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Leon Krier: Architecture in the Age of Austerity

photo of Øyvind Holmstad

Øyvind Holmstad
22nd November 2013


This lecture by Leon Krier is one of the most informative I’ve ever watched on the field of architecture, each minute is a flash of insight. Great architecture is just so simple, maybe this is why it is so difficult to achieve for modern man? We are born with the language of architecture, it’s universal, but we lost it with the coming of Modernism. Luckily, as Krier states, flowers have not become modernists.

There is a short introduction in Spanish, but Krier speaks in English language. The theme is architecture in the age of austerity, and we learn that modern architecture is only possible because of abundant energy and big machines. With the decline of civilization we’ll have no other choice than a return to traditional architecture, which is one of the aspects that will make our future better than the present, in spite of all the turmoil we’ll face.

First I wanted to write a summary of this lecture, but I found that too immense a task, as it’s filled with mind breaking stuff. I’m too overwhelmed and need time to absorb all this information. Just listen to what Krier has to say about skyscrapers at about 45 minutes into the video, and even the most fanatic skyscraper lover will have to admit this is one of the most stupid inventions in human history.

I know that people like Nikos A. Salingaros and Joseph Redwood-Martinez see Leon Krier as a giant, and after watching this lecture I’ve come to the same conclusion. Krier gives hope for a return to sanity for humanity. Beauty and sanity are the same thing, and the only thing that can give us back love for Earth.

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