Image: Gavin Morrison “Berthold Lubetkin” in The Modernist: a quarterly magazine about 20th Century architecture and design Manchester, 2015.
The pronouncements of architects can often sound like the issuing of moral diktats: Adolf Loos’ observation of criminal intent in ornamentation or Mies van der Rohe seeing God in the details. These feel like the types of sentiments that should be punctuated with a fist banging on the table or delivered from a pulpit. Such declarations were particularly popular during the modernist era, entwining the ethical and aesthetic, by appealing to notions of truth and honesty: truth to materials, to social program and truth to functional intent. It was a form of experimentalism, where words helped to build buildings.