We wrote a final paper wich occur a selected topic by ourselves. My topic wa about “form” and “function”. Here it is;


Finding an accurate form for a structure has been a challenging matter in architecture. And also there has been a question in this task what its function of the structure and how it is served. These all question has been existing from starting the architecture history and of course it will lasting. Mankind started architecture for its needs and they always look for the best ways which can serve their need and answer their requirements. When it is the case, the relationship between form and function has been an ongoing topic in architecture circle. Especially, in the architecture period of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance nearly all buildings had ornamentation or figurative decoration. Building’s façades or form was used as a way of expression. For example, in the Gothic period architects design buildings with ribbed vaulting for the giving expression of being close to god. With time function of this ornamentation started to questioning. Then the idea of functionalism started to spread in the 18th century. The principle of functionalism is designing a building according to the purpose of building with the other words function of the building. According to the perspective of functionalism, buildings should design as a unity of pure, unornamented form which is the combination of rhythmically unified various patterns. In the progress of time, the relationship of form and function turn into a contradiction which occupies an important place in architectural history with the contributions of lots of important architects. No matter there are lots of declarations about the contradiction that discuss by some important architects such as Louis Sullivan, Adolf Loos, Robert Venturi, Frank Lloyd Wright for clarifying their relation, this contradiction between functionalism, form and aesthetic are remaining as a continuous debate that dependent variable of individual perspective. This paper is not written for criticizing this statement or sharing my own ideas about it. The goal of this paper is analysing the debate between form and function and also analysing contributions and evaluation of it as well. The reason for this debate took an important place in architecture progression I also aimed briefly analyse the developing ideas that influence this statement.

Before starting analysing form, function, and their retaliations which show variety by the time, the architectural meaning of form and function should understand. In 2013, John Shannon Hendrix explains form and function as
“By “form” is meant the visual appearance of a building (line, outline, shape, composition); by “function” the structural and functional requirements of a building (construction, shelter, program, organization, use, occupancy, materials, social purpose). The form, of course, can be said to have a metaphysical “function” to represent or express an idea, but that sense of the word is not used here. Both terms have modern connotations, related to the dictum “form follows function,” but both have also played a role in architecture throughout history.”[ Hendrix, John. Contradiction between Form and Function in Architecture. (Routledge, NY, 2013), p.1.]
in his book “The Contradiction Between Form and Function in Architecture”. This important debate actually started in 1869, with Louis Sullivan’s claim “form ever follows function” in his article “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered”. He changed a course of architecture history and creates new aspect to modern architecture by saying
“It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human, and all things super-human, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law”.[ Louis H. Sullivan, “The Tall Building Artistically Considered,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947), p. 208.]
According to Sullivan’s thought architecture should be sensible and logical because the result of a building has a sense of responsibility of living. In other words, the design should have a spirit. Also in his essay, he suggested that form is expressing inner life of the building. So that form should represent that life. He stated his idea about form by saying;”All things in nature have a shape, that is to say, a form, an outward semblance, that tells us what they are, that distinguishes them from ourselves and from each other.”[ Louis H. Sullivan, “The Tall Building Artistically Considered,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947), p.207.]Sullivan also discusses that “form follows function” is a related topic of nature. He explains this idea “Unfailingly in nature these shapes express the inner life, the native quality, of the animal, tree, bird, fish, that they present to us; they are so characteristic, so recognizable, that we say simply, it is “natural” it should be so”.[ Louis H. Sullivan, “The Tall Building Artistically Considered,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947), p.344.]
Therefore, Sullivan argues that buildings cannot show its characteristic as an organic thing so that it should be designed the way that expresses its characteristic as it happens in nature with the other words the way form follows function.

After a few decade, Frank Lloyd Wright explains the relation of nature and building by stating;
”Primarily, Nature furnished the materials for architectural motifs out of which the architectural forms as we know them today have been developed, and, although our practice for centuries has been for the most part to turn from her, seeking inspiration in books and adhering slavishly to dead formulae, her wealth of suggestion is inexhaustible; her riches greater than any man’s desire. ”[ Wright, Frank Lloyd. In the Cause of Architecture. New York: F.W. Dodge, 1928, p.1.]
As clarified by the quotations of Sullivan and Wright, the relation of nature and form is a rich source of design. This approach related with nature and form of Sullivan becomes one of the debatable issues which has actually occurred by misinterprets of Louis Sullivan’s approach. Contrary to the claims by some people who disagree with Sullivan’s statement, he did not suggest a form for a specific type of building. He suggested having a form like in nature. For instance, there are seven million people in the world but as categorization, they are all human. As a duty, architects should understand the environment and the needs then create a building according to this special character. The sum and the substance of it, Wright and Sullivan suggested using as a source of design not a source of copy. By following this path architects extrapolate countless form for every building even if have a similar function.

