Here’s a great addition to my collection of articles that damn modernism in its own defense. This one says pretty much the opposite of what the headline says and what the writer, David Hay, wants to believe. “Why Modernism Came Back, and What It Looks Like Now,” in Curbed, is filled with quotes of architects backing away from modernism. But each time, the author insists that modernism’s popularity has grown. I read it all the way through, and could not believe my eyes. Give it a try.
Modernism remains dominant not because it is popular but because the architectural establishment keeps the playing field tilted – except in the market for single-family houses, where people not committees decide. Most architecture journals puff only modern architecture, but look at what’s for sale on the magazine racks of your local bookstore. As citizens in unfree societies are aware, dominance does not always equal popularity.