Postmodern architecture originated in the 1960s as a reaction against modern architecture's austerity, formality, and lack of variation, notably in the international style promoted by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock. Postmodern architects have tended to favor the use of materials such as glass, metal, and concrete, which are visible but not structural.
Modernists such as Le Corbusier believed that the only true art was that which could be expressed through geometry and function. As a result, they designed buildings with hard edges and little ornamentation, focusing on practical issues such as heating and ventilation instead. The brutalism of Louis Kahn and Antoni Gaudí is also considered modernist.
They often include sculptural elements in their designs, such as James Stirling's hanging gardens at Glasglow or John Hejdu's metal trees for the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.
Postmodern architects have also used space as an element of design, often playing off of modernism's focus on function. Peter Cooksey's work combines modern technology with traditional building techniques to create houses with complex systems for heating and cooling.
Postmodernism evolved as an interior design style in the 1970s, after first appearing in architecture in the late 1960s. The genre's heyday was between 1970 and 1990, with its pinnacle being in the image-focused glam world of the 1980s. Postmodernism, on the other hand, embraces the unusual, the showy, and the strange. It often takes inspiration from various sources including but not limited to: art, fashion, music, film, technology, and literature.
Postmodern designers tend to reject traditional definitions of beauty, favoring instead forms that are unique, asymmetrical, or otherwise non-standard. They also tend to be skeptical of modernism's claims to objective truth, preferring a model of knowledge that is relative rather than absolute. Finally, they tend to enjoy playing with people's expectations, so their designs are often surprising to the eye.
Some examples of postmodern architects include Richard Serra, James Turrell, and Dan Flavin. Artists such as Robert Smith, David Shrigley, and Jeremy Deller have been called postmodern artists. Fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Gianni Versace are also considered postmodern because of their use of experimental design techniques.
The term "postmodern" was first used by American architectural theorist Charles Jencks in his book The Language of Postmodern Architecture. In this book, he argues that since modern architecture has become synonymous with rationality and efficiency, any project that does not fit this definition should be labeled as postmodern.
Postmodern architecture, abbreviated "PoMo," is an architectural design style that emphasizes independence and innovation. It arose as a reaction to traditional, classical styles, with the goal of making buildings dynamic and enjoyable while defying the conventions. Key features include: use of bright colors; exposed concrete or steel frames; non-symmetrical designs; and use of materials such as plastic and glass.
Modern architecture (also known as the New Modern or International Style) developed in the United States after World War II. It can be characterized by reduced ornamentation and simplified forms compared to previous styles. The defining feature of new modern buildings is their reliance on reinforced concrete frames supported by columns. The interior walls are often left completely open, allowing natural light into the room and providing views of the outside environment. Ceiling heights are generally high to allow for large openings and air circulation.
Traditional architecture includes those styles that were popular before modern styles became established, such as Georgian and Tudor. These styles are characterized by symmetrical lines, flat roofs, and heavy use of wood. As modern styles evolved from traditional ones, they incorporated some elements from traditional architecture, such as using stone as a building material. However, modern architects also used other materials such as cement and glass, which had not been widely used before.