Farshid Moussavi // The Function of Style

Tonight, as part of the Spring Lecture series 2015, we had the pleasure of hosting Farshid Moussavi who discussed the Function of Style, title of her last book, and part of the Function triolgy: ‘The Function of Ornament’, ‘The Function of Forms’, and ‘the Function of Style’ based on her research and teaching at Harvard.

What is the function of style today? If the 1970s were defined by Postmodernism and the 1980s by Deconstruction, how do we characterize the architecture of the 1990s to the present? Some built forms transmit affects of curvilinearity, others of crystallinity; some transmit multiplicity, others unity; some transmit cellularity, others openness; some transmit dematerialization, others weight. Does this immense diversity reflect a lack of common purpose? In this book, acclaimed architect and theorist Farshid Moussavi argues that this diversity should not be mistaken for an eclecticism which is a product of external forces.

The Function of Style presents the architectural landscape as an intricate web in which individual buildings are the product of ideas which have been appropriated from other buildings designed for the different activities of everyday life, to produce singular buildings which are related to one another but also different.

Moussavi argues that by embracing everyday life as a raw material architects can change the conventions of how buildings are assembled, to ground the aesthetic experience of the buildings in the micro-politics of the everyday.

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