nowhere, usa. 2010

An interesting piece from Learning From Las Vegas. Maybe a partial explanation for the homogeneous mucus trail of today's suburban developments and commercial strips is a socio-political movement towards the elimination of what Robert Venturi refers to as "visual pollution, usually someone else's house or business". We have included the visual pollution of billboards, gas stations, and tacky lawn ornaments as an enemy equal to the likes of water pollution and greenhouse gases. The architectural result of this movement are the tract developments of identical houses and mono-culture landscaping, and strip malls containing the same combination of businesses in every town across America.

"Many people like suburbia. This is the compelling reason for learning from Levittown. The ultimate irony is that although Modern architecture from the start has claimed a strong social basis for its philosophy, Modern architects have worked to keep formal and social concerns separate rather than together. In dismissing Levittown, Modern architects, who have characteristically promoted the role of the social sciences in architecture, reject whole sets of dominant social patterns because they do not like the architectural consequences of these patterns. Conversely, by defining Levittown as "silent-white-majority" architecture, they reject it again because they do not like what they believe to be the silent white majority's political views. These architects reject the very heterogeneity of our society that makes the social sciences relevant to architecture in the first place.As experts with ideals, who pay lip service to the social sciences, they build for Man rather than for people- this means, to suit themselves, that is, to suit their own particular upper-middle-class values, which they assign to everyone".

-Learning From Las Vegas (Venturi, Brown and Izenour)




Levittown: Documents of an Ideal American Suburb

Cloning of the Already Born another possible explanation
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