Briefly stated, the basic purpose of Sullivan’s suggestions were for having a functional design (functional building type to the modern high-rise office building) which can sense by its form. He clearly stated that form of buildings should no longer express privileges or religious messages, it should express what they are by writing;
” And thus, the design of the tall office building takes its place with all other architectural types made when architecture, as has happened once in many years, was a living art. Witness the Greek temple, the Gothic cathedral, the mediaeval fortress.”[ Louis H. Sullivan, “The Tall Building Artistically Considered,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947), p.345.]

In following years, in the light of Functionalism architects started to abandon the predecessor ornamentation approach and the idea of creating a design for serving its function starts to gain an importance place in architecture. In 1908, Adolf Loos declares that “ornament is crime”. In his essay, Loos stated that”Every period had its style: why was it that our period was the only one to be denied a style? By “style” was meant ornament.”[ Adolf Loos, “Ornament and Crime,” in Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays (California: Ariadne Press, 1997), p.20.] As stated in the quotation of Loos a style with the other words ornamentation showed itself in every period of architecture. Without having a function, ornamentation was found at buildings. This expensive expression had served only the individual aesthetic taste. As a figurative expression, ornamentation rejected by the manifesto of Adolf Loos. In this manifesto, Loos express unnecessity of ornamentation by writing;
“Well, the epidemic of ornament is recognised by the state and is subsidized with government money. I, however, consider that to be regressive. I will not subscribe to the argument that ornament increases the pleasure of the life of a cultivated person or the argument which covers itself with the words: “But if the ornament is beautiful! …” To me, and to all the cultivated people, ornament does not increase the pleasures of life. If I want to eat a piece of gingerbread I will choose one that is completely plain and not a piece which represents a baby in arms of a horse rider, a piece which is covered over and over with decoration. The man of the fifteenth century would not understand me. But modern people will.”[ Adolf Loos, “Ornament and Crime,” in Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays (California: Ariadne Press, 1997), p.21]

His aim was demonstrating a lack of necessity of ornamentation or decoration. Having pure forms or creating a form for only following its function reduce to Loos the saying “ornament is crime”. According to Loos’s aspect, without serving any function, creating a form or decoration or ornament was only waste of time and money. He wrote this essay for reveal these redundant accessories for whom may not aware.

