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Postfunctionalism by Peter Eisenman

EVDA 621: Introduction to Design Theories

Connection Pursuit by Sumer Matharu (10047835), 22 Sep 2016

The connections being pursued are based in the current theme of formations in
Architecture. In the reading Postfunctionalism, Eisenman attempts to explain the
evolutionary movements that have resulted in post-modernism [Eisenman 2004, 84]
whereas in Architecture or Revolution, Corbusier explains the implications of modernism
and provides suggestions on how to adapt to it [Corbusier 2007, 293]. Meanwhile in What
Ever Happened to Urbanism?, Koolhaas provides the paradoxical relationships between
the intention and result of Modernism and then also attempts to prescribe solutions
[Koolhaas 1995, 1].
Corbusier elaborated his thoughts on how we were promoting modernism and its inclusive
implications, but not paying enough attention to the upliftment of people in accordance to
their social and family needs [Corbusier, 2007]. In his text, Koolhaas noted, Now we are
left with a world without urbanism, only architecture, ever more architecture [Koolhaas,
1995], referencing the limits and boundaries created by architectural intention not directly
contributing to the overall urban fabric and not serving humanity. Similarly, Eisenman
noted a disconnect between modernism and historical artifacts which is evident in the
non-objective abstract painting of Malevich and Mondrian [Esienman, 2004] which
explained that in the humanistic movement, man was at the center of architecture and
from Corbusiers narrative it is noted that everything that man did revolved around his
family and home life [Corbusier, 2007]. Whereas now, objects are seen as ideas
independent of man [Eisenman, 2004].
From Corbusiers writings on how to adapt to Modernism, to Eisenmans explanation of
the transition between modernism and post-modernism, to Koolhaas statements on the
next steps for urbanism in modernism, there is a timeline that can be traced in the
formation of the Architectural thematic that we are faced with today.

Peter Eisenman, Postfunctionalism, in Eisenman inside out: selected writings, 1963-
1988/Peter Eisenman, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2004, pp. 83-87.
Le Corbusier, Architecture or Revolution, in Toward an Architecture (Vers un
Architecture), Frances Lincoln, 2007, pp. 293-307
Rem Koolhaas, What Ever Happened to Urbanism?, in S,M,L,XL, The Monicelli Press,
New York, 1995, pp. 959-971 (page numbers in text refer to the document that was
provided for the reading)