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- Published on Amazon.com
Albrecht has provided us with an excellent historical overview, upon the development of modernism within architecture, and how movies helped to showcase an art form that symbolized, not only futuristic looks, but optimism through progress.
At first, I was confused by Albrecht's introductory chapters, because they were all spent talking about the development of modernism. However, I started to see the matching patterns between all the chapters, towards the end of the book. In creating a look of modernism, the beginning of the book talks about the number of artists and architects who developed a vision of modernist architecture, as their ideas and designs were always tested against each others at various world fairs and conventions entitled `Progress of the Future.'
What was neat though was that, later on in the book, Albrecht spoke of the filmmakers who would take on futuristic movies, and how they would have to predict what the future of the world would look like by thinking about how society would change, what transportation would be like, what would happen to social classes, etc. Interestingly enough though, Albrecht also speaks of the designers who, while they made present day films, were always trying to predict the future too, by showcasing the latest in women's fashions and newest developments in interior design. Considering that movies, back then, would have to travel the nation rather than be released all at once, producers had the pressure of making a product that could withstand a shelf life of one to two full years.
In turn, what I took away from Albrecht was that, in order to design dreams, we as filmmakers must always think ahead into the future. The movies of the 1930s and beyond were winners because they showcased a wonderful future to its audiences by giving them the latest insights into fashion and interior design. Those filmmakers who created fantasy films were challenged, on the other hand, to show what our cities would truly evolve into. Like the architects who created modernism itself, all designers are responsible for predicting the future, to some extent.
Lastly, I was greatly taken in by the idea of how modernism was created. It seems like its creators wanted to create a look of architecture that would blend in perfectly with paved roads, steel cars, and concrete highways. After all, Victorian and Classical structures simply would not fit in with the modern creations of the Industrial Revolution.
Therefore, those architects challenged themselves to visualize what a future world would look like, and thus, moderism was born. In turn, to me at least, modernism is not about concrete walls and minimalist looks - but rather, it is a constant attempt to accommodate for what humankind will need in the future, rather than to conform it to a style that worked in the past. Albrecht's book communicated that idea to me perfectly.