Deconstructivism (1970s-Today)

Deconstructivism is a late 20th century philosophical movement primarily whose first exponent is Jacques Derrida. The term refers to a  semiotic analysis developed in France.

Frank Gehry's Dancing House - Prague
Dancing House (1996), Prague, Czech Republic.

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Deconstructivism in Architecture

Deconstructivism is a movement based on the visual fragmentation of the building with total absence of harmony, continuity, or symmetry.

This movement changes or divides the structure’s surface skin creating shapes that appear distort and dislocate. The finished visual appearance is featured with controlled chaos.

Deconstructivism was notd with the 1982 Parc de la Villette architectural design competition. Bernard Tschumi believed that Deconstructivism was  just a reaction against the art of Postmodernism. Another influential exhibition was the 1989 opening of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, projected by Peter Eisenman.

Columbus Ohio (33): Wexner center
Wexner Center for the Arts, aboard the Ohio State University, by Peter Eisenman.

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Frank Gehry is a Canadian American architect and designer. Famous for his bold architectural structures and innovative shapes, Gehry’s designs goes beyond the ordinary building. Notable structures from him include the Vitra Furniture Museum and Factory, the Dancing House in Prague and the American Center in Paris.

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Frank Gehry in 2010

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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is one of Gehry’s most famous architectural works. The structure itself is a masterpiece; visitors can walk all the way around the museum to see how the building seemingly changes form along the way.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao - Spain
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – in bilbao. Spain

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Peter Eisenman has been one of architecture’s most important theorists of recent years. He has also professed a disinterest in many of the more pragmatic troubles that other architects engage in. His most critical projects are House VI, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the City of Culture of Galicia.

House VI, or the Frank Residence, features disorientation, it is, in fact, anything but what one would consider a conventional house. Located on a flat site in Cornwall, Connecticut House VI lays on the ground as a sculpture in its surroundings. The design is the result of a conceptual process that started with a grid. Eisenman used the grid in a way so that the house was divided into four sections, completed the building as a “record of the design process”.

House VI of Peter Eisenman, Cornwall, Connecticut 1972-1975

Image source: https://www.archdaily.com/63267/ad-classics-house-vi-peter-eisenman

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Peter Eisenman – House VI

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Deconstructivism in Furniture Design

Although Deconstructionism is not new as a movement, it is different in furniture design. Since the piece looks like a raw frame and completely unfinished, the look of deconstructionism in the furniture world is disputed in the art world.

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Bench design by Frank Gehry (2009).

Image source: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/archive/frank-gehry-bench-to-be-unveiled-in-milan