American Architecture in Perspective

For instance, the heightened interest in the simplification of the volumes and the exterior decoration paved the way for a sector of American contemporary architecture, which according to Joseph Scully and Neil Levine (2003), followed a trend which is geared towards order and clarity in design. There is a renewed sense of large simple volumes of space, of clear structural articulation, of high, dignified proportion. (Scully and Levine 2003, p. 64)Economic might is a huge factor in what architecture would have to offer in the future. The current architectural landscape is set against a diminished economic and political power, not in the context of a loss in war, but in comparison to the glorious years in the tradition of the Chicago school, for example. During the days of expansion, of railways and steel, the American architecture burst with vitality and that observers do make a point of reminding us time and time again that what we have is a degenerating architecture in our midst. Given a positive economic scenario, American architecture would experience rejuvenation in the future otherwise it would wallow in stagnation and restrained vitality.Another interesting school of thought theorizing the future of American architecture is the contention that it is in dire need of new directions. Margaret Kentgens-Craig argued that the architect would be faced with a designing a dilemma. She stressed:On one hand, experimentation and innovation were desired. on the other, the lack of tangible alternatives hindered new concepts from taking hold… The great majority of artists in the country… are neither extreme modernists nor are they old fogies. They desire to be modern in thought and performance but they do not wish to throw over the traditions of the past. (Craig 1999, p. 30)Regional variations in architecture are testaments of the eclectic diversity of the United States as a nation. An example of three different regional architectural groupings includes colonial, indigenous, and the urbanization.

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