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What was it with squareness in the 70's/80's?

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  • What was it with squareness in the 70's/80's?

    Upon reading that thread about modern attitudes and old buildings it made me think about architecture in the 70's and 80's and the god awful fascination they had with sharp corners and squares/rectangles..

    Why was it we went from smooth curves all the way through history until the 70's and 80's then all of a sudden these boxes started appearing.... And they appeared everywhere... Buildings, cars, even machine tools went from looking aesthetically pleasing to awful..

    Was it because back in those days computer design was taking over and the computers of the day could not handle curves due to modest computing power? Or did squares seem modern?
    Precision takes time.

  • #2
    I believe it was just a simple matter of change.

    Everything in the developed world i think seems to run in fads, so change is inevitable to keep people buying.

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    • #3
      Squares

      I agree about the fad thing. Remember Cubism in art back in the early 1900's ?
      There are only a few basic geometric shapes to choose from. They just go in circles from one to another.
      Kansas City area

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sasquatch
        I believe it was just a simple matter of change.

        Everything in the developed world i think seems to run in fads, so change is inevitable to keep people buying.
        Bingo! you buy what your told to buy, by the rich famious people who get paid to tell you what to buy, By the people who get paid by you buying.

        Fads, Fasond, etc, are huge scams to sell lots of ulgy stuff before everyone realises it really is ulgy, then they just say the 'fasond/fad/tread' is over and its time for the latest ulgy POS!

        When I was growing up, It was a pertty simple decision. I could have 4 pair of decent made shoes, new enough that they fit my growing feet and where not worn out at all because I had 4 pairs to pick from, And when I went to buy them I had a selection of hundreds to pick from, of all diffrent styles, colors, etc.

        Or I could have 1 pair of shoes with Nike/ writen on em in stupid looking letters, Out of a selection of about 20 outta the hundred in the store, That would soon get worn out because id have no other shoes to wear, Be constantly dirty since I could'nt be without them most days to wash em. etc.

        Same price! I tryed the expensive ones once or twice... I seem to recall the pump toung thingy was cool, but broke in a few months. Overall I much more enjoyed having 4 pairs of $50 shoes then 1 pair of $200 shoes.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          Yes but squares are ugly in architecture... All through history squares were shunned except for a very short period...
          Precision takes time.

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          • #6
            That particular architectural style has an appropriate name. It's called Brutalism or the Brutalist style.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #7
              The Borg???

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              • #8
                Had a girlfriend years ago that when she threw a fit went into "The Brutilist Style".

                (She didn,t have any Square corners that i found anyway!!)

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                • #9
                  The Borg is also appropriate. The funny thing is that I was just paging through a book I have about architecture a few days ago so the name of the style came to mind immediately.


                  This is an excellent example of brutalism.

                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #10
                    It's of varying possible names.....

                    The style, I believe, arose from the views of the buildings as architectural models. Viewed at a distance, from an angle that often nobody on foot will see them, they can be kinda cool. (I thought of going into acrchitecture back then, my cousin and uncle are actually architects)

                    However, as buildings, they intentionally have nothing in "people scale". This was an argument I had with design professors....

                    THEY thought what I came up with was "busy"..... and they preferred large bold features with NO smaller details. But when you are next to the building, you see none of that, all you can see is a huge featureless wall, even if from 500 ft up and a quarter mile out it looks really good.

                    The picture Evan posted just above is an example..... from this distance it looks "textured", possibly ugly, possibly so ugly it is interesting.....

                    Up close it will just be featureless concrete.

                    The older styles, which had to be changed since "we" were all bored by them, had either hypostyle halls, or colonnades, etc, with features more people sized when up close, even if they were sometimes cubes at a distance. Those features make the building "people-friendly', something the styles you mention often are the exact reverse of.
                    Last edited by J Tiers; 07-14-2011, 10:54 PM.
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

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                    • #11
                      In my view, it was a matter of cost cutting methods being marketed as cutting edge design.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know if it's just me, but I like the squarer looking machines. There are a few of the older machines like Monarch lathes etc that are an exception.

                        As for cars I am glad they moved on back to curves, the ford XD onwards shape (for us Aussies) where very boring looking compared to the before and after models.

                        Dave

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Evan

                          This is an excellent example of brutalism.
                          I look at that and I immediately think of socialism..
                          Precision takes time.

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                          • #14
                            I think it was a matter of cost cutting mostly, coupled with a lack of regard for the purchasers sense of pleasing architecture. Build 'em a box, someone will buy it, who cares, we get paid-
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                            • #15
                              When is Harvest Gold, Avocado Green and the other wonderful colors of that time period coming back? Also shag carpet.

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