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Aesthetic Economy. Objectivity in Dutch Architecture | Herman van Bergeijk | 9789461863744

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Esthetische Economie

Zakelijkheid in de Nederlandse Architectuur

Auteur:Herman van Bergeijk

Uitgever:BBA

ISBN: 978-94-6186-374-4

  • Paperback
  • Nederlands, Engels
  • 192 pagina's
  • 15 sep. 2014

The 20th Century witnessed an explosion of diverse currents in architectural production. Competition for market share was ferocious and to be successful competitors had to strive for a maximum impact on the public. This required diverse approaches to Architecture, and a need to study mechanisms of vision, the psychology of the consumer. At the same time Architecture was trying to defend its autonomous position within the arts, and trying to maintain a freedom of expression. Even as the importance of technology and the perfection of new means and methods impacted directly on the state of architecture, there was a concurrent effort to maintain and emphasize spiritual content. Serious conflicts erupted, with diverse battles being joined. Architecture magazines became a part of the propaganda machine. Each had its own agenda. The financial crisis of the 20’s made it clear that Architecture could no longer retreat to its ivory tower, but had to be seen as part of capitalistic production. Architecture became aesthetic economy, a business, and architects had to fight with every available means for attention and commissions. Leading figures became stars in a firmament that was more and more remote from the general public.

This book focusses on the situation in the Netherlands at the beginning of a new age. The texts give an insight of how the term objective (relating both to the object itself as to the business side of the discipline) became a central point of heated discussions. Everyone tried to save something that they considered of eminent importance to the existence of architecture.

The 20th Century witnessed an explosion of diverse currents in architectural production. Competition for market share was ferocious and to be successful competitors had to strive for a maximum impact on the public. This required diverse approaches to Architecture, and a need to study mechanisms of vision, the psychology of the consumer. At the same time Architecture was trying to defend its autonomous position within the arts, and trying to maintain a freedom of expression. Even as the importance of technology and the perfection of new means and methods impacted directly on the state of architecture, there was a concurrent effort to maintain and emphasize spiritual content. Serious conflicts erupted, with diverse battles being joined. Architecture magazines became a part of the propaganda machine. Each had its own agenda. The financial crisis of the 20’s made it clear that Architecture could no longer retreat to its ivory tower, but had to be seen as part of capitalistic production. Architecture became aesthetic economy, a business, and architects had to fight with every available means for attention and commissions. Leading figures became stars in a firmament that was more and more remote from the general public.

This book focusses on the situation in the Netherlands at the beginning of a new age. The texts give an insight of how the term objective (relating both to the object itself as to the business side of the discipline) became a central point of heated discussions. Everyone tried to save something that they considered of eminent importance to the existence of architecture. Famous and lesser known figures took part in abstract debates that are still extremely influential in the way that architecture operates today.

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