Fashion & Taste

Is historic preservation subject to the same pendulum of popularity that fashion is?

Popularisation of aesthetic forms are a very complex set of processes that can range from starchitects as arbiters of taste, the influences of national policy, or design by committee in historic preservation districts. When a designer designs something, it is never tabula rasa, because context and its constraints are fundamental to reality. A responsive and adaptive approach to prexisting architecture at Herzog’s Park Avenue Armory is nearing one end of the pendulum and OMA’s longing for the erasure of constraints in tabula rasa is another. Both are important, but the more important question is when is one approach more or less appropriate than another.

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