What is architecture?
Architecture has always been a physical and spatial expression of society. Just as the great monuments of antiquity captured the idiosyncrasy and cosmology of their time, the current architectural projects are a reflection of ours.
This derives from the human need to endure its own existence, transmitting to the future a piece of our society at a certain time. Not surprisingly, society and its values change, in fact they do so so fast that most of us were born in a time where the way of relating and seeing the world was totally different from today.
Technological advances and cultural globalization have changed the world before a generational changeover took place. This fact puts us all in a continuous need to adapt to change, which on the other hand prevents the establishment of dogmas, making a society tolerant and open to new concepts.
The world has changed more in the last twenty years than in the previous two hundred and that is why almost all people today are born in another era. A situation that only fifty years ago only affected the elderly.
How to capture our time in space, today everything is new, historical transitions are getting faster and faster and it is no longer possible to understand how to project as universal styles. That was the problem of the Modern movement, its universality destroyed it. The particularity of architecture as an expression of the society it shelters is the key. If we want to be authentic we cannot totally abstract ourselves from society and project mathematically.
Societies as a whole are sentimental, not rational, therefore the true value of architecture is authenticity. And this is nothing more than the ability of objects to convey feelings, it is a quality of the art world. Today's society thirsts for authenticity, almost all the articles that surround us come from a standard, from a mother pattern and millions of copies are made.
Postmodern cities have neighborhoods that are indistinguishable and perfectly interchangeable. Even the food we buy is made to meet unique production standards. And although this rationally implies the cheapening of most of the goods in comparison with their pre-industrial counterparts, with the consequent increase in quality and life expectancy, on the other hand it has generated that many people do not have a connection with their cultural roots such as the that our ancestors had.
There are no longer dogmas of faith or iron class barriers. There has never been so much social mobility, nor has personal development and the search for happiness been so encouraged. Ultimately, the exceptional development in terms of personal freedom that exists today has come at the cost of the security provided by having a life outlined in broad strokes and traditions in which to focus when in doubt about how to act.
Authenticity calms that sense of orphanhood that has caused the uprooting of the new nascent society. When we see a work of art or a monument we feel part of a whole, of a physically represented collective. It is a totem of modernity, a secular spirituality.