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Conscious modern building


The postmodernism blip
Richard Meier Architect
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I think that architecture, which as I said, I think of as a continuum, had a blip, yeah, in the '80s. That blip was called  postmodernism and there are a lot of people who, I guess, were disenchanted with the idea of continuum and felt that there should be a return to previous periods in terms of how architecture was thought about. Which was basically a pastiche but I don’t think they thought of it as a pastiche. They thought of it as, sort of, a historical revival, in a sense. And... I never for a moment considered this a... a viable idea although many people went that way. I said, you know, that’s not for me and I’m not going to succumb to this kind of popular moment. And... turned out to be right, that it was nothing more than a blip. It went nowhere but you know, it’s interesting because it didn’t only exist in architecture. It existed in music. It existed in literature. To some degree it existed in... in painting and sculpture. I think it existed in almost all of the arts, not that everyone succumbed to it but there were people who were, you know, doing, sort of, this retrograde kind of work at that time. Fortunately, I think, for all of us, you know, it was short-lived.

The prominent American architect Richard Meier (b. 1934) is best known for the Getty Centre in Los Angeles, one of his many public projects which broke from his usual style of sleek, white buildings. In all his work – carried out with characteristic refined style – he refuses to bend to the trends of modern architecture. He has won many awards including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, considered the field's highest honour.

Listeners: Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli was born in Milan and studied architecture in Milan and Venice. He is the co-founder and President of Vignelli Associates and Chief Executive Officer of Vignelli Designs in New York. His work includes graphic and corporate identity programs, publication designs, architectural graphics, interiors, furniture, and consumer product designs. His work has been published and exhibited throughout the world and entered in the permanent collections of several museums. He has taught and lectured on design in the major cities and universities in the United States and abroad. Included among Massimo Vignelli's awards are the Gran Premio Triennale di Milano, 1964, the Compasso d'Oro, awarded by the Italian Association for Industrial Design (ADI), 1964 and 1998, the 1982 Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, the 1983 AIGA Gold Medal, the 1992 Interior Product Designers Fellowship of Excellence, The 1995 Brooklyn Museum Design Award for Lifetime Achievement and The 2001 Russel Wright Award for Design Excellence.

Duration: 2 minutes, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2007

Date story went live: 23 December 2008