Found in 9 comments on Hacker News
As with post-modernism (which this is simply a late stage manifestation of) you shouldn't blame the superficial reaction, you should blame the initial problem, which was architectural modernism and an obsession with discarding all the lessons of the past in the name of innovation, so called. Tom Wolf nailed it in "From Bauhaus to Our House":

As badly as these buildings suck, they at least make a gesture at a humane world.

Christopher Alexander tried to warn us.

Balgair · 2018-05-15 · Original thread
I'll echo this book as well. A great dive into why every damn sky-rise seems to be nothing but glass panels. Short read too.

carsongross · 2017-06-09 · Original thread
If the façade is complex and interesting, it affects people in a positive way; negatively if it is simple and monotonous

Humans prefer humanistic architecture, with fractal visual complexity and natural materials. Modernism tossed it all out, then the post modernists recognized that that was a horrible mistake, but decided it was too uncool to just go back to what people actually liked.

If you are interested in a short US-centric read on how the whole thing went down, read this:

Post WW2 architects have a lot of human unhappiness to answer for.

carsongross · 2016-10-21 · Original thread
I'm sorry to see you get down voted, but I share your sentiments and agree that it was something that could be reasonably called a conspiracy. Unfortunately it has become part of the intellectual furniture of left-wing ideology, which makes a lot of otherwise perfectly nice people support extremely inhumane building patterns.

Some books on the topic that I have read, if you haven't are:

A funny side story: I realized I was some sort of reactionary my freshman year at Berkeley, when I was standing in the memorial glade, swinging my gaze back and forth between Doe Memorial Library and Evans Hall.

carsongross · 2016-10-11 · Original thread
Alienated architects and cheap capitalists make for a pretty awful built environment, don't they?

carsongross · 2016-08-14 · Original thread
The lack of balance, proportion, controlling lines[1] and symmetry are all bad aspects of nearly all modern (in the chronological sense) architecture, not simply McMansions.

My primary issue with McMansions specifically (beyond the fact that they lost the thread on western architecture, which should be blamed on the academy[2]) is that the materials and workmanship are terrible: ugly gaps, quick to stain stuccos and metals, slapdash construction and very little craftsmanship. The flip culture that the mortgage-debt bubble of the last 15 years created has exacerbated this issue to almost comical levels.

[1] -

[2] -

EDIT: After reading another post[a] of his, it is worth mentioning another chronic problem with modern (again chronological, not stylistic) building: the buildings often look like they are about to fall over. A particular pet peeve of mine is the flashing gap found at the base of many houses and buildings, which introduces a disconcerting negative gap right where a soothing, wide foundation should be. Visual insanity.

[a] -

carsongross · 2016-02-02 · Original thread
For those of you inclined to disagree with the idea of learning to love obviously ugly buildings, I would like to recommend two books:

Kunstler is a bit of a crank, but his analysis of the problems with modern architecture and urbanism are very good. Wolfe, of course, is a genius, and his very short book is a fantastic and deeply funny (if depressing) read.

carsongross · 2015-11-11 · Original thread
I don't know of any studies, but I found "From Bauhaus to Our House" a worthwhile read:

It discusses how Gropius started off with more of a continental arts-and-crafts outlook, but that increasing competition for the intellectual and political purist high-ground lead to what we call, despairingly, the international style.

A similar dynamic has played out with software UX: people were producing garish (but usable) UX with drop shadows, etc. and along came the anti-bourgeoisie puritans. They had a point, of course (they always do) but their solution was worse than the original problem.

eternalban · 2012-12-05 · Original thread

I am generally sympathetic with the aesthetic choices of this school. But it is necessary to note that Bauhaus's approach, as informed by socialist ideology of its core members, is dehumanizing at scale. And when 'it' -- it being the logical conclusion via Corbu et al -- was embraced (at scale), it resulted in the backlash that was Post-Modernism and the rest of it.

Finally, it needs to be pointed out that the 'problem' that informed the ideological 'solution' of Bauhaus maps far more sensibly to software methodology rather than software manifestation.

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