Sullivan may start the debate of “Form Follows Function” but Loos carries it a step forward. Indeed, as a common ground Sullivan and Loss pointed out that architect should use the natural organic forms instead of various stylish expressions. Furthermore, they also clarify that these stylish decorations only visually serve expressions on the buildings. According to their perspective, designing unused things for creating living art in the building should be a history any longer. The distinction of Loos’ ideas and Sullivan’s ideas occurred by Loos’s sharp approach to usage of ornamentation. Some of the architects claim that there should be some aesthetic concern in a design. So that they found Loos’s approach as an extreme remark. In “The Function of Ornament” book Farshid Moussavi opposes this extreme remark by giving example the counter view of Gottfried Semper;
“For Semper, the functional and structural requirements of a building were subordinate to the semiotic and artistic goals of ornament. For Loos, on the other hand, ornamentation was a crime. In his view, the ornament was used in traditional societies as a means of differentiation; modern society needed not to emphasize individuality, but on the contrary, to suppress it. Hence for Loos, ornamentation had lost its social function and had become unnecessary.”[ Moussavi, Farshid, and Michael Kubo. The Function of Ornament. (Barcelona: Actar, 2006), p. 7.]
With this example, Farshid Moussavi also aimed the underlined the need of ornament. She is perceived ornament as a communication way of culture by located on the buildings. As a matter of fact, she wrote;
“Ornament is the figure that emerges from the material substrate, the expression of embedded forces through processes of construction, assembly, and growth. It is through ornament that material transmits affects. Ornament is therefore necessary and inseparable from the object. It is not a mask determined a priori to create specific meanings(as in Postmodernism), even though it does contribute to contingent or involuntary signification (a characteristic of all forms). It has no intention to decorate, and there is in it no hidden meaning. At the best of times, ornament becomes an “empty sign” capable of generating an unlimited number of resonances.”[ Moussavi, Farshid, and Michael Kubo. The Function of Ornament. (Barcelona: Actar, 2006), p. 8.
This approach of Farshid Moussavi’s has an encounter approach with Sullivan. The reason of Sullivan’s unornamented form approach, another counter reactions in this debate occurred against Louis Sullivan. As an accusation of some dissident architects, they discuss that even if Sullivan who is famous for with the quote of “ Form Follows Function” could not apply his own principle in his own design, related to his usage of the terra cotta ornamentation in Wainwright Building, Guaranty Building. He is criticised because of using this material while defending functional form. As a reaction to this attitude, Marcel Breuer said, “Sullivan did not eat his functionalism quite as hot as he cooked it”[ Hendrix, John. Contradiction between Form and Function in Architecture. (Routledge, NY, 2013), p.10.]. For clarify, Hendrix explains this incomprehensible situation by writing “Sullivan said that form should follow function in the creative process of the architect, and that “the essence of things is taking shape in the matter of things”in nature, but he did not say that the form of the building should follow the function of the building, its functional or structural requirements.”[ Hendrix, John. Contradiction between Form and Function in Architecture. (Routledge, NY, 2013), p.10.]As the matter of fact that Sullivan manifest ornament in 1892 “Ornament in Architecture”. Moreover, this article is considered hat influence Adolf Loos. As ı mention before, Although the manifest of Sullivan’s not sharp as Loos’s, he also expresses his thought very clearly by pressing these words;
”I should say that it would be greatly for our aesthetic good if we should refrain entirely from the use of ornament for a period of years, in order that our thought might concentrate acutely upon the production of buildings well formed and comely in the nude.”[ Louis H. Sullivan, “Ornament in Architecture,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947), p. 187.]
To admitted, his way of using terra cotta in his design is not serve as an example. In point of fact, it should understand the difficulty of transferring thoughts, a general ideas or philosophy in structure while designing. Unfortunately, lots of pioneer architects- commonly architecture philosophers- lost their path while transferring their ideas to reality. But the reason of the unsuccessful example of practice, this principle of should not consider as a wrong.This statement is a general perception for the idealization of architecture. Its application is another matter.

In brief, the idea of creating the functional design is having a functional form that serves as its usage and representation of inside life in the design process, not finding a form of building that follows its function without concerning functional, structural requirements and only respecting the inner life and order. The reason of these two principles “form follows function” and “ornament is Crime” have not any strict difference between them some architects find a solution with merging these two principles as “Form follows function” allows for ornamentation as long as it serves a function. As a result, some architects follows this joined principle in their design and some of them only take a part that fit with their architectural perception, so it should point out that this remark influences lots of important architects and of course of architectural events. Furthermore, lots of architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Niemeyer and much mores also interpreted this debate and voicing their own ideas about it. Sullivan’s real aim was finding the right form of a building as it works for nature. He argues this issue with his main declaration, he thought that form should embrace its identity as much as works in nature

In fact, however, Sullivan declares “ Form ever follows function”, actually, Wright turned this slogan into today’s known form by saying “Already it has been said – Lieber Meister declared it – and biology knows and shows us that form follows function.”[ Wright, Frank Lloyd 1953: The Future of Architecture.( New York), p. 296.]And also in “Language of Organic Architecture”, Frank Lloyd Wright defends the idea of “Form follows function” not only for seeing his former teacher and employer Louis Sullivan as “Lieber Meister” but also for corresponding his own architectural theories and attitude. In the same essay, he also pointed out that this debatable remark becomes an “ a much-abused slogan and the password for sterility”.[ Wright, Frank Lloyd 1953: The Future of Architecture.( New York), p. 332.]Therefore, he explains the main principle behind this slogan in ”Frank Lloyd Wright” documentary, by saying““ Form Follows Function” – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”[ Frank Lloyd Wright. Dir. Ken Burns. 1997.]Despite all, misunderstands and critics, Sullivan’s real aim was finding the right form of a building as it works for nature. He argues this issue with his main declaration, he thought that form should embrace its identity an as much as works in nature. Wright also wrote “Forms follows Function” is mere dogma until you realize the higher truth that form and function are one.”[ Wright, Frank Lloyd 1954: The Natural House. (New York), p. 20.].Beside the respect and tendency of exception to Sullivan’s ideas, another reason of Wright takes a stand for Sullivan’s opinion and tries to utilise is this idea provides a basis for his own architectural style. As in his mentor’s suggestions, Wright also embraces nature in his design. Frank Lloyd Wright cherishes to nature and natural order in the light of that fact he creates his architectural style which called “organic architecture”. Wright, in a similar vein with Sullivan, desires using organic characteristics and natural principles in the design process of mankind(in this case architects)for intelligently creating forms.

