4Metaflux00Metaflux was the Portuguese official representation to the 2004 Venice Biennale. It showed 10 young architecture offices. Guedes + DeCampos, Inês Lobo, João Mendes Ribeiro, Promontório, and Serôdio & Furtado were from a slightly older, more ortodox generation. Bernardo Rodrigues, a.s*marcosandmarjan, Nuno Brandão, and S’A Arquitectos represented the diversity of the post-Erasmus generation. Here’s how architectural attitudes can change in 5 to 10 years.

X vs. Y-NOT  = Diversity

Equations of identity in recent Portuguese architecture

Addressing the question of identity is often seen as a form of anxiety. One will question his or her identity when one notices the uncertainty or the decentring of what is supposed to be obvious and well located. As Zygmunt Bauman says, “One thinks of identity whenever one is not sure of where one belongs”.[i]

Even when there are no major doubts about this, a person may not know what stance to adopt given the “variety of behavioural styles and patterns” that characterise contemporary life and that, due to the inherent and inevitable blurring of geographical and cultural frontiers, also influence the nature of the very place of belonging.

As Bauman also said, “‘Identity’ is a name given to the escape sought from that uncertainty”. Therefore, the question of identity tends to appear as a form of anxiety that implicitly underlies the generic condition of peripheral situations.

When compared to the places that are recognised as the centres of cultural production, the periphery is forced to face certainties that are not its own. By incorporating or rejecting these certainties coming from the centre, it tries to define its own authority.  The fact that this authority sometimes becomes authoritarian – and thus excessive – is merely another symptom of the aforementioned anxiety.

At first sight, it may seem surprising that questions of identity are raised regarding Portuguese architecture. In terms of global cartography, it not only belongs to the centre, but is also easily identifiable, specifically through some of its leading figures and major trends. As one of its truly exceptional figures has become part of the world star system, Portuguese architecture has guaranteed a wide recognition. Equally, as its nature was fleetingly legitimised by a critical discourse that came from the centre, it guaranteed an apparently secure identity niche.

Yet uncertainty can emerge from a false sense of security and the corrosive idleness that derives from it. Despite the powerful (but partial) authority that is still supported by this false security, and the sudden (but fragile) relevance that the profession acquired in a country that was undergoing massive development, Portuguese architecture quickly looses its specificity.

It remains to be seen if this loss is a ‘competitive advantage’, a strategic error or just an inevitable process. Alternatively – and more accurately – this loss could be an effect of more general changes in the fabric of those supranational identities that are progressively replacing locally developed traditions.

However, the issue here is whether the question of identity is instrumental in understanding certain metamorphoses in the contemporary practice of geographically well-located architectures. Moreover, I believe that this question enables us to probe whether perhaps these are new identities that are simultaneously more general and interwoven and take centre stage to define new meanings and ways of acting for international architectural culture.


The preliminary characterisation of a potential new model of “internationalism”[ii] most certainly does not involve identifying a programme or creating a declaration of intentions, as once happened with the Modern Movement. Instead, defining new forms of internationalism involves the recognition of mutating identity features that relate local and global.

When these ‘mutating features’ are referred to architectural practices or to the limits of architectural culture, they lead to attitudes and stances that differ from those normally recognised as typical or acceptable.

My belief is that the restatement of the identity features – despite being preceded and prepared by some historical practices and stances – is clearly associated to a ‘generation gap’. Moreover, although it comes from contemporary ‘Western’ culture, it is relatively restricted to the geographical space called Europe.

Hence, the metamorphosis depicted here is not one of forms, but of modes; it does not involve altering languages or styles, but altering attitudes. Furthermore, it is not set in a geographical space that can be identified with any specific national culture, but lies instead in the genetic redefinition of European identity.

Therefore, this metamorphosis is above all associated to factors that are external to the specificity of the architectural discipline. These external aspects can be completely enveloping, as shown by the effects of the radical evolution of urban and metropolitan cultures in late modernity,[iii] or specifically the result of the social, economic and political changes that have affected Europe following its successive ‘re-unifications’.

The disappearance of frontiers and the greater ease of physical movement between European countries; the efforts made and legal mechanisms that have tried to create a European identity (including the Erasmus and Leonardo transnational programmes, amongst others); the identification of social groups according to cultural and urban status rather than physical proximity; the establishment of interpersonal networks that are not locally based; the massive growth of a shared media space that covers television and the circulation and distribution of products from specific subcultures; the horizontal spread of pop culture and the similar nature of creative communities in different situations are all factors that have helped create an atmosphere that encourages a genetic mutation which particularly affects Europe’s younger generations.

