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Because it's obviously and arrogantly aesthetically terrible. Architects, like the elites who commission and support their work, have a fundamentally adversarial relationship with the rest of us.

Even the relatively good stuff stands alone and is, at best, aggressively indifferent towards its surroundings.

Kunstler wrote a good book on it:

https://www.amazon.com/Geography-Nowhere-Americas-Man-Made-L...

(and several less-good follow up books)




Kunstler is one of those people who has one good point that he makes with a great deal of wit. His point is valid but his critique is not that deep, and outside this one point the rest of his views are reactionary trash. He's a one hit wonder.

This is a common feature of notable critics, probably because it is far easier to criticize than to solve problems. It's far easier to point out why the suburbs suck than to design and advocate effectively for alternatives that address the same needs that the suburbs try to address.

BTW I think your critique is actually deeper than Kunstler's in that it gets to the totalitarian underpinnings of this type of high modernism. People seem to mistakenly associate high modernism with the enlightenment when it's more of a return to pre-enlightenment authoritarianism.

High modernism is a secular materialist version of divine right of kings, with baroque religious theories replaced with opulent displays of indifferent wealth and with sterility replacing aesthetic grandeur as a display of power. The latter may be because aesthetic indifference serves today as a more effective display of power than baroque over-done aesthetics with gold leaf and curlicues.


A thought of mine a core part of totalitarianism, pick a flavor they are all the same in this. Is that they seek to callously use humanity as material to manufacture some ego driven utopia. That is at the heart of modernist architecture. People are expected to conform to the vision not the other way around.


He is always an interesting read but is usually all to eager to jump off the deep end.

I recall him in 2012 saying that the aviation industry would be history by 2018... that clearly didnt pan out. The theory was reasonable but the time frame was wildly out of whack.




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