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  2. 2. 2 COMISIONAT PER UNIVERSITATS I RECERCA - DIRECCIO GENERAL DE RECERCA OF THE PRESIDENCIA DE LA GENERALITAT DE CATALUNYA INTRODUCTION The aim of spending one academic year at the G.S.D. was to expand the scope of my research and teaching experience at the E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Barcelona during the last nine years. Immediately after the defense of my doctoral thesis I was concerned about implementing its conclusions on the academic and professional realm: How to use that specialized knowledge in teaching undergraduate design students and in designing itself were the main questions. I have come to the conclusion, after this postdoctoral experience at Harvard, that the answer is one and the same for both realms: to focus design education and professional practice on pointing out that specific visual nature of architecture that has more to do with a way of acting than with any phenomenological interpretation. This report lists and briefly comments the bibliography, courses, symposiums, lectures, and exhibitions I consulted and attended during this academic year. It resumes also the essay Investigating Visual Resistance in Architecture that synthesizes the influence of this American experience in my investigative work. The possibility of giving a lecture on the urbanism of Barcelona was an unexpected honor thanks to the kind request of Professor Julia Trilling. The generous invitation of Juan Navarro Baldeweeg allowed me to participate as critic in the reviews of his studio, and our conversations were a powerful encouragement to my work. Luis Carranza (Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University) has become a friend besides helping me through all this year. I am grateful to Jorge Silvetti for his advises and for inviting me to the 1996 Chairman’s Symposium. I have to thank Michael Hays for his patience and for letting me do a truly “Independent Study” of my visiting position, and Josep Muntañola for tutoring this experience from Spain. The endorsement I recieved from Ma. Antonia Labrada, Tomás Llorens, and in particular from Rafael Moneo, has been supporting and challenging at the same time. This whole postdoctoral project has been sponsored by a grant from the Comissionat per Universitats I Recerca, Direcció General de Recerca of the Presidencia de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
  3. 3. 3 COURSES ATTENDED Introduction to Architectural Theory (G.S.D. 3202), Professor: K. Michael Hays, Harvard University. Fall 1996. This course examines the theoretical production of the last three decades in the realm of architecture with the intention of explaining the present situation. Architecture is defined in this introductory course by “its relations to spheres of cultural productions as art, science, technology, and politics.” From this approach, theory and practice in architecture are seen as ideological issues, not because of their aesthetic or artistic nature, but because of their political and cultural content. As the critical power of architecture is thus evaluated by its direct impact upon society, its theorization develops into self-consciousness of late capitalist society rather than feeding back the still poor epistemological apparatus of the discipline. The deep critical trait of this course turns apparent when it brilliantly articulates the theoretical discourse of the end of the century to demonstrate that autonomous creation is not possible in architectural practice under current social conditions. Lectures: Theory as the practice of mediation/ Commodity society and mental life/ The utopian vocation of reification/ Thecnological reproduction and the demise of aura/ The culture industry and the autonomous art/ The radicalization of the ideology critique: Tafuri´s closure/ The interaction of structure and event: Collage City and the Tendenza/ Architecture degree zero: Eisenman, for example/ From the street to the boudoir: neo-avant-garde and the space of capital/ Ideology and its materialization/ Realism and criticism from within/ Work versus labor: Frampton´s unfinished project/ Minor architecture: Hejduk, for example/ Spacing and the diagrammatics of program: Tschumi and Koolhaas, for example/ From collage to assemblage: The smoothing of theory. SYMPOSIUMS ATTENDED The 1996 Faculty Symposium. Since the beginning of his chairmanship at the G.S.D., Jorge Silvetti has annually organized what has been called the Chairman’s Symposium. This symposium in the Greek manner (“…held in private, with no recordings and no audiences”) gathers together “prominent pedagogues of different generations, faculty and special guests” in order to discuss architectural education. As a guest I had the opportunity to learn firsthand the state of the art of the architectural education in the United States today. Celebrated on the 15th of November 1996 this symposium focused on the possibility of establishing a new foundation of principles for the architect´s education. Participants: George Baird, Henry Cobb, Scott Cohen, Michael Hays, Carlos Jimenez, Alex Krieger, Ralph Lerner, Toshiko Mori, Jorge Silvetti, Peter Wladman, Val Warke. Testing Ground, Contesting Space. Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Symposium, sponsored by Harvard University and M.I.T. A two days symposium in which doctorate students presents papers related with the dissertations they are working on. Papers presented: White Out: Nationalism and American Architecture. Mayha Yahya, M.I.T. Department of Architecture History; Empire of the Miniature and the Gigantic: Two Projects by Lutyens at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924, Tim Rohan, Harvard University Department of Fine Arts; " Yo Chikti Yo Sea Huya Aniwapo": Ritual Spaces of Identity Maintenance for the Yoeme (Yagui) Indians, David Allen Shorter, UC Santa Cruz, History of Consciousness; Common Ground: Describing Ottoman Conventions of Architectural Representation, Graham Larkin, Harvard University Department of Fine Arts; Suburban Prospects: Vision and Possession in Ford Madox Brown´s "English Autumn Afternoon", Alastar Wright, Columbia University Department of Art and Archaeology; Mise-en- scene of the closet: Space and Gay Identity in Postwar Cinema, Chris Cagle, Brown University English Department; “Fascist Authentic”: Building a Model Peasant Society in Italian Colonial
  4. 4. 4 Libya, Krystyna von Henneberg. Standford University Department of History; Cultural Politics of the Aerial Gaze: Le Corbusier´s Urban Schemes for South America and Algeria 1929-31, Adnan Morshed, M.I.T. Department of Architecture History, Theory and Criticism; The Violence of Abstraction: Spacial Modes of Regulation in the Twenty Century Egypt, Omnia El Sharry, Princeton University Department of History; Wartime Advertising and Planning Culture, Andy Shanken, Princeton University Department of Art and Archeology; The Architecture of Bureaucracy, Jeffrey Inaba, Harvard University Committee on Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning; Diagnosing Sick Building Syndrome, Jonathan Massey, Princeton University School of Architecture; Buildings Without Organs: A History of Indoor Environments and Pathology in Late Capitalism, Michelle Murphy, Harvard University History of Science; Inside/Outside: Beckett´s Identifiable Settings, Gina Fried-Miller, Brandeis University Joint Program of Literary Studies; Productions of Incarceration, Felicity Scott, Princeton University School of Architecture, The Practice of Public Dissection: Defining a Hybrid Space Through Seventeenth Century Representational Strategies, Patricia Kelly, University of British Columbia Department of Fine Arts. Moderators: Luis Carranza, Lauren Kogod, Brian McLaren, Regan McDonald, Nana Last. The Education of the Architect. A festschrift honoring Stanford Anderson. M.I.T., Saturday May 3rd 1997. This symposium of former and current architectural theory students of the M.I.T. program focused on the growth of the architectural knowledge in the second half of this century. Current investigations were presented together with the balance of years of experience in teaching positions of former students. Papers presented by young scholars: Modernism and Modernity: Introduction Mark Jarzombek. Participants: Maha Yahya, Mitchell Owen, Adnan Morshed, Jeffrey Leiter. Round Table: Teaching History, Theory and Criticism in a School of Architecture. Chair: Stanford Anderson, Participants: Hilary Ballon, Micha Bandini, Diane Ghirardo, Akos Moravansky, Mitchell Schwarzer. The First 15 Years of the G.S.D.: The Hudnut/Gropius Era April 25th-26th 1997. Conference of Alumni/ae and professors of the classes of 1937-54. Subjects: The G.S.D. of Hudnut y Gropius, 1937-1952. Primary participants Henry Cobb, Jhon Harkness, Cornelia Oberlander, G. Holmes Perkins, and Harry Seidler. Instruments of Social Conscience Hudnut y Gropius. Primary participants: Edward Larrabee Barnes, James Marston Fitch, Peter Oberlander, Richard Snibbe, and Blanche Lemco van Ginkel. The Hudnut/Gropius Influence: Pedagogy and Practice at Harvard and After. Primary participants: Robert Geddes, Sam Hurst, Joseph R. Passonneau, G. Holmes Perkins, Anne Tyng. Moderator Michael Hays. Interlocutors: Anthony Alofsin, Sara Ksiazek, Joan Ockman and Peter Rowe. LECTURES ATTENDED: Composite Conditions: Buildings as Hybrid. Andrea Leers, Architect, Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Boston. 16/10/96 Brigitte Shim Visiting Design Critic, Department of Architecture, Department of Architecture Lecture Series. 22/10/96 Barbara Bloom, Plastic Artist, Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture Series. 24/10/96 Lorna Sympson, Plastic Artist, Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture Series.