In Portugal, the impact of these factors was combined with the slow, difficult process of overcoming modes and attitudes that resulted from decades of life under a parochial fascist regime. Portugal is now celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the restoration of democracy and greater proximity to Europe. Simultaneously, the first generations that were not directly influenced by the shadowy identity of the old regime are starting their active and professional lives.

In this sense, as these various factors brought an inevitable and widespread osmosis, also architecture has in Portugal gradually lost its specificity. Despite having a relatively well-known and entrenched tradition (but also pour cause), there occur? ongoing contradictions regarding a specific ‘national identity’. In addition, the typical growing pains of a relatively peripheral nation go hand-in-hand with and characterise this process of identity specificity loss?? / losing a specific identity.

Even with the supposed political engagement of the generations that emerged from the revolution of 25 April 1974 and despite the amazing growth in the number of architects and architecture schools over recent years, it has not only been the ‘generic’ architecture described by Rem Koolhaas that has continued to thrive in Portugal.

Symptomatically, Portugal’s leading young architectural practitioners are now divided into two movements or stances that are also more ‘generic’ than ‘local’. Following an intermediary generation that devoted itself to zealously perpetuating and safeguarding the boundaries of what was considered the ‘last stronghold’ of Portuguese architecture, the idea of openness and miscegenation has only become influential in the younger generations. Within the ‘intermediary’ generation, there were exceptions such as Souto de Moura, José Paulo dos Santos and Carrilho da Graça, whose work suggested an almost direct return to neo-modernist internationalism.

Within that same generation and through provocations that were more media-based than architectural, Manuel Graça Dias almost single-handedly introduced an ironic vision by critically adopting a post-modernism that the intelligentsia disliked and misunderstood.

Under the increasingly spectral influence of Siza Vieira (since this came less and less from the physical expression of his built work), and given the exhaustion of the so-called Oporto School (also now ‘generic’ in its more dramatic territorial expressions), these architects would be the direct forefathers of the ‘two generations’ that are juxtaposed in Metaflux.

They are ‘two generations’ in a single time and place because, despite everything, their birth, approaches to practice, expressions and stances on architecture are somewhat diverse. Ultimately, these ‘two generations’ are different in terms of the identity features suggested above.

It must be said that the brief time-span used when looking at these questions blurs the similarities rather than the differences. Adopting a broader historical perspective, the differences we now see as ‘surprising diversity’ may in fact result in very subtle variations within relatively akin attitudes and practices.

Evidently, it is easy to anticipate criticisms that the generational differences brought by a mere five-year time lapse are insignificant. However, the specific aim here is not to draw up a pamphlet of differences, but instead to define a watershed, a turning point that (based on the general discussion above) lies in bearing witness to the change and the short space of time between what – for the sake of this discourse – can be called generation x and generation y.

While both these generations adopted more or less recognisable forms of ‘internationalism’, their means of approaching it led to different expressions and unlike ‘relative stances’. It is the genetic mutation of this ‘stance’ that requires analysis here, particularly when it expresses a potentially dynamic effect on the heavy, autonomous, academised tradition of Portuguese architecture.

It represents, in fact, the first concrete generational influence of cultural movements that took place in the context of European identity and western urban cultures.

Ultimately, the aim of these questions is to establish the extent to which certain social and aesthetic movements, which ran transversally through culture and the subcultures of popular, youth or media consumption after May 1968, influenced a generation’s identity, a new approach that was not just Portuguese but intrinsically European.

For many years, publications on ‘young European architects’ have come out regularly. Yet nobody has stopped to ask, in any meaningful way, what aspects generally define their ‘group practices’. Apparently, it is naturally (and therefore ideologically) assumed that each new generation indefinitely prolongs the identity signs of national cultures, (re)formulating them within the media system that has appeared over the last twenty years.

The greater the impact a culture has; the better its identity is defined; the better the invention of tradition[iv] works within it, the more linear the logic of continuity becomes. Young Swiss architects maintain the logic of Swiss architecture in the post-Herzog & de Meuron period; their young Austrian counterparts will continue the Graz line and young Portuguese architects must necessarily follow the only trend that is recognised in their vicinity.

In each of these cases, legitimacy comes from having the greatest possible proximity to the surrounding and recognisable culture. In European countries where recent architectural tradition is more ‘diluted’ and the influences are more diverse, young architects are grouped together according to the visibility that they gain through a range of varied tactics.

