The argument, made by architectural historian Charles Jencks in the introduction for the recently released book Postmodern Design Complete, that Postmodern styles never truly left the architectural profession is stronger than ever. The movement from the late 70s and 80s which began as a reaction against the utopian canon of modernism has recently been re-entering the architecture scene and defining our present moment of architectural culture.
This brings up an important question: What is the current movement of architecture? And what came directly after postmodernism? If anything, it was an immediate cry of “No more Po-Mo,” followed recently by a wave of “save Po-Mo” perhaps best demonstrated by the rallying to save Philip Johnson’s AT&T Tower from a Snøhetta makeover. Even Norman Foster claimed that although he was never a fan of the postmodern movement, he understood its importance in architectural history. Postmodernism is making its recursive return with Stirling-esque rule-breaking jokes and pictorial appearances.
In Europe and unable to join the protest tomorrow Friday 13:00-16:00 in front of the historic AT&T building by Philip Johnson to object to the proposals to eradicate the original base. I was never sympathetic to the short lived post modern movement - and this building in particular. However it is an important part of our heritage and should be respected as such.
In an article recently published by Metropolis Magazine, Thomas de Monchaux explains why this trend isn’t necessarily a comeback, but a revisitation of something that never truly went away, through three published books: Postmodern Design Complete, Post-Modern Buildings in Britain, and Revisiting Postmodernism (which ArchDaily has also covered here). The analysis describes why after Po-Mo, came more Po-Mo—or as De Monchaux cheekily calls it, "Mo-Po"—and investigates why now, particularly, was the right moment for Postmodernism to rise again.
Read De Monchaux's take on the postmodern renaissance in Metropolis Magazine here.