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ARC 234 (3)

Enlightenment Idealism

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University at Buffalo
ARC 234
Hadas Steiner

Enlightenment Idealism: The West and the World  New attitude toward the natural world  Analyzing architecture, human behavior  Three interlocking themes of architecture of this period o Fundamentally new vision of the relationship of architecture to its past o Architecture’s response to the explosion of the scientific realm and what it means to be human o Emergence of new publics for building for a period changing in socioeconomic status and nation building  Greeks were not interested in the field of history  Felt historians didn’t take a rational look at the world  This outlook will change in this period  Historical documents become dated  1752 – First modern history of architecture is published  Voltaire is famous for his skepticism, myths and theories; his texts are regarded as the first social histories (culture) concerned with humanity o Believes history of a civilization are reflected in artwork o Change could occur through nature or through humanity (revolution) o Architects begin to see architecture as an evolution of forms o Voltaire had a scorn for myths, so students began to put into question their foundations o Self-conscious examination of architectural style  Experimentation using styles emerges  Voltaire began a trend of all things medieval  Strawberry Hill – first building we see emerge during Gothic revival  1749 – First book of science was published “The Natural History” by Buffon  Natural History became the new name for science  New audience…Enlightenment questioned autocratic rule (torries vs whigs)  Bourgeoisie emerges, “middle class”  Architects were called on to invent building types void of any precedents  Shift from art owned by king/church to art owned by the people o Concept of museum o Library o Halls for Legislative Assembly o Railway Stations o Department Stores o A need for a general archetype  How does one come about designing with a program in mind – how to recognize specific programs by the architecture  Founding of first engineering school, School of Bridges and Roads in Paris 
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