Half a Century of Liberation: From Objectivity to Amnesty

Ignacio Senra
Texto completo: PDF (English)



Amnesty for Constructed Reality, 1978, is the synthesis of the action taken by Haus-Rucker-Co. Laurids Ortner recovered the ideas of New Objectivity to defend the entire existing urban landscape: “The debate about our built environment has become primarily a problem of aesthetic judgment. They are criteria for visual perception which concern us much more than the actual physical risk factors. What is usually seen as our environment is characterized by adjectives that, according to their level of sophistication, ranging from emotionally charged words like ugly, sad and chaotic the so-called objective terms as inaccessible and monotonous.”
Haus-Rucker-Co Manifesto continues a key line of thought in both artistic and architectural practice during the middle decades of the 20th century: “a profoundly liberating attitude that allowed finding value in places and objects usually judged as ugly by architects.” These words by Scott Brown justify movements often considered opposites. From “industrial” early Modern to “commercial” postmodern, the invocation of objectivity and suppression of judgment have served as major theoretical arguments. If, during the 1920s the principles of the Neue Sachlichkeit served as the basis for a reaction against German Expressionism, the recovery by Alison and Peter Smithson in England in the fifties would be used by Venturi and Scott Brown as a starting point for his theories of non-prosecution.
As critics denounced (Lootsma, Koetter, Frampton ...) the problem of this “permissive” attitude –if we use the term introduced by Scott Brown as a principle– lies in the danger of falling into resignation. This uncritical attitude, wrapped in values of respect, eliminates the socio-political consciousness of the architect and risks falling into the immediacy of understanding the amnestied object directly as a model.

Palabras clave

Objetivity; Amnesty; Permissiveness; Judgment; Ordinary


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