The approach of Sullivan not only creates lots of debate and critics but also opens lots of doors whom may understand the real logic of it. This debate’s discussion never be “form follows function”, form or function. As a close person to Sullivan, Wright explains this real aim with“Not until we raise the dictum, now a dogma, to the realm of thought, and say: Form and function are one, have we stated the case for architecture.”[ Wright, Frank Lloyd 1953: The Future of Architecture.( New York), p. 296,] As in the saying, this famous remark should be perceived as a case for architecture not a stylish or ideological approach of one man. It is a matter of architecture.

To illustrate to Wright and Sullivan, another important architect made and another declaration about this debate by saying;“ We no longer argue over the primacy of form or function(which follows which?), we cannot ignore their interdependence”.[ Venturi, Robert 1977: Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. (New York), p.18 ]Some of whom may not understand the real intellectual of “form follows function”, this statement is considered this as an another manifestation of Robert Venturi as a case of his statement “Less is Bore” against Mies van der Rohe’s statement “Less is more”. On the other hand, this Robert Venturi’s statement more like another explanation for drawing attention to the purpose of this declaration. The real aim of Sullivan never was sharply defining form follows function or function follows form. As a Venturi says there should not no more discuss which follows which this is not the topic. The real topic is understood them as an undivided part of a uniting composition.

To sum up, the main reason of that ı approach to this” form follows function” debate by analysing Louis Sullivan, Adolf Loos, Frank Lloyd Wright and Robert Venturi is pointing out development process by their contribution. This idea is not only famous for its strong statement but also for the thing that becomes by development trough the time with these names and much more. All these pioneers contribute this topic by criticising or carrying a step forward by their interpretation. This ideology may be started as a statement of one architect but it is influenced many mores.Related with this is an ongoing debate with lots of interpretation, as a goal of this paper ı would like to enlighten some known misunderstood of this remark by analysing not only counter perception but also encounter perception. No matter this debate never conclude, its beneficence to the development of the other perception of architecture such as organic architecture and functionalism should appreciate. In addition to all these debates, this slogan of Sullivan should perceive as a more than a function or form issue, it is a general approach for defining the architectural aspect.


  • Louis H. Sullivan, “The Tall Building Artistically Considered,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947)
  • Hendrix, John. Contradiction between Form and Function in Architecture. (Routledge, NY, 2013)
  • Adolf Loos, “Ornament and Crime,” in Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays (California: Ariadne Press, 1997)
  • Moussavi, Farshid, and Michael Kubo. The Function of Ornament. (Barcelona: Actar, 2006)
  • Louis H. Sullivan, “Ornament in Architecture,” in Kindergarten Chats and Other
  • Writings (New York: George Wittenborn & Co., 1947)
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd 1953: The Future of Architecture.( New York)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright. Dir. Ken Burns. 1997.
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd 1954: The Natural House. (New York)
  • Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. Learning from Las Vegas:
  • The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1977.
  • Gousios, Georgios, and Diomidis Spinellis. Beautiful Architecture:. Beijing: O’Reilly, 2009.
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd. In the Cause of Architecture. New York: F.W. Dodge, 1928.

Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Last night ı was studying on my draft of final paper for my course ARCH 222. While ı was researching about Robert Venturi and his attitude about form follows function notion, ı run into this video. ı was glad to watch maybe it can take your attention too 🙂





