configurations of the planning presented inside the house.
While analyzing the life and design in the post-war period, Joan Ockmans point of view should be mentioned. Similar to Thomas Hine, she stated that Lever House and Levittown represented the American architecture in the first decades after World War II. Both of them represent two emblematic images in terms of the dominant ideologies (Ockman 342). The images were created by the male-dominated hierarchy, which expressed its values in such a manner. Consequently, the dwellings exposed rationalization, discipline, and technological power. As Ockman mentioned in her work, they were creations of the young architects and were undermining modernist orthodoxy with eclectic and personal inputs (348).
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Furthermore, consumerism is one of the distinctive features of the post-war architecture. For this reason, the accommodations were well-equipped with a built-in TV-set or a washing machine lessening the amount of housework for women and providing the family with new entertainment means. Meanwhile, the axiom time is money was used in this case (Ockman 347). As the housewives had less work to do, they had more time for their leisure, which they spent watching advertising on television or doing shopping.
Finally, the major tendencies of the postwar period in the USA were suburban dwellings and Levittown. They represented the technological development of the country. Moreover, they supported productivity and consumerism in the society, which became one of the essential aspects of the current capitalism system. In turn, architecture served to strengthen and reproduce public and private spheres, providing them both with the efficiency.
Jacobs and Venturis Considerations about Authorial Tone and Intentions
Cities are the adornments of the country. They reflect the wealth and prosperity of the inhabitants. Predominantly, the authorities pay attention to the public welfare. They arrange and plan the cities to be comfortable and respond the demands of the society. Although the authority follows such aims in their election programs, in reality, they face many problems to solve while material resources remain the major one.
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First of all, this issue is not a decisive aspect. According to Jane Jacobs, the writer states that the amount of money does not solve the problem of the cities planning or their rehabilitation. Even if the authorities claim that they need billions of dollars to renovate the neighborhood, it does not mean that they may change them in several years. Undoubtedly, there are cases of the authorities attempt. Moreover, they provide the reports of money spent. However, their programs usually fail, as the cultural centers are unable to provide a good bookstore; commercial centers represent the clusters of stores imitating suburban houses; civic centers remain inhabited by bums, and so forth. Places for promenade do not have appropriate sightseeing and lead from no place to nowhere (Jacobs 4).
Furthermore, Jacobs states that the authorities accomplishments are poor. Such attempts rarely assist in planning and organizing the public services in the cities. Vice versa, they are neither rehabilitation of the neighborhood nor the creation of the appropriate conditions for its existence. Consequently, Jacobs finds attempts and proper arrangement more important than the material fact.
Robert Venturi provides another point of view on the orthodox modern architecture. The current architects represent complexity either inconsistently or insufficiently. They attempt to break the connection with the past and commence from the beginning. Additionally, the author mentions that the architects of the 1960s idealize elementary and primitive components. Meanwhile, they neglect sophistication and diversity. The complication of the elements is at the expense. The newness of the modern functions is a predominant aspect of their works. Furthermore, they neglect the inclusion of the diverse requirements and the juxtapositions, excluding and separating the elements.
Venturi in his work focuses on the simplicity represented in the current architecture. He also points out the difference presented in buildings, particularly the recent houses. They are so simple that they even hardly differ from the pavilions, especially the Japanese ones (Venturi 18). In addition, the writer states that the complexity and contradiction of the architecture do not mean its individual expressionism or picturesqueness. The new formalism is represented, instead.
Summing up, the process of the arrangement and city planning is essential in the 1960s as it shows the new tendency in the civil building and engineering. Jacobs concentrates on the organization of the modern cities. She mentions irrational usage of material sources. Authorities do not solve the everyday problems of the cities, such as slums or heavy traffics. Instead, they neglect to apply the funds for the community prosperity. Venturi represents the contradictory thoughts. He focuses his attention on the simplicity presented in the modern work. The current architects create primitive houses, which lessen the sophistication and loftiness of the dwelling.
Current Architecture and Its Perspectives
With the coming of the new millennium, the tendencies in the architecture have changed. People intend to become closer to nature, leaving the polluted cities for the clean environment of the rural areas. Another task arises for architects under such circumstances. They attempt to create a masterpiece, which will make this world better and serve for humanity. Although it is hard work, an architects creation is essential in the social life as he or she provides the community with the dwells for the diverse spheres, which are equally important either for rich or poor layers of the society. Transportation, healthcare, employment, education, recreation, law enforcement, and other facilities are among them.
Mockbee, being one of the prominent architects, claims that architecture is a social art (Mockbee 110). Consequently, it should remain on the cultural and social basis of the current place and time. It has to meet and satisfy the needs and requirements of the society.
As one of the important professions in the 2000s, the architecture develops and remains affected by the consumer-driven society. Due to the surveys, the world in about twenty-five years will be under the influence of the demographic and technological problems. Consequently, the architects task will be to create the dwellings, which will be able to inhabit many citizens, paying attention to the territory. Moreover, the accommodation should have technological devices of the modern world, which make the lives simple. In this situation, one of the major issues to preserve in the architecture is to create the product, which maintains the connection between the humanity and nature. Additionally, the author highlights the statement that people and place matter.
While Mockbee focuses on the connection between the humanity, nature, and existed problems, Eisenman arises another issue regarding architecture. He compares it with the Linguistics. He mentions in his work that the language is a relationship between meaning and sign. The object or a state are essential, not the way the letters look. While changing the letters, the meaning of the notion changes, as well. Consequently, the language represents the stable relationships within the structure of the letters and their relations to the meaning. Cutting of these connections will lead to the free float of signs devoid of meanings (Eisenman 177).
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Comparing the language to the architecture, Eisenman exposes the enormous difference between them. It means that the letters in literature are transparent. People do not pay attention to the correlation between them. The meaning of the notion they express is essential. Meanwhile, the situation in the architecture is reverse. The aesthetic dominates over the presence of the object while the absence is restrained (Eisenman 178). The object, from the architectural point of view, refers to the meaning, which cannot be transparent like the word in the linguistics.
Concluding, Mockbee states that the architecture is the means to serve the society and its demands. It is connected with the humanity and their world while Eisenman considers that the time flow restores the figuration of the architecture. Overall, the current tendencies attempt to create a comfortable space for a man preserving the relations with nature and culture.
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