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Authors: NG HUI SIN
Keywords: Architecture
Dissertation (Architecture)
Master (Architecture)
Li Xiaodong
2003/2004 AkiD MArch
Issue Date: 20-Sep-2017
Abstract: The impetus for this research stemmed from the observation of the changing manifestation of architecture in the light of the various mechanisms of globalisation. Every age is characterised by themes, symbols and metaphors, and architecture as a social and artistic indicator is inevitably subjected to definitions and tendencies of its time. Modernism and Postmodernism were significant models of Architecture epitomising the social and aesthetic canons that governed the cultural setting then. In the age of globalisation, these paradigms of architecture are becoming obsolete. What then can begin to define the new direction of architecture? Increasingly architecture is taking on notions of undefinedness and neutrality, and this radical change in direction can be attributed to the real and putative effects of globalisation. Following the postmodernist and deconstructivist efforts, a new architecture seems to be emerging, for which concepts of place, context and identity have largely been superseded. To refer to this new architecture, the concept of ‘Supermodernity’ as purported by Marc Augé is explored, and new parameters that may begin to define this new architecture are proposed via a mechanism of comparison of case studies. In essence, the paper argues that in the wake of the homogenising effects of globalisation, a new architecture that seeks to reinstate the corporeality of experience in architecture is emerging, as opposed to the iconic construct of modernism and the symbolic apparatus of postmodernism. The research posits that, in the plethora of ‘meaningless’ architecture that are mere responses to the utilitarian requirements of shelter and function, various attempts have been made to reinstate the significant role of architecture. However, results are diverse, the changing economic demands of the built environment and the increased privileging of the image has seen the creation of buildings that are reduced to a superficial play of forms. On the other hand, there indicates a strong emergence of a new architecture of significant neutrality, whose meaning is derived directly from how the architecture looks, how it is used, and above all, how it is experienced. Rather than aesthetic allusions to icons or history, the new trend reveals an architecture that attaches greater importance to the phenomenological experience, the visual, spatial, and tactile sensation of the individual.
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