Manfredo Tafuri was an Italian architect, theoretician and academic that lived between 1935 and 1994. Manfredo Tafuri also was critic and architecture historian like Bruno Zevi and Siegfried Giedion.
In 1960, he graduated from University of Rome La Sapienza. As a student, he joined a protest against to curriculum changes such as urban planning and architectural history. After he got his degree, he becomes a teaching assistant under Saul Greco, Adalberto Libera, Ludovico Quaroni. In his assisting period, he influenced by these professors in terms of urbanism, architecture, and technical information.
Between 1960 and 1970, he was started to interest in architectural history and theories. In addition, at the same time, he was also interested in Marxist theories produced by Walter Benjamin, Georg Lukacs, and Theodor Adorno. Marxism was a socio-economic approach which analysed class distinction, it’s relation and societal conflicts in society. According to Ideology, social running exists under the capitalist forces unless the concept of social class discrimination disappears.
Tafuri published his first book ” Theories and History of Architecture” in 1968. In this book, Tafuri pointed out predicted “crisis” of modern theory and also he was questioning the modernism ideas as a unity. After one year letter, he wrote his essay for Marxist journal “Contropiano” which was called “Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology”. Manfredo Tafuri’s this essay- “Per Una critica dell’ideologia architettonica”- was translated by Stephen Sartarelli for “ Architecture Theory since 1968” edited by K. Micheal Hays.
In this essay, he explains several claims regarding the death of architecture, otherwise, to architecture’s utopian or avant-garde (artists, writers etc.) ideologies by the force of capitalist powers. According to Hays (Hays K. M., Architecture Theory since 1968.) before examining Tafuri’s studies, first, his contention which includes both nihilistic and liberating should understand because these two perspectives of him seen in his opinion which he discharged architects to create a better world under the capitalist culture.
Firstly, Tafuri suggested that it could not be a coincidence that a lot of architectural debating and cultural theories for re-examination to sources of modern art. By returning the source, in spite of the conflict between bourgeois ( in Marxist theory, owner of property with the other words person belong to owning class in capitalism)ideologies and savant, begins to approach to all ideas of modern architecture as a combination of developments. In the light of this approach, he considers architecture ideologies, as guidelines for the city.

Tafuri started his essay with examining enlightenment, and the urban design theories of Laugier In Observations sur l’architecture (Laugier, The Hague, 1765), Laugier theorized a city design which initiates Enlightenment architecture theory. He wants to reduce the city to a natural phenomenon and to enlarge urban fabric different from all pioneer urban organizations. Laugier writes in his book “Observations”, “anyone who knows how to design a park well, will draw up a plan according to which a city must be built in relation to its area and situation. There must be squares, intersections, streets. There must be regularity and whimsy, relationships and oppositions, chance elements that lend variety to the tableau, precise order in the details and confusion, chaos and tumult in the whole.” (1). According to Tafuri, Laugier’s words are only representing the existence of the 18th-century city. Even in the first half of enlightenment, the anti-perspective character of urban spaces with the other words natural order of environment, overshadowed impressive Baroque character. At the same times, city’s anti-organic stereotype characteristic order is understood. The reason of its nature, landscape intended to preserve its condition. By accepting this concept in 18th-century architects and painter show a naturalistic attitude. In city planning, they tended to organized city plan with the same level of fragmentation of nature and urban. Laugier like all English enlightenment theorists, they embrace the natural characteristic of urban language. Regarding Tafuri’s thoughts, no matter Laugier’s “city as forest” idea was the naturalistic approach to city planning but, indeed, it did not go beyond work as a model of Patte’s plan of Paris in 1756 which occurred by variation of oriented spaces in a framework.
To sum up, Tafuri critiqued enlightenment architects to act with their political approach to architecture moreover, to create a general solution for order and problems of cities. According to Tafuri’s approach, nobody was unable to exceed to lost their architecture values while trying the find general solution for cities such as Le Corbusier and his design Ville Radieuse( The Radiant City).

A possible as understood from analysis of 18th-century architecture’s problem is the traditional concept of form. Designing a form for the city is a critical issue which has lots of inputs such as social, political or traditional. In that times, as ı explained before, architects have a political side, in the light of their perspective they were producing a various solution for urban design so, their creation of an ideal form or zoning can be considered as reflecting a class ideology or creating a utopia. For example, as Tafuri examine Tony Garniers’s “industrial city” (1939) in this part of his essay and he criticized the utopian form of living. Related with Garnier’s socialist approach,Garnier separated residential areas and industrial areas by zoning which work as a boundary. Separating areas regarding its function is also considered as a class discrimination according to Tafuri’s Marxist approach.

