Charles Jencks (1)

I went to the several times deferred event to celebrate the life and work of Charles Jencks, who died on 13 October 2019 and had wanted to be celebrated a year later, but COVID thwarted that.

A film had been made of his life by Jill Nicholls which was extraordinarily informative about all aspects of his life: his upbringing in Connecticut, not Baltimore as I thought; his summer holidays on Cape Cod which he went back to at the end of his life to look out of the window towards Provincetown; his time studying English at Harvard and then the move to architecture, inspired by the work of (late) Le Corbusier; then, a Fulbright Scholarship to the Architectural Association where he started teaching and lecturing, much more knowledgeable than his peers about history and influenced by semiotics, passionate about the belief that there was more to architecture than merely function; maybe, a bit of a hippy, but in an intellectual way. You learn so much more about someone from seeing them on film than obituaries.

Then he became a superstar, the advocate for post-modernism. But that part of his life is better known. A critic and writer, but, most of all, an incredibly passionate enthusiast for everything he did.


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