  5. 5. 5 Michael Speaks. Writer, Researcher, and Critic of Architecture, Lebanon, New Hampshire. Department of Architecture Lecture Series. 12/11/96 Stephen Cassell, Tom Jenkinson, and Adam Yarinsky: Architectural Research Office (ARO) New York. Adam Yarinsky, Visitor at the Department of Architecture, Department of Architecture Lecture Series. The Leaning of the Tower of Pisa: History and safeguard Measures, 1173 to 1996. Salvattore Settis, Director of the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Los Angeles. 20/11/96 An Atlas of the Flesh: Journeys in Film and Architecture. Giuliana Bruno, Gordon W. Gahan Associate Professor of Visual Art and Environmental Studies, Harvard University. Department of Architecture Lecture Series, 11/2/97 Twentieth-Century Architecture, Technology and Utopia. Antoine Picon. Department of Architecture Lecture Series. 2/3/97 An Arrangement of Pictures. Louise Lawler, Artist, New York City. Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture Series. 4/3/97 Rethinking the Modern: A Museum for the Next Century. Terence Riley, MoMA Architecture curator. 18/3/97 Complementary Geometry. Juan Navarro Baldeweg, Spring 1997 Kenzo Tange Visiting Critic in Architecture, Madrid Spain. Department of Architecture Lecture Series, 19/3/96 Arquitectura de España. El principio del fin del siglo XX. Xavier Güell Guix, Barcelona. Department of Architecture Lecture Series, 1/4/97 Connections. The Relationship Between Art and Architecture. Rafael Moneo, Wellesley College, May 1997. Dennis Adams. Artist, Boston and New York, Associated Professor, Visual Arts Program, M.I.T. Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture Series, 10/4/97 GIVEN LECTURE Barcelona’92: The Birth of the Catalan Metropolis. Lecture given by Miguel Jaime in the Urban Planning Master´s course The European City (G.S.D. 5310), Harvard University, May 1997. Instructor: Professor Julia Trilling To explain the urban impact of the Olympic Games of Barcelona in the institution that awarded the city with the Prince of Wales Prize in Urban Design 1990 has been a challenge and a satisfaction at the same time. The main hypothesis is that the games served, within the whole project Barcelona ´92, to create the infrastructure that made true the metropolitan dream of
  6. 6. 6 Barcelona. Thus, in this particular case the Summer Games produced a lasting benefit for the city, a goal always wished but scarcely achieved by these kind of events. VISITED EXHIBITIONS Envisioning Design: Selections from the Special Collections of the Frances Loeb Library, Gund Hall Gallery, 1/11/96 Leers Weinzapfel Associates: Composite Conditions. Youth Development Center, Boston. Gund Hall Gallery, 14/11/96 This is the modern World: Furnishings of the 20th Century. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 3/1/96 ARO: Recent Work. Recent work de Stephen Cassell, Tom Jenkinson, and Adam Yarinsky: Architectural Research Office (ARO) New York, Gund Hall Gallery, 15/11/96 Recent Work of Enrique Norten. Norten is Eliot Noyes Visiting Design Critic and partner at TEN Arquitectos, Ciudad de Méjico. Gun Hall Gallery, 10/1/97 Kimo Griggs: Prototypes. Gund Hall Gallery 10/1/96 Student Work From Fall 1996, Gund Hall Gallery, 15-30/1/96 CAD/CAM '97: Emerging Technology in Architecture. Gund Hall Gallery 23/2/97 Complementary Geometry. Recent work of Juan Navarro Baldeweg. Kenzo Tange Visiting Critic in Architecture, Gund Hall Gallery 3/3-3/4/97 Ex|plate chess house in progress. Richard Rosa, Visiting Design Critic in Architecture. 7/3/97 The Art of John Biggers: View from the Upper Room. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 8/4/97 Roy Liechtenstein: Landscapes in the Chinese Style. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 14/5/96 Projecting Beirut: Episodes in the Construction and Reconstruction of the Modern City. Gund Hall Gallery, 7-14/4/97 Leonardo da Vinci: Scientific, Inventor and Artist. Science Museum, Boston, June 97. Traveling Exhibition organized by the Cultural Institute of Tübingen (Germany) and Malmö City Council (Sweden) Boticelli's Witness. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA April 1997 Wertheim Collection. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge MA, Mayo 97
