Thursday, December 15, 2011

Full House is “Meta-modern?” *

Part of a continuing series about the possible influence of Metamodernism on Domestic Architecture

Full house is an expanded expression of domestic space as useful space – the ultimate retro-reference to the Modern notion that form must follow function. It is “a homeless home. That’s is more like a machine, than any of the Modernists houses has ever been.” * The authors continue to explain that the house is “Meta-modern” because it has no room left over for anything but the mechanisms of functionality. The authors also state that “dwelling is in the head, not in the house.” In other words, there is no room for a particular human to “be” in the room. The house negates the individual. It is more like the limited space occupied by the character John Isadore in the Postmodern Sci-fi novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” - a novel about what it means to be human - by Phillip K Dick. * 1

Such a space is antithetical to the Metamodern! At its core, the Metamodern represents a return to the individual as the romancer and dreamer, the maker of connections, the believer, the idealist despite the warmed over ironic Postmodern trope in the back of his/her mind that such may not be possible. The notion of a space devoid of individual reference is thus diametrically opposed to the Metamodern, and that makes it a small presence as one opposition of many linear oppositions in the 3-D model of interactive oppositional forces that I proposed (Metamodernism? Part II) upon reading Vermuelin and Van den Akker’s original description of Metamodernism. * 2 and *3 For example, “Full House” is far less Metamodern than the last example given here, “Porchdog House,” because “Full House” is emptied of individual reference, and because the Porchdog House references an architectural solution to problems a particular individual (among many) encountered and solved with the help of the architect, Marion Blackwell, and the Architecture For our Century Model Home Program. * 4 As is so often the case, theorists confuse the notion of the interactive technological “no-space” of our contemporary Twenty-first Century lives – it is but one interactive piece acting within the total epistemological space of human endeavor – with all human endeavor. Thus, Full House does not represent the influence of the Metamodern on domestic architecture despite the reference to it as “Meta-modern.” I can only conclude that the reference on the “Lab4arch” Website to Full House as being “ Meta-modern” references a conceptualization - recognized in the hyphenation of “Meta-modern” - that is only tangentially related to actual Metamodern theory.


* Johan de Koning, Architect. silver prize (cat. AJ), Second DBEW International Design Competition: Beyond East & West, Korea (2002). (I expect that the awkward English is due to the translation from Korean.), Viewed 11:14 AM, EST, Tuesday, December 13, 2011.

* 1 Dick, Phillip K., Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. New York: Doubleday (1968)

*2 Klomp, John Bittinger, “Metamodernism, Part II,” Thursday, June 2, 2011, Viewed, ll:05 AM, EST, Tuesday, December 13, 2011.

*3 Vermeulen, Timotheus, and van den Akker, Robin, “Notes on Metamodernism,” in Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 2, 2010 DOI: 10.3402/jac.v1i0.5677. On line at, visited 10:35 AM, EDT, Thursday, June 23, 2011.

* 4 Klomp, John Bittinger, “Flying Armadillo,” Thursday, December 1, 2011, Viewed 11:30 A.M. EST, Tuesday, December 13, 2011.

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