Modern Architecture and Modernity

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Modernists in architecture ignored existing material, eliminating them on the basis that they were outdated and impediments to true creativity and progress. The architecture of Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) is acclaimed for its distinctive nature and farsightedness. He is renowned as an American visionary, and an intellecutal of our times. The architect is a key innovator of the twentieth century in the fields of designing, architecture, engineering, invention, and philosophy (Gorman 2005). The other contemporary architect in this study is Oscar Niemeyer (born 1907) the Brazilian modernist, whose creativity aimed at reflecting his country’s progress. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the theme of Progress in the modernist work of the two architects Buckminster Fuller and Oscar Niemeyer. A detailed examination of three buildings created by each architect, and of their concepts of progress in building the future of cities, will be done. BUCKMINSTER FULLER’S DEPICTION OF PROGRESS IN MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE Buckminster Fuller’s architecture based on modernism was distinctive in style. He invented the geodesic dome and the octet truss, as well as a wide range of other paradigm-shifting machines and structural systems (Levine, Chaisuparasmikul, Yanarella et al, 2011). He was particularly interested in high-strength-to-weight designs with a minimum of material creating the maximum of utility. His designs, and various principles including his engineering philosophy based on the trimtab principle, are progressive and intended to create a sustainable and modern urban landscape. Even today, contemporary high-tech design aesthetics are based on Fuller’s designs and engineering principles. The architect’s philosophical analogy of being a Trim Tab or mover of big ships, for improving the way the world works is a unique one. A trim tab is a small rudder used to turn the larger rudder of big ships, offering tremendous leverage in terms of steering and changing the direction of the ship (Gabel Walker 2006). Thus, the trim tab, according to Buckminster Fuller is a powerful metaphor for effective individual leadership, denoting that small and appropriate interventions are capable of leading to large-scale and profound progress. Fuller followed the principle of the trim tab in his own work, producing crucial innovations to aid further architectural developments. Fuller’s Philosophical Vision Related to Mobile Homes Among Buckminster Fuller’s innovative architectural projects are his mass produced homes, and transportable mobile houses as well as geodesic domes. For example, his geodesic domes have actually been airlifted by military helicopters. His buildings were characterized by their light weight and self sufficiency which facilitated travel, and could thereby cause tranformation in human behavior. The mobility and change of places would help people rid themselves of self-created boundaries between various regions, and other differentiations and discriminations, as well as help them achieve a more secular future of global unity (Gorman 2005). Buckminster Fuller’s prime goal was to design and construct an autonomous and practical individual home that could be transported by helicopter wherever the owner wished to move. This pertained to Fuller’s decision to make the world work for one hundred percent of humanity, in the shortest