  7. 7. 7 1997 Biennale of American Art, Whitney Museum NY, NY. June 97 19th Century European, Early Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut Towards the New Museum of Modern Art: Sketchbooks by Ten Architects. MoMA, NY, NY. June 97. Architectural proposals for the expansion and renovation of the MoMA by the architects Wiel Arets (The Netherlands); Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (Switzerland); Steven Hol (USA); Toyo Ito (Japan); Rem Koolhaas (The Netherlands); Dominique Perrault (France); Yoshio Taniguchi (Japan); Bernard Tschumi (USA); Rafael Viñoly (USA) y Tod Williams/Billie Tsien (USA) ARCHITECTURAL VISITS Graduate Center (1950) Harkness Commons, Cambridge, MA, Architect: Walter Gropius Gropius House, 1937. 68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, MA. Architect: Walter Gropius. Zimmerman House, Manchester, NH. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Architect: Louis Khan The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut. Architect: Louis Khan Philip Exeter College Library, New Hampshire. Architect: Louis Khan Seagram Building, New York, NY. Architect: Mies Van der Rohe Ford Foundation, New York, NY. Architect: Kevin Roche y John Dinkeloo Carpenter Center, Cambridge, MA. Architect: Le Corbusier Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY. Architect: Frank LLoyd Wright Whitney Museum, New York, NY. Architect: Marcel Brewer Josep Lluis Sert House, Cambridge, MA. Architect: Jose Lluis Sert John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA. Architect: I. M. Pei
  8. 8. 8 STUDIO WORKS REVIEWS Observer in the Fall semester´96 Studio Reviews of the at the G.S.D., Harvard University. 13/12/96 Invited Critic in the Intermediate Review of the Advanced Studio at the Boston Architectural Center. Spring 1997. Instructors: Luis Carranza y Denise Dea. Title: A Department Store. Critics: Luis Carranza, Denise Dea, Eugenia Lopez Reus, Bill Boehm, Miguel Jaime and Heinrich Herman. Invited Critic in the Intermediate and Final Review of the Studio A Museum in Torcello, G.S.D. Harvard University. Spring 1997. Instructor: Juan Navarro Baldeweg, Kenzo Tange Visiting Critic 1997, G.S.D. Harvard University. Intermediate Review Critics: Mack Scogin, Sheila Kennedy, George Baird, Luis Rojo, Scott Cohen, Miguel Jaime, Juan Navarro Baldeweg. Final Review Critics: Jorge Silvetti, Mario Gandelsonas, Luis Rojo, Scott Cohen, Miguel Jaime, Sheila Kennedy, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, and Alan Colquhoun. ESSAY: INVESTIGATING VISUAL RESISTANCE IN ARCHITECTURE. Intransitive appearance as a vestige of architectural modernity. Miguel Jaime, Cambridge, Mass., 1997, 20 pp. The original idea of this essay was to explain to a group of faculty and doctorate students of the G.S.D. the content of my doctoral thesis Its Own Reason. A Critique of the Rationality of Modern Architecture. Nevertheless, the effort to make its content suitable for such an event – in public, in English, and in America– made me discover aspects of the investigation not exploited until now. Far from a simple translation of the content of my thesis, this essay should be taken as a testimony of its evolution thanks to this experience at Harvard. Visual Resistance in Architecture points out the unaware validity of the intransitiveness inaugurated by the seminal works of modern architecture at the begining of this century. This validity is behind every advanced trend in architecture that claims some sort of “resistance” against any threat to architectural specificity today. Visual resistance is the translation of notions like Visuality (Konrad Fiedler) or Opacity (Philipe Junod) into the terms in which current architectural debate in American understands the problem of such specificity. While the resistance against being reduced to commodity tends to convert the works of art in simple bearers of the “appropriate” ideological meanings, the artistic intransitiveness involved in the resistance of visuality is a critique-in-itself as it introduces in our world portions of reality truly autonomous and yet not indifferent to it. Cultural resistance is a defiance against market immoderation; visual resistance strives against any form of dogmatism as, besides fighting back, it offers an example of a truthful reality that is not totally explainable anyhow. This essay examines the misunderstanding of historiography about the visual gnoseologism (as I have named it) of the seminal works of modern architecture and the works of the formal avant- garde that preceded them. Simultaneously, it points out the silence on the role of convention in creation within the original theory of visuality. The absence of a modern theory of creation that successfully relates form and history is the cause of the crisis that has characterized the
