Jessica Kelly
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The contesting voices of architectural criticism, 1951–61
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Chapter 5 addresses the relationship between Richards and a new generation of architects and critics in the 1950s. The AR, the Institute of Contemporary Art and CIAM became sites for contesting voices in architecture and criticism. While Richards continued to pursue his agenda of championing anonymity in architecture and promoting the expertise of the modern architect, Reyner Banham, Ian Nairn and Alison and Peter Smithson were pursuing different ideas about modernism and the function of criticism. However, this chapter highlights the similarities between the work of this younger generation and Richards’s ideas, particularly around social realist architecture. This chapter shows how the ideas of the new generation were entangled with Richards’s ideas. By the end of the decade consumer culture had emerged as a point of departure, particularly between Richards and Banham. Richards remained opposed to consumer choice and individuality in architecture, which was forming a gulf within architectural culture and media in the 1960s.

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J.M. Richards, modernism and The Architectural Review


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