Numb, Comfort, Bathroom, Normative, Anesthetic
Architecture | Other Architecture
Modernist Architecture is characterized by its ambition to miraculously heal the “diseases”1 of society. Along with this desire to heal, “Design was formed as a way to deal with the increasingly dominant logic of the industrialized and globalized world while resisting the perceived dehumanizing impact of the world.”2 This pursuit of numbness has always been at the center of design. It reveals the complicity between design and capitalism. Following the shock of the war and the machine age, design sought to fight the negative climate of the world around them. No outcome is prescribed, but it is desired. With this intent, came the desire for the clean and polished design. Germany praised the En-glish model of “smooth walls”3 moving away from ornament. Adolf Loos in his book Ornament and Crime4 celebrated the generation of smooth and simple furniture that is easy to sanitize. For him, ornament is devoid of use for the human. Ornament is friction to the desire of healing. This was backed up by Walter Gropius’ school- the Bauhaus. Parallel to this notion of smoothness, also came the notion of standardization and mechanization, because for modernist designers, the ma-chine age was the anesthetic solution to design.
Andino, Camila and Andino, Daniela, "Uncomfortably numb" (2020). Architecture Senior Theses. 476.
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