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OUGD401 // Publication // Interesting Articles

Here are some articles that i found which I think would be great to quote in my publication.

The first I found is about how modernist symbolism has caught on in the use of films over the last century.

Here is the link...


"Look at a movie like 'The Ice Storm, The architecture is cold because the characters are cold."

Donald Albrecht - Designing Dreams: Modern Architecture in the Movies.


 In Pixar's retro-futuristic animated film "The Incredibles" and the marionette satire "Team America: World Police," it's the good guys who live in the Modernist or Neo-Modernist digs. Live-action films like the remake of "Alfie," which is set in contemporary New York but marked by a skinny-tie aesthetic, have joined recent pictures including "Down with Love" and the "Austin Powers" series in sending cinematic valentines to the architects and designers of the 1960s.

A Clockwork Orange

Presenting an architectural aesthetic of cold, heartless, and mistreated spaces to match closely with the central character's conduct toward all people, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange paints the streets of London in a violent, abhorrent light. With his gang of "droogs", Alex had the rule of the streets, raping and beating people for amusement and to assert his power. Described as taking place in the not too distant future in a Fascist England, A Clockwork Orange has taken modern architectural style and used it to describe what is to come. By looking at the Tavy Bridge Centre inThamesmead South, used for Alex’s apartment complex, and the Brunel University Lecture Centre, used as the Ludovico Medical Facility, it can be seen that A Clockwork Orange has created a very tangible, believable world that could still be considered as a possible architectural future.

The Tavy Bridge Centre and the surrounding Thamesmead South area was constructed in various stages over twenty years starting in the mid 1960s. Acting as the main housing development for a larger area that would eventually include commercial and production facilities, it was once dubbed the "Town of the twenty-first century" (Hidden London). Grand in scope, the Thamesmead South, East, and Central complexes made use of the land previously occupied by the military. Though Thamesmead South is completed, it sadly remains under populated and is attached to a too small downtown core area. It has since been called an "unspeakable concrete disaster" (Worldwide Guide). Brunel University Lecture Centre speaks a similar architectural language as the Tavy Bridge Centre in terms of materials and monolithic construction, though it is better composed and remains a central hub to the University campus. But why are these archetypes consistently used in films to portray the future? In terms of style, the modern movement attempts to eliminate ornamental elements to maintain simple lines, elegant volumes, and to express structure. Yet today, most Western homes are constructed in 'traditional' style where ornamentation is still encouraged, materiality is warm in appearance, and oversimplification may be perceived as cheap. Therefore, it is still in the mindset of the population as a whole that the architectural future is still in a realm of simplicity and stark style, detached from the sentimental qualities of 'traditional' architecture.The heavy-handed, fascist qualities of the two examples in the film contribute well to the proposed storyline. Their cold style reflects the heartless treatment of people throughout A Clockwork Orange. They are without sympathy, driven only by their functions to serve people in the most minimal way possible, by sheltering them but not necessarily comfortably. Even their size is intimidating; the housing complex through its unending repetition of living units and the Ludovico Medical Facility by its shear volume.

A Clockwork Orange presents its audience with a world bent on being a cold and inhospitable place. Its representation of the architectural future reinforces this statement by depicting structures that are modern by design and foreboding by architectural language. The opposite can be said as well, that the story, set in the near future, dictates that these buildings are the future of architecture and not the remnants of a "concrete disaster" and a University Campus.

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