"CEOs and politicans, architects, and artists alike are formulating anew a narrative of longing structured by and conditioned on a belief ("yes we can", "change we can believe in") that was long repressed, for a possibility (a "better" future) that was long forgotten. Indeed, if simplistically put, the modern outlook vis-a-vis idealism and ideals could be characterized as fanatic and/or naive, and the postmodern mindset as apathetic and/or skeptic, the current generation's attitude - for it is, and very much so, an attitude tied to a generation - can be conceived of as a kind of informed naivety, a pragmatic idealism."
The idea of pragmatic idealism is one which I think you can see increasingly in projects by Architects globally but increasingly those whose influence/education lies in the so called 'Super Dutch'. I am reminded of The Why Factory's Visionary Cities with it's very 'modern' "Calling all visionaries!" - seeking utopian ideals that are visionary but remain weighted in the issues of the everyday.
|Yes Is More. An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution by BIG (Taschen 2009)|
"Historically the field of architecture has been dominated by two opposing extremes. One one side an avant-garde of wild ideas, often so detached from reality that they fail to become something other than eccentric curiosities. On the other side there are well organized consultants that build predictable and boring boxes of high standard. Architecture seems entrenched between two equally unfertile fronts: either naively utopian or petrifyingly pragmatic. Rather than choosing one over the other, BIG operates in the fertile overlap between the two opposites. A pragmatic utopian architecture that takes on the creation of socially, economically and environmentally perfect places as a practical objective."
The emergent of pragmatic utopian/ideal approaches in Architecture has the potential to reinvigorate a profession and perhaps provide the toolkit for a healing process. Where this sits in the wider framework of a globalised consumer-as-producer society though seems to need more questioning.
Vermeulen, T. and van den Akker, R. (2010), Notes on Metamodernism, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 2
Maas, W., Sverdlov A. and Waugh, E. (Editors) (2009), Visionary Cities (The Why Factory), 1st Edition, Amsterdam: NAi Publishers
Ingels, B. (2009), Yes Is More. An Archicomic on Architecture Evolution (Bjarke Ingels Group), 1st Edition, Koln: Evergreen