Joho the Blog » [DG] Molly Wright Steenson: Imaginary Architects

[DG] Molly Wright Steenson: Imaginary Architects

Molly is going to talk about similarities between architecture during the Weimar period (1919-1933) and the Internet. [Abstract]

Just as architects in the Weimar period took their work into a theoretical and communicative sphere in order to forge their conceptions of modern architecture, information architects, web designers and content developers explore their ideas through blogs, comments and email lists.

During the 20s, there was a lot of utopian discourse around design. But Molly doesn’t find much such talk on the Internet.

Molly uses Bruno Taut for her insight into the expressionist architecture of the 20s. He was all over the map, but believed that architecture could lead a revolution in art and thus in society. He formed “The Crystal Chain,” which was in effect a paper-based mailing list to talk about such ideas. There was an exchange of “fantastic, beautiful letters.”

Today there’s some interesting conversation going on, e.g., Crispin Jones, Howard Rheingold, Derek M. Powazek The digital revolution has taken place, but not in the boardrooms. It’s in how the Web “grows communities almost without trying.” But not enough conversation is stretching the boundaries. We’re in a time like Weimar when the contracts are boring. So, we ought to do what Taut recommends: become imaginary architects.

One Response to “[DG] Molly Wright Steenson: Imaginary Architects”

  1. There is a cautionary tale in looking back to the Wiemar architects. Their closed, theoretical work led to modernism, which, while striking is the most actively anti-human architecture ever devised.

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