  9. 9. 9 evolution of art and architecture during this century. Towards a possible solution of this problem leads the final proposition of this essay of incorporating the study of history as an active part of the studio work in our schools of architecture. BIBLIOGRAPHY This list includes a few readings done in the summer of 1996 when preparing to move to Cambridge, as well as the books I checked out from Harvard University Library during this year. The criteria of selection has been varied: the recommendations of my advisors, published work that could be interesting for the purpose of the investigation and some complementary bibliography related to my doctoral thesis. To structure a lecture on the urbanism of Barcelona out of the bibliographic sources of the Frances Loeb Library was a reflective event in the two meanings of the expression: to see how we were seen and to think about it. Baird George, The space of appereance, Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1995 Baljon Cornelis J., The structure of architectural theory. A study of some writings by Gottfried Semper, Jhon Ruskin, and Cristopher Alexander. [Leiden, C.J. Baljon, 1993?] Bizios Georgia, (ed.) Architectural Theory and Criticism, Urban Design, Architectural History. Architecture Reading lists and courses outlines, Raleigh, Department of Architecture, School of Design, North Carolina State University, 1991 Bunch Clarence, Art education: a guide to information sources, Detroit, Gale Research Co., 1978 Chen Hui-Min A critique of scientific rationality in the production of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1993. Doctoral thesis (Ph. D.) Dutton Thomas A. (Editor), Voices in Architectural Education: Cultural Politics and Pedagogy, N.Y., Bergin & Garvey, 1995 Duve Thierry de, Kant after Duchamp, Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1996 Edward Theodore, The Notion of form in Kant's Critique of Aesthetic Judgement, The Hague, Mouton, 1971 Epron, Jean-Pierre, L'Architecture et la regle. Essai d'une theorie des doctrines architecturales, Bruxelles, P. Mardaga, [1981?] Gain Therese Mary, Theory and Practice in architectural education: The Harvard Curriculum, 1934-1956, Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University, 1977 Gropius Walter, "Essentials for Architectural Education", PM (magazine), v. 4, no. 5, Feb.-Mar. 1938, p. 3-16 Hays Michael K., Modernism and the post-humanist subject, Cambridge Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1992
  10. 10. 10 Hays Michael K., Unprecedented Realism. The Architecture of Machado and Silvetti, New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 1995. Hays Michael K., On the German Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 1991. Heinrich Tessenow, 1976-1950, Madrid, Arquitectura, COAM Enero 1992, pp.42-46 Junod Philipe, Transparence et Opacité. Essai sur les fondements Theoriques de l'art moderne. Pour une nouvelle lecture de Konrad Fiedler. Laussane, L'age d' Home, 1976 Mertins Detlef, The Presence of Mies, New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 1994 von Meiss Pierre, Elements of Architecture: from Form to Place, London, New York, N.Y., Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990 Moneo Rafael, The Solitude of Buildings. Kenzo Tange Lecture, March 9th 1985, Cambridge MA, G.S.D. Harvard University, 1986 Nelson George, "The End of Architecture" in On design, London, The Architectural Press, 1979 Pearce Martin, and Toy Maggie eds., Educating Architects, London, Academy Editions, 1995. Podro Michael, The parallel of linguistic and visual formulation in the writing of Konrad Fiedler, Torino, Edizioni di "Filosofia", 1961 Podro Michael, The Manifold in Perception. Theories of art from Kant to Hildebrand, Glasgow, Oxford University Press, 1972 Soulez Antonia, L'Architecte et le philosophe, Liege, France P. Mardaga, 1993 Silvetti Jorge, “On realism in Architecture”, The Harvard Architecture Review, G.S.D. Harvard University, M.I.T. Press, Vol. I, Spring 1980, pp. 11-31 Teymor N., Architectural Education, London, Question Press, 1992 van Dijk Hans, Janson Liesbeth ed., Architecture and Legitimacy, Rotterdam, Nai Publishers, 1995 van Pelt Robert Jan, Architectural Principles in the age of historicism, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1991 UNIVERSITIES PROGRAMS, SYMPOSIUMS PUBLICATIONS, AND THESIS: Denari Neil Martin, Plexus: the origins of the scientific theory in architecture, Master Thesis (M. ARCH.), Harvard University, Departement of Architecture, 1982. The Official Register, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 1995-96 Doctor of Design and Doctor of Philosophy Programs, G.S.D., Harvard University The Form of the Doctoral Thesis, A Supplement to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Handbook Cambridge, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, 1985,
