🗿 Is Brutalist Architecture really as bad as we think?
#29 New Youtube Vide, New Perspective on the Amazon Building, and I'm Launching ArchiNotion!!
From the Curator 😎💻
Yo, What's up! Joseph here
I’ve packed this week’s newsletter with a lot of info so skip this part and get to reading/watching/enjoying!
Video of the Week 🎥
New video is up! I’m really trying hard this year to be more consistent on Youtube so I hope you all enjoy this video! Commenting and subscribing will definitely give me some great support and make me want to create more videos 😉
Oh ALSO!! We finally reached 1,400 subscribers!! Man that was a goal I was hoping to hit for a looong while but the next goal is 5k by the end of the year so consider helping me get there by sharing and subscribing! Love ya!
From the Socials 📲
I just hope you find the absurdity of this architecture and thread as entertaining as I do. It really does look like a bad Taco Bell…lol
Article of the Week 📚
In the never ending saga of whether the Amazon building is cool or not, we are back with a new take on it..
Marianela goes on to write,
But what the building looks like matters less than the role it plays for Amazon as a company and for Arlington as a city. In its current state — not a constructed building but a series of images of a building that will exist in the future — its role is to attract attention to Amazon, specifically to paint it as a leader in “green” capitalism, and investment in Arlington. Its role is also to continue to build an idea of what “progress” should look like.
And this is true, what better way to claim progress than making these bold statements of what we envision the future to look like and try to strive for it?
Marianela then compares what these corporations are doing to Soviet Architecture and the brutalist buildings of the era,
Ukraine used postmodern designs in state projects, while postmodernism almost everywhere else in the world was used exclusively by corporations (think of those McDonald’s with the pastel interiors). Just like the Amazon headquarters attempts to appeal to investors through its image of “eco-friendly” capitalism, the buildings in Soviet Modernism also represent the values of its commissioners (in this case, the Ukrainian state), which evolved over time from a professed socialist politics to a more conservative statism, to finally a flirting with capitalism before the collapse of the USSR brought with it economic collapse and a fragmented nationalism.
So is it a bad thing? The question that I always come back to is, why does brutalism get such a bad wrap? I personally love brutalist buildings and how innovative they were.
(Brutalism) Offensive to people with more “traditional” aesthetic tastes — like Donald Trump, for example, who a few months before leaving office issued an executive order that all federal buildings should be built only in a “classical” style — brutalism’s form, as the book lightly suggests, is a direct result of its progressive aims. Yes, brutalism’s concrete heaviness can be intimidating, but as Instagram accounts like @brutgroup have demonstrated, this intimidation is often awe-inspiring. Brutalism also invariably features elements that are humanly scaled: cozy ceilings, wooden handrails, textured walls.
Its revival speaks to the appeal of this type of architecture, designed to elicit a reaction from its users, not just from potential investors. Though much of brutalism might’ve been propaganda for an authoritarian socialism, good propaganda still has to appeal to its mass audience — in this case, working people.
Marianela says something here that really converts my thinking, “Though much of brutalism might’ve been propaganda for an authoritarian socialism, good propaganda still has to appeal to its mass audience.” The only way forward is to throw these crazy ideas out there and see what sticks, right?
Maybe that’s what this project is. Aside from all of the hate it gets, I’m sure the architects know that there are still tons of problems to work through but they have to be given the opportunity and sell the vision in order to work on this new/better future of buildings.
What are your thoughts on this? Obviously the image is from a horrible angle that eliminates the user but maybe the image is just a story being told by pretty trees and shiny glass. A story that tells us what the future can look like if we accept the challenge to work through these design problems and make it happen.
Resource of the Week 🔗
ArchiNotion - Launching Soon
Before I end this post, I want to tell y’all about something I’ve been working on that I’m proud of. That’s ArchiNotion, a site where I create design tools and templates super accessible all as Digital Downloads.
My goal is to help young designers and future architects get started as quickly as possible and on the right foot. Archinotion helps solve that problem by creating streamlined portfolio templates and portfolio websites all with free programs that everyone has access to. No more having to learn InDesign or Illustrator over night to turn in your portfolio, my templates utilize Google Slides and Notion. Both of these tools are powerhouse tools that are underrated by designers because they aren’t the “standard” of use by everyone.
Sometimes it’s not about how you did it but about how well you did it.
So, join me Sunday as I launch my first digital product or follow the journey as I continue building ArchiNotion on Twitter. The products are now live for Pre-Order so snag one and use the discount code: Youtube to get all products 50% off.
Also, it would mean the world to me if you shared the product, if you’ve received any value from this newsletter, it only takes a couple seconds to tell a friend, Tweet about it, or even post to your IG stories and let other future designers know about resources they can take advantage of! ✌
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I'll be back next week, same time, same place! 💪🏽