Monday, 24 December 2012

Recalling the Aesthetic Spirit of Architecture (R. T. Meeker) II

"The aesthetic sense is a synergetic capacity involving intellect, emotion, motivation, memory, communication, and perception. The magic of the aesthetic experience, in both nature and art, exists in the marvelous potential for communion between kindred spirits. Since belief in this notion has little currency in our time, we nostalgically turn to works of art fashioned in more spiritually imbued times and cultures. When spiritually impregnated, nature and art may raise consciousness and arouse the soul by charging the emotions, stimulating the intellect, stirring old memories, firing the imagination, provoking us to act, to reach out, to communicate. We are moved by the aesthetic experience because it reconfirms our belonging in the cosmos, in nature, in the community, and ultimately in ourselves.
A critical method for evaluating architecture aesthetically should account for and examine all of the parameters of the architectural problem holistically: people and their purposes, physical and cultural contexts, historical and topical precedents as well as functional requirements, building technology, and budget constraints. Then, when the critic refers to what is "appropriate, right, and fitting" about a building, these terms may credibly refer to one or more parameters of the problem. Parametric analysis as a critical method raises the critique above the level of tastes by addressing the whys and wherefores of our personal preferences. After all, the critic can only persuade; he cannot dictate an aesthetic evaluation. This method situates aesthetic evaluation where it belongs: among the contending values, intentions, and impulses of the designers, builders, observing participants, and historical precursors, whose mindsets and world views may be compatible or irreconcilable. Parametric analysis further permits the critic to relate his subjective considerations about architectural intangibles-such as light, shadow, space, ambience, vista, proportion, harmony, beauty, formal dynamics, and other aesthetic terms-to the architectural tangibles expressing the built form in response to the parameters of that particular problem."

Meeker, Robert T. (1983) "Recalling the Aesthetic Spirit of Architecture". Journal of Aesthetic Education. pp 97.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Recalling the Aesthetic Spirit of Architecture (R. T. Meeker) I
"What is the domain of architecture? What is the nature of the architectural problem? How should we perceive and define that problem? What is the nature of the aesthetic sense? What is involved in the aesthetic experience of architecture? Since the aesthetic experience is subjective, what is a viable concept of the self, of the individual? What is the relationship of the individual to society? Since architecture is a collective cultural expression, what does it say about and how does it reflect the culture of its time and place? What does architecture reveal about the structure and dynamics of a society and that society's relationship with nature? What is the role of the architect in society, both as a public professional and as an artist? Is the architect an artist, since often as not the architect is a member of a collective agency? When is architecture an art? How does architecture achieve historical significance?

Architectural aesthetics could become a central focus of architectural theory again, for it conditions most issues concerning the nature of architecture. If authors would recall the aesthetic spirit of architecture, address the issues squarely, illustrate them aptly, and discuss them in terms that architectural practitioners, educators, and students understand and use, then the countervailing arguments could revolve around common themes and begin to resolve the dialectic of architectural theory."

Meeker, Robert T. (1983) "Recalling the Aesthetic Spirit of Architecture". Journal of Aesthetic Education. pp 93-94.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Kitsch (F. Gualdoni)

"Around 1860 in Germany the expression Kitsch starts to grow, indicating an aesthetic operation of counterfeit and pastiche. The etymology is indicative: Kitschen means the act of building old furniture with old parts, and Verkitschen, to sell something different that what has been announced. At the same time, then, the term refers to something related with the non-authentic reproduction of something that already existed, and suggest that its main object of said action is to satisfy a need that has something to do with taste, with expectations of cultural consumption.

The moment is determinant. The start-up of the second half of the nineteenth century is that in which bourgeoisie and small bourgeoisie are definitely established as the main components of an evolved European society, or rather the German, French and English society. Said social groups do not present specific cultural forms that identify them, as what happens in one hand to aristocracy and to the other hand to the lower classes, still anchored to popular culture, limited but defined. The bourgeoisie aspires instead, by the attraction that naturally pose the more mature lifestyles to those inferior, to be precipitants of the aristocratic culture of the high classes: such involvement is rather seen as an essential element in the climbing up to an eminent and acknowledged social role, to distinctive traits of a long cherished exclusivity."

Gualdoni, Flaminio (2008) Kitsch. Milano: Skira. p 7

Related Posts with Thumbnails