Starting with the 19’s, the form should consider as a creation of the logic of the subjective reactions with an objective unity of production. Dialectic explanation of individualism shows itself as Cubism, Futurism, Dada, De Stijl, from an avant-garde perspective with following each other with different expressions. As it seen in Braque’s and Picasso’s paintings, Cubism is a way of creating a universal language with form. From Manfredo’s perspective, De Stijl has become a control of production and design, however, the nihilistic approach of Dada become a restriction of its expressionist design. No matter the aim of these movements were unity and constructive, most of them get within the chaos( as avant-garde perspective city created by a combination of “order and chaos(as value))of the city. At he same times, De Stijl and Bauhaus become universal. Furthermore, with Manfredo. defines Bauhaus as “the decantation of chamber”(2) with the other word expression of architecture and ideologies in reality.Manfredo’s attitude towards architectural movements is questing bourgeois art with the individual and Marxist perspective. While Tafuri examines architecture and art culture in the beginning of the 19’s, his aim was reaching the result which was the evaluation of aesthetic by experiences.

As in the given example of a city as an organism by Hilberseimer in Entfaltung einer Planungsidee, modern cities in itself a social urban machines. As in organism example shape of an organism with the other word from or spaces of the city affects its structure and organizations. Thus, architects identify the city with their structure and organization.As a shape of machine, city produced by production and consumption. In a brief of this part, the city started to consider as the combination of the cells of an organism within the open plan.

Le Corbusier pronounced that “architects as an organizer not the designer of objects”(2). In addition, he realized the effects of individualism, finance of human, civilization on an urban mechanism. While arranging the organic forms of the city, he also considers the dynamic functions and its interoperation or use. Tafuri approach to Le Corbusier’s city plans as they were no utopian, he considers that they were realistic experiments which could not understand the crisis of modern architecture and under the capatialist environment( that existing these days environment according to Tafuri’s opinions). He also states Le Corbusier gain a challenging role in architecture world while experimenting on his hypotheses about the city and its function form structure with the combination the economic and technological reality.

Tafuri was also criticized, retardation of urban and architectural ideology. One of the reasons of this retardation is 1930’ economical situation, the other one is considered as starting with Musollini’s and spread trough Europe ideology of fascism.According to Tafuri, explains architecture circle in 1930, Architects started to afraid of showing their ideological approach in the terms of political circumstances. Then they started to focus on technology and the waste spaces on the daily life cycle. Although there is no direct connection with politic and architecture, politic and architecture always have interaction. After Tafuri analysis the ideology behind city plans and order he reaches the solution as modern architecture plot of its road with rationality and progressing. In the mid of 19’s this approach of architecture creates a barrier for architects. As it reported in the essay, failure of modernism is not occurred by “weariness” or “dissipation”, because of the positive aims for the benefit of a bourgeois. Tafuri finalized his word by pointed out architecture can only develop itself with critique and self-realization. An only future class circumstances will determine the how architecture would be and which side( avant-garde or rearguard) architects choose.

To sum up, Tafuri defines modernism period as a part of an evaluation of the avant-garde’s utopian perspective which can identify as an idealization of capitalism. He examines the architectural form and plan, failures and crisis of modernism under that ideology. This process of examination reveals the development of urban organization with its component In addition, by critiquing the crisis of architecture facilitates to sense the process of modernism.


1) M. A. Laugier, Observations sur l’architecture. (The Hague, 1765), pp. 312–313.

2) Tafuri M. (1969) Per una critica del’ideologia architettonica. Contropiano: Materiali marxisti, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 31-79. Tafuri M. (1998) Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology. In Hays K. M. (ed.) Architecture Theory since 1968. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, pp. 6-35. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli, pp.21.

3) Susan Silbey, “Ideology” at Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology.

4) Honour, H., & Fleming, J. (2009). A world history of art / A History. London: Laurence King Pub.

5) Vance, Mary A. Manfredo Tafuri: A Bibliography. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1983.

6) Hilberseimer, Ludwig. Entfaltung einer Planungsidee. Padua: Marsilio, 1967, p. 10.

7) Corbusier, Le. The Radiant City; Elements of a Doctrine of Urbanism to Be Used as the Basis of Our Machine-age Civilization. New York: Orion, 1967.

8) Manfredo Tafuri, Architecture and Utopia, Design and Capitalist Development. (The Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1973); MIT Press, Cambridge (Mass.) In 1976.

