Aging Modernism

Aging modernism is a blog that documents how people have inhabited sites of of the twentieth century, and how their inhabitation, and the response to it by the civic and government organizations, has begun to change the way their urban structure operates.

The project was put together by Melissa for her John K. Branner Fellowship from UC Berkeley in 2010, and the findings from field work served as the base for her masters thesis

Modernism is over a century old. While its buildings emerged within a spectrum of historical political situations, today they exist in a variety of quite different contexts, climatically, socially and politically. The functional city was conceived in a time when rational scientific thought and radical action based on tabula rasa planning was the answer to chaotic blight. At the scale of the building or the city, the endeavors were intended to refine nature, limit chaos and create a rational situation that eliminated mess.

Now these cogent projects are aging, which has introduced multiple intentions that break apart the unified schemes, making them disorganized, messy. As time passes, stakes shift. Programs change, redundancies develop and the logic of the plan fades. Modernism has become the site within which contingency operates. The question is no longer “did it succeed or fail?” but instead “how has it been altered?”
go to aging modernism blog