By Nigel Whiteley
Winner within the 2002 AAUP e-book, Jacket, and magazine festival for excellence in layout within the classification of Scholarly Illustrated. Reyner Banham (1922-88) was once probably the most influential writers on structure, layout, and pop culture from the mid-1950s to the overdue Eighties. expert in mechanical engineering and artwork historical past, he was once confident that know-how was once making society not just extra interesting yet extra democratic. His mix of educational rigor and pa tradition sensibility positioned him towards either traditionalists and orthodox Modernists, yet put him in a special place to appreciate the cultural, social, and political implications of the visible arts within the postwar interval. His first ebook, thought and layout within the First computer Age (still in print with The MIT Press after 40 years), was once vital to the overhaul of Modernism, and it gave Futurism and Expressionism credibility amid the dynamism and alter of the Sixties. This highbrow biography is the 1st entire serious exam of Banham’s theories and ideas, not just on structure but in addition at the good selection of topics that him. It covers the complete diversity of his oeuvre and discusses the values, enthusiasms, and affects that shaped his pondering.
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Winner within the 2002 AAUP publication, Jacket, and magazine festival for excellence in layout within the class of Scholarly Illustrated. Reyner Banham (1922-88) used to be essentially the most influential writers on structure, layout, and pop culture from the mid-1950s to the overdue Eighties. educated in mechanical engineering and artwork background, he was once confident that expertise was once making society not just extra intriguing yet extra democratic.
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Extra resources for Reyner Banham: historian of the immediate future
However, before discussing that text, we will turn to an Architectural Review article of 1959 on the Romantic Expressionist Paul Scheerbart, a recurring hero in Banham’s writing. Banham puts forward the case for Scheerbart, apparently “an almost spherical bohemian layabout,” to be seen as one of the major prophets of glass architecture. The case is based on Scheerbart’s Glasarchitektur of 1914 and his direct inﬂuence on Bruno Taut, as manifested in the latter’s Glass Industry Pavilion at the Deutsche Werkbund exhibition at Cologne of the same year.
By opting for preservation, town planners were adding to the “failure of urban nerve” (and were thus as guilty as turn-of-the-century historicists who suffered a “failure of nerve and collapse of creative energy,” and as Italian architects whose “historical nerve . . had failed almost completely”). One of the dangers of the preservation mentality was a sentimentalism for the past. ”70 Enthusiasms: 1. Modernization and Technology Whatever Banham’s concerns about the inﬂuence of the preservation lobby, the 1960s is remembered as a decade of modernization and is reﬂected in the politics of the time.
23 He had discovered the Futurist sensibility, and his attitude not just to the Modern Movement, but to architecture in general, would be permanently affected. An attraction to the Futurist sensibility, combined with respect for the “set of actual monuments” of Modernism—whether texts or buildings—belief in modernity; commitment to architectural history as a vital and alive discipline; and enthusiasm for American popular culture characterizes Banham’s output from the mid-1950s on. The Futurist spirit, however much in evidence at Willesden Junction, did not reﬂect the domestic architectural scene in general in the early-to-mid1950s, and Banham’s views were not typical.