Proposal of Final Paper of ARCH 222

In this semester, we are studying on early modern architecture period . We are reading “A History Of Architecture In All Countries Volume II” . And we are expected to analysis chapters from book that we study on trough the lessons and choosing a topic from it  which become our proposal for our final term paper for Arch 222 course.Here is my proposal;

Proposal of Final Paper of ARCH 222

For the final paper of Arch 222 course, ı am going to examine development of modern urban planing starting with the industrial revolution period until the late of 19’s. By the time; human life style has effected from industrial, technological developments and the war. These changes of human life style creates a new demands for city planning. New requirements of organization of human life creates a various arrangements in cities proportion, spaces or inner organization. These arrangements also shape according to various inputs such as machines, green spaces, traffic, privacy, work, health and etc. For answering changing needs of city lots of modernist city movement occurred. Lots of architects and urban planers worked and created a theories in these issues. Some of them are not went far beyond being utopia but some of them became a pioneer of city planing. These ideas of city planing is also valid for today’s city because of that planners use these arrangements into destroyed city after World Wars. I will examine this large topic from different subject’s perceptive that express their works about cities at different intervals. By the their work chronological order, these subjects and their book are ;
-Camillo Sitte / “City Planning According to Its Artistic Principles” (1889)
– E. Howard / “Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform”, (1898)
-Tony Garnier from” An Industrial City” (1917)
-Le Corbusier / “The City of Tomorrow and its Planning” (1925)
-Aldo Rossi from “The Architecture of the City” (1966)

These subjects and their various solution to the city planing will show how urban planing developed and which ideas are efficient or which are utopian. In addition, comparison of different approach to city planning will also express what are the basic things that city demands and what kind requirements occurred by the time chancing and developments of technology. To illustrate, these analysis will show one of my main aim; the direct relationship between architecture and city planing, because urban planing and architecture shows lots of similar specialities and by the time both of them share similar developments and modernization process.

ARCH 222 Presentation Paper of Mies van der Rohe “Skyscapers”

ARCH 222- Van der Rohe “Skyscaper” presentation

Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe From “Skyscapers” (1922)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the famous architects that show himself in the beginnings of 20th century. He is considered as one of the pioneers of modern architecture. German architect started to his career in Berlin by working with Bruno Paul. Bruno Paul was an architect, illustrator and furniture designer. In beginnings of 1900 was a period that industrial capitalism grows up, cultural and traditional ideas was starting to leave their places to modernization. Urbanism, art, architecture had been affecting all the changing of technology, materials, new ideas, and developments. Pual was himself active in that reform actions not only the way of design but also in education. Thus, as a designer partner and educator of Mies, he has a role in Mies become a one of the pioneers of modernism and also by working Paul, Mies has lots of experience in design not only exteriorly but also interiorly. These gained experiences showed itself in his later carriers in as part of his design such as the furniture of Barceleoı Pavillion-the Barcelona Chair. He designed his first project “The Riehl House” the time that he working with Paul. Between 1908-1912 Mies joined Peter Behrens’s office. Peter Behrens is known with his AEG building design. AEG Tribe Factory building is one of a well-known example of industrial design in architectural history. After a time later, Mies van der Rohe said: “In one sentence, I could perhaps state that ı have learned the great form” abut the time working with Behrens.

Mies joined the army before WW1 and served until 1919. After the war, he turned back to architectural practice. Starting whit 19’s and continued to post-war time, there were lots of movement in Europe. Changing social and political powers has affected the traditions and daily life. People were started to express his ideas with groups, movements by using different ways such as art, writing, architecture and etc. Germany had effected that movements and some movement also rise up in Germany. Cubism and expressionism were examples of the movements that show itself in Germany and in the following year by following these ideas of modernism, much more movements occurred in Germany.

Cubism was a modernist movement that created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. This movement basically, against individualism with the other words figurative art. Their method was analysing things and then showing things by abstraction.

Expressionism was also a modernist movement that merged in poetry and painting. Expressionism affected Germany at the end of 19’s. In Expressionism, there is a realism in emotions and inner aspect of the artist. According to this movement, art works became a representation of artist’s emotion as a part of his character.

Although, this two movement are represented two -quite-opposite ideas, both of them share the same aim which is a reflection of realism.

During 1920, modernist movements started to become widespread, by influencing movements such as cubism, suprematism, marxism, expressionism and etc., some groups showed itself during 1920 in Germany.

Architects and artists came together for some of these groups. They work together for new developments and new cultural organizations. Mies also one of these architects who join these groups. These names were Novembergruppe and Arbeitstrat Für Kunst.

Novembergruppe was occurred by a group of German expressionist that share the thought that art and people must be unity. There should be no pleasure or joy in art. It must show reality. In addition, architecture has to be functional and pure.The other aim of Novembergruppe was creating a connection between workers and art, architecture, crafts, artist.

