Ideology and its Discontents, Architecture and Utopia, Part 05

The maximum articulation of form is the means of rendering the public and active and participant consumer of the architectural product.

More precisely, form assumes the task of rendering authentic and natural the unnatural universe of technological precision.

Architecture as ideology of the plan is swept away by the reality of the plan when, the level of utopia having been superseded, the plan becomes an operative mechanism.

The crisis of modern architecture begins in the very moment in which its natural consignee—large industrial capital—goes beyond the fundamental ideology, putting aside the suprastructures. From that moment one architectural ideology no longer has any purpose. The obstinate insistence on seeing its own hypotheses realized becomes either a surpassing of outdated realities or an importunate disturbance.

It is in this light that the involutions and anguished controversies of the modern movement since about 1935 up to today can be understood.

Arrived at an undeniable impasse, architectural ideology renounces its propelling role in regard to the city and structures of production and hides behind a rediscovered disciplinary autonomy, or behind neurotic attitudes of self-destruction.

Incapable of analyzing the real causes of the crisis of design, contemporary criticism concentrates all its attention on the internal problems of design itself. It complies symptomatic ideological inventions in an attempt to offer new substance to the alliance between the techniques of visual communication and technological utopia.

Manfredo Tafuri, Architecture and Utopia, Design and Capitalist Development, 126, 135-6


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