Architectural History


In recent years, as in the past, we see architects emerging as celebrities.  Today it is Frank Gehry.  In the 20th century it was Frank Lloyd Wright.  Each of these architects designed what they wanted without regard to the social consequences of their designs.  Some people like their buildings, others hate them.  All people agreed that their designs were and are controversial.

For this forum, I would like each student to ponder this question:  “Do architects have a responsibility to our society, or should they be able to design whatever they want?”

Obviously, architects must design buildings that are safe for people to live in, but what about size, shape, appearance, and materials?  Artists can make their paintings and sculptures in any shape and color as they please.  Should architects do the same with their buildings?

What can happen if an artist makes a really ugly painting?  What happens if an architect makes a really ugly building?

Did the modern architecture of the 20th century affect society in a bad way?  At the time, everyone agreed that modern design would solve most of society’s problems, like crime and hunger.  Did modern architecture help these social problems or did the modern movement make things worse?

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