POV #2 | Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas

iam a monument

I am a Monument, the most iconic drawing from Venturi & Scott-Brown’s “Learning from Las Vegas”, 1972.

robert venturiRobert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in Las Vegas, 1966 © Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc., Philadelphiea

robert venturi denise scott brownThe Strip in the background taken from the desert with Denise Scott Brown, 1966 Photographie : Robert Venturi © Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc., Philadelphie

Venturi is an architect whose work cannot be categorized: to him, there is never a single solution.

“As an architect, I try to be guided not by habit but by a conscious sense of the past—by precedent, thoughtfully considered. As an artist, I frankly write about what I like in architecture: complexity and contradiction. From what we find we like—what we are easily attracted to—we can learn much of what we really are.”

Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, published in 1966, made the first big splash in architectural theory that disturbed the waters of modernism. The post-modern movement it helped to provoke did not directly inspire the other reactions, but its defiance of the rational design method of modernism as the unquestioned basis for architectural thinking prepared the way for them. Consequently, post-modernism amounted to more than a single ripple in the stylistic stream of late twentieth-century architecture. Whatever effect Venturi’s book was to have was enriched by the publication of Learning from Las Vegas, in 1972, written with Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour. These two books entered a social context of rapid change and and major cultural ferment. Whatever they were meant to say − which is not entirely clear, even now − they were taken to imply much more than their texts actually state. (source).

If you never dag inside these complex and controversial topics I highly suggest you do.



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