Discuss the ways in which postmodernism as a concept evolved and was articulated by Rowe, Stern and Venturi.
The question “what is postmodernism?” was continually part of the 1970s and 1980s as various disciplines attempted numerous formulations and theories that could account for the world around them, a world that was now expanding as a result of feminism, structuralism, the sexual revolution, post fordism, and many other structural changes to society, community, and cities. In architecture, this was true as well. The desire to “speak to the people,” to “communicate,” and to “return to history” each, in their own way, indexed architecture’s status as a hermetic, mute, isolated, esoteric, and elite practice that could no longer maintain an artificial divide between high culture and low culture. Venturi, Jencks, Eisenman, Graves, Rowe, and many others would continually attempt to pin down this elusive concept, while remaining open to the possibility that it was still unfolding and not yet entirely determinable. Using specific arguments from three readings that we read, Colin Rowe, Robert Stern, and Robert Venturi, discuss the ways in which postmodernism as a concept evolved and was articulated by these architects and writers in the 1970s.