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The Story of Post-Modernism


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Table of Contents

PREFACE Post-Modernism Resurgent? The Back Story Some Debts Acknowledged And Especially Madelon PART I The Perfect Storm of Post-Modernism The Moral Failures of Modernism The Recurrent Deaths of Modernism The Triumph of Nothingness Revisionists and Le Corbusier Lead the Revolt Complexity and Double-Coding ? the First Post-Modern Synthesis The Shape of History ? Big, Medium and Small Waves PART II Searching for Difference, Finding Commonality Global Pluralism Radical Eclecticism, the First Response to Homogeneity Contextual Counterpoint Post-Modern Classicism ? the Ironic International Style Media Events and Money A Diversion on Cost and Taste James Stirling Synthesises Contextualism and Pluralism The Complexity Paradigm Extended Modernists Becoming Post-Modern Time-Binding Opposites PART III Towards a Critical Modernism What is a City? ? a Complex Adaptive System Heterotopias and the Heteropolis Expressively Green and Inexpensive Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Toyo Ito and the Porous Route Building Peter Eisenman, the Landform and the Critical-Creative PART IV Complexity and Nature?s Ornament The Complexity Paradigm Fractal Architecture and the Metaphysics of Seamless Continuity Opening up the White Cube Four Degrees of Ornament PART V The Coming of the Cosmic Icons The Iconic Building and its Discontents The Bilbao Effect Multiple Meaning and Enigmatic Signifiers Worthy Icons? Paranoia, Veiled Themes and Cosmic Iconology Premature Conclusion: the Iconology of Post-Modernism? Notes A Post-Modern Bibliography

About the Author

Charles Jencks is an American architectural theorist, author and landscape architect. He has written widely on Post-Modern and Modern architecture. His bestselling book The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (1977) popularised Post-Modernism in architecture and made him the leading author on the subject in the 70s and 80s. He is the founder of the Maggie Centres with his late wife Maggie Keswick, a charity that has become influential for its enlightened provision of uplifting environments for cancer care, designed by some of the world's most renowned architects. Jencks writes and lectures internationally on architecture and landscape design.


'The Power of the book lies not so much in the sharpness of the author's criticism of the present as in the generosity and perceptiveness of his anticipation of the future'. Arichitectural Review, Nov 2011. 'Charles Jencks's summary of the post-modern architectural movement promises clarity and straightforwardness. There is a little of each but not too much'. Country Living, Nov 2011

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