About Futuristic Visonary Architecture

Have you ever noticed how visions of future cities and their architecture almost always seem to embrace an aesthetic that looks like rocketships turned into buildings, or other forms of smooth-planed abstractions that seem machine made but never humanly crafted? Sometimes these visions drape building surfaces with lush plant life, a fantasy that plants will just naturally and neatly grow over every part of a steel, glass, or concrete building surface where desired, without regard to direction of sunlight or water supply.
What is usally missing is the treatment of architecture as a respostitory for artistic expression through accent and ornamentation, using the actual building materials to express organic beauty in both blending and contrast with the rigid geometric planes…such as is found in the work of Louis Sullivan.
Why do visions of future architecture tend towards aerodynamic space ship aesthetic and away from an even more profound evolution inspired by the genius developed in the past? Why not include geometry found in nature’s organic designs, along with depicting when appropriate the spiritualized aspiration of humanity expressed through accent and ornament? Is there a reason why the touch of the human spirit in artistic expression should cease to reside in futuristic concepts?
My architectural aesthetic was shaped by growing up in Chicago and Evanston on it’s Northern border. While it has it’s share of streamlined skyscrapers, it has always been home to a vast amount of architectural ornament expertly woven into the fabric of its buildings, continually bringing joy and a special sense of place to each area. The appreciation of architectural quality has been so highly regarded since the late 19th century that even the skyscrapers often set standards of design rather than merely making do with the easiest, less elegant solutions. But there is no reason to abandon the ornamental aspect even in the steel and glass tower constructions. There is a lot that can be done to bring architecture to a higher plane of artistic expression in the future by considering ornament and artistic accent along with form and function, and thinking about Art-chitecture.

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