Arbeitsrat Für Kunst is also an art movement that created by architects and artist.This group also serves as a worker’s and soldier’s council. In addition, this group takes the responsibility of bringing new development to art and architecture. Arbeitsrat Für Kunst was working very closely with the other groups such as November group, Bauhaus, Deutscher Werkbund, Glass Chain. Therefore, all these groups were effected one and other.

In an early time in his practice in architecture, Mies also influenced by Dada. Dada was an artistic movement that occurs Zürich. Dada ideas were expressing by a magazine. Dada magazine was spreading anti-war and anti- art massages. This magazine has powerful politic and social side, they stated lots of anti- war messages. The other thing that expresses by the magazine is anti- art massages. The idea of anti-art is questioning art and rejecting prior, stereotype definitions or perceptions. The aim of defending an anti-war idea is having reform in art. Dada ideas were express by journal and collage. Their work was a collection of cubism and abstraction with their thoughts.

In 1921, Mies entry for Friedrichtrass Skyscraper competition. It was his first major post-war design. Also, it was his first opportunity to take a responsibility or place in a chancing time. Before joining the army and had a break in his architecture practice, he designed lots of suburban houses, but it was the first time that he can have a chance to discover his potential in modern and metropolitan architecture.

The competition was for high-rise office building on Berlin’s major commercial street. Mies’ entry was the outstanding one. Mies’s design based on high reaching steel skeletons and glass. He thought that “with the raising walls this impressionism is completely destroyed”. Therefore, he designed a building like the open air. The design idea of an office building basically works like” skin and bone”. By producing glass facade and flexible use spaces he actually ignored all guidelines of competition. This design of Mies could not win any prize or ever built but it has a huge influenced on his later career. First prize of Fridrichtrasse competition given to Alfons Baecker, Julus Brahm, and Rudolf Kastelleiner.

By making entry to this competition, he started to focus on glass and steel material. He developed his designed by following years, he discovered limitations of materials and reaching the right solution about form and materials for high raised building. By doing experiments on a glass model he not only reach a solution for high raised building but also reaching a solution for the interplay of light reflection.

His project of Glass skyscraper has hypothetical design by the following year this design turn into a series of curvilinear forms. It was thought that he inspired by Bruno Taut sketches.

Bruno Taut also worked on materiel of glass and he designed of The Glass Pavilion in 1914. To illustrate, the Crystal character of Mies’ glass skyscraper designed first published in Bruno Taut journal “Frühlicht”. Starting by the time that was published, people consider the design as utopian. His idea of using glass and creating a new form from it was too utopian for the only post-war time in Europe. No matter people described Mies’s work as expressionist and consistently critical of individualism, he continued to work on glass skyscrapers. He made lots of experiments in new materials and elemental form creation. This determination created a new opening in his later career in the USA in modern architecture.

In 1930, Mies became a director of Bauhaus. Until the time Nazi forces shut down Bauhaus in 1932, Mies tried to avoid from political issues and more focus on form and function problems. Related to the political issue had an infect on Bauhaus that existed in Germany, in 1938, he moved to the USA permanently.

After he moved in America he designed lots of structure which used glass on it. He also designed lots of skyscrapers that still exist in today. His aim of continuity of spaces is preserved itself in his all designs. One of the famous skyscrapers that he made is “Seagram building” which is still existing New York. In the design of Seagram building, we can still see the effects of his work that gained in his very first skyscraper design, Glass skyscraper.

“Mies, however, the first architect to envision this traceless word as fully technologized with an architecture of glass and steel, at once dark and light. He would continue, throughout the rest of his career, to create equally empty, challenging and inspiring spaces for new beginnings.”

Reference List

  • Schulze, F., & Windhorst, E. (2012). Mies van der Rohe: A critical biography.
    Mertins, D. (2014). Mies. London: Phaidon.
  • Mallgrave, H. F., & Contandriopoulos, C. (2008). Architectural theory. Vol. 2. Malden, MA: Blackwell
  • Material Masters: Glass is More with Mies van der Rohe. (2014). Retrieved March 06, 2016, from
  • Journal of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Engineering”, Architectural Institute of Japan, NO.493, pp.223-229, Mar.1997
  • Honour, H., & Fleming, J. (2009). A world history of art / A History. London: Laurence King Pub.
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  • Hays, K. M. (1992). Modernism and the posthumanist subject: The architecture of Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Hilberseimer. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.