Pomo (2)

I have been reading the booklet, the return of the past: Conversations on Postmodernism, which the Soane Museum has produced to accompany its exhibition.   It consists of interviews with the key protagonists and makes clear that while we tend now to think of it as merely a colourful style of historical pastiche, it had its origins in a widespread disillusionment in the early 1970s with the whole apparatus of the welfare state, local authority control of housing, statism and the standardisation which was a characteristic of modernism.   Piers Gough saw himself as a pop architect wanting people to like and enjoy what he produced, including the taxi drivers who bought flats in Cascades.   Jeremy Dixon toured the country talking to branches of the RIBA and was embarrassed by what his profession had inflicted on British cities.   I had a flashback to what it was actually like in 1974 with hyperinflation, the beginnings of IRA bombings, two general elections, and the three-day week.   It is hardly surprising that architects looked for new solutions to reconnect architecture to its public.

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