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Deconstructivism

Deconstructivism or Deconstructionism. Late-C20 tendencies in architecture having certain formal similarities to some aspects of Russian Constructivism, such as diagonal overlappings of rectangular or trapezoidal elements, and the use of warped planes, as in the works of Lissitzky, Malevich, and Tatlin, although many critics and protagonists have denied those similarities, and the connections are only tentative in the case of some claimed to be Deconstructivists. Deconstructivist architecture has been held to embrace the works of Coop Himmelblau, Eisenman, Gehry, Hadid, Koolhaas, Libeskind, and Tschumi, among others. (though not all might wish to be associated with the label). Deconstructivism tends to produce a sense of dislocation both within the forms of projects and between the forms and their contexts. By breaking continuity, disturbing relationships between interior and exterior, fracturing connections between exterior and context, Deconstructivism undermines conventional notions of harmony, unity, and apparent stability. However, Deconstructivism is hardly a new movement, nor is it a coherent stylistic development agreed upon by some independent architects: rather it perhaps exposes the unfamiliar and the disturbing by means of deformity, distortion, fragmentation, and the awkward superimposition of jarring, disparate grids If Deconstructivism took Russian Constructivism as its starting-point, Deconstructionism was linked to the theories of Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), and presupposed that, if architecture were a language, it was therefore capable of communicating meaning, and of receiving treatment by methods of linguistic philosophy: that raises certain difficulties, as it is arguable if late C20 and early C21 architecture possesses any claims to a vocabulary, let alone a language. Nevertheless, some (e.g. Jencks) have claimed Deconstructivism as a new paradigm, but others have questioned the wisdom of pursuing this, mindful of the impact it is having on the built environment and on future generations of architects: those who are concerned about the legacy of Deconstructivism have perceived it as fundamentally destructive, because of its rejection of all that went before and its complete failure to provide any clear values as replacements. Indeed, Deconstructivism has been seen as intentional aggression on human senses, abusing perceptive mechanisms in order to generate anxiety and discomfort. If this is a new paradigm, it could be cause for even deeper concern.

Bibliography

Broadbent (1991);
Brunetter& Wills (1994);
Jencks (2002);
Johnson & and Wigley (1988);
Norris (1987);
Norris & and Benjamin (1988);

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