  11. 11. 11 Ph. D. Program in Architecture, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (example of a doctoral program based on Enviroment-Behavior Studies EBS). Graduate Programs in Architecture of Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, M.I.T., Georgia Tech. College of Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University. Selection of 40 Abstracts of Ph. D. thesis from Eureka (out of 2.500 titles approximately) “Symposium: On Architectural Research”. Part 1 & 2, Cambridge, The Harvard Architecture Review, V9 1993 “History in architectural education Symposium”, History in, of, and for architecture, papers from the symposium, Cincinnati Ohio, May 30 and 31 1980. SOME BIBLIOGRAPHY ON BARCELONA IN HOLLIS: Rowe Peter et. alt., Prince of Wales Prize in Urban Design, 1990, Cambridge MA, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, 1991 Barcelona Olimpica. La ciudad renovada, Barcelona, Holsa Ambit Servies, 1992 Barcelona en joc. Barcelona, where the games are no game, Barcelona, Co.legi Oficial d´Aparelladors I Arquitectes Tecnics de Barcelona, [1988?] Maragall Pascual, Barcelona la ciudad renovada, Barcelona, Edicions 62, 1991 Maragall Pascual, Refent Barcelona, Barcelona, Planeta, 1986 Busquets Joan, Barcelona. Evolución urbanística de una capital compacta, Madrid, Editorial Mapre, 1992 MBM/Puigdomenech, Transformation of a sea front. Barcelona, the Olympic Village, 1992, Barcelona, G. Gili, 1988 Oriol Bohigas et. alt, Barcelone, ville et architecture: 1980–1992, Barcelona, G. Gili, 1991 PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION The name Modern Architecture designates different things on each side of the Atlantic. Far form the interpretations that talked about a des-ideologization of the original European model, in America architectural modernity was understood mainly as a sociological proposal, except that adapted here to the needs of the great capital. Modern Architecture meant in the United States concentrating high density and administrative functions in downtown areas; it meant spreading residential suburbs around the cities and connecting them through a system of
  12. 12. 12 highways; it meant giving priority to the use of the automobile when planning the territory; it meant the determination of the whole human environment to the dictates of industrialization; in sum, Modern Architecture means in America today an exhausted model of spatial and vital organization associated to late capitalism rather than a specific artistic proposal. Architectural modernity in Europe has not lost entirely its artistic legitimacy. On the one hand, restricted interventions, dissolved in an already consolidated urban fabric, were not able to radically modify the relationship of the general public with the built environment. On the other hand, the so-called seminal works of modern architecture did demonstrate that the form of the buildings –as any other artistic object in modernity–could achieved a new sort of necessity without resorting to classical or historical orders: this possibility permitted to overcome the deep artistic crisis opened by eclecticism in the XIX century. The fact that the architecture that spread through Europe after the war was a declared rectification of the original modern foundations of the 1920’s has contributed to the feeling of a premature cancellation of architectural modernity in the continent. Thus, different attitudes towards modernity explain the fact that in Spain, for example, modern architecture can still be conceived as an incomplete artistic project, while in the United States it is something that has to be definitely overcome for the sake of society. Modern urban “deserts”, like Detroit or Newark, fully justify American ill feeling towards anything that bears the adjective of “modern”. However, even in America the seminal works of modern architecture still determine the expectations of what a work of art should be, as the Deconstructivist ´s recuperation of formal intransitiveness has recently demonstrated. As a result of acting from within the same aesthetic condition that is morally rejected, speculation, abstraction, and cynicism is irrupting in some American architecture in this end of the century. On the one hand, researching in modern form’s principles can still be considered a promising investigative project in Spain thanks to a more relaxed and moderated relationship with architectural modernity. Yet, this relaxation is not free from risks as merging modernity and moderation can threaten art critical power to the point of converting it into a simple aesthetization of what already exists. In the United States, on the other hand, as architectural modernity is so closely associated to plain reality, the architectural debate too frequently averts towards strictly ideological grounds. Nevertheless, as what American society expects from architecture is nothing less than the production of an alternative to current life, architectural research and practice in the United States has become one of the most lively, dynamic and culturally committed in the world today.