Even so, although this visibility reveals new ways and means of acting, it does not stimulate any minimally wide-ranging discussion. Nobody seems interested in analysing these strategies, mechanisms and processes. Nobody seems interested in pondering whether the common denominator between these and other ‘young’ practices are more complex and go further than simply the age factor or the direct cultural legacy. Nobody apparently wonders if there may not be richer and more challenging transversal approaches, if there are no shared features that can provide better insight on the changes in approaching architectural culture that are now taking us beyond the pure logic of the star system, the generic mediocrity and trivial corporatism.

Since there is no space in a short essay like this to provide an exhaustive definition of these ‘strategies, means and processes’, we are left with extrapolation. Perhaps the signs identified in the practices examined here can lead to stimulating paths for broader understandings.

Some questions merit special focus here: the depoliticising and the loss of ideology; placing greater emphasis on communication and strategies of visibility; accepting the ‘aesthetic of diversity’; interacting and identifying with similar cultures and creative networks; using tactics of appropriating, collage and quotation from a range of sources; and adopting and constructing new identities.

As is immediately obvious, these aspects are as global and ‘standard’ in some areas of contemporary art and creativity as they are rare in the nomenclatures of traditional architectural criticism.

As they are not hermetically sealed categories or stylistic principles, they are available for contemporary cultural practice to appropriate or handle in systems that directly suggest an arguable post-modernity.

There are relatively clear signs of the ‘new’ stances also in the generation that in Metaflux shows greater continuity and ties to Portugal’s more recognisable architectural culture. Both generations skilfully mobilise and use elements from the underlying tradition to deal with the critical connection between local and global culture.  Even so, these features and ‘stances’ form the basis for establishing a fine line that divides the two generations examined here.

The fact that these generations are depoliticised is a feature that is shared within a broader European context. Following the extreme politicisation of daily life in May 1968 and the subsequent integration of this événement’s leaders into the political world, the atmosphere in Europe is one of extreme disillusion and individualism.

The loss of ideology among the younger generations was shown by a dispassionate, post-punk vision which fully accepted that the market would inevitably ‘recuperate’ the positions that supposedly offered most resistance. This also came about due to the need for pure survival in the labour market. The modern social project was replaced by the need to guarantee success, leading to a situation where ethics is ‘substituted’ by aesthetics.[v]

Generation x, which certainly shows more affinities with the concept of Douglas Coupland, proved to have a tense, contradictory relationship with the appearance of post-modern sensibility. Its determined preference for aesthetics led it to abandon the modern ideological project, while still taking its founding formal references from high modernism. Despite adopting new conceptual strategies, their continued use of the rigorous exploration of language still focus all external references on architectural objects that are as close as possible to an ideal of pure composition.

Meanwhile, generation y had grown up constantly negotiating with a variety of cultures, and was perhaps the first generation in Portugal not to identify with nor necessarily coming into conflict with the so-called culture of ‘resistance’.

This meant that generation y was not necessarily either in favour of or opposed to continuities or consolidations of the resistance formats. While this does not make it a non-critical generation, it does show it as blissfully indifferent to values that were previously seen as crucial or essential.

The re-establishment of democracy is seen as natural, so ‘resistance’ no longer makes sense as a founding myth. Yet the far-reaching political loss of ideology also involves a critical way of viewing the cultural consumption of architecture. A defensive sense of professional rigour remains, but it is accompanied by the dominance of far more ironic tools that are more appropriate to a culture of visual consumption that features strong, clear messages.

Legitimising elements or small self-ironic implosions are introduced at the very inception of the project. Even before any critical reception, these make room for potential ‘recuperation’ by the system.

The political comment is subtle, initially establishing a possible deconstruction of the role of architecture in daily life. Yet it also surreptitiously comments on architecture’s capacity to slip a simultaneously subversive and reconciling message into daily life, a message that is often supported and expressed by the guaranteed attraction of the ‘spectacle’.

The ‘silence’ of the immediately preceding generations was followed by a new recognition of communication and visibility strategies as vital tools in achieving underlying goals.

The policy of public competitions adopted in Portugal for some time gave way to the new generations. They had to learn to control the means of instant communication so that they could sell the images which had been carefully edited for the project. They had to create ideas that immediately caught the eye of panels and clients and focused it on the impeccable professionalism and the more profound aspects of the work.

Even so, generation x maintained its stern, monochrome style. It was a genuine way of overcoming its difficulty in completely abandoning the ‘silence’ and (by extension) the modernist conviction that an autonomous work is also autonomous in its way of communicating: it speaks for itself to those who can or want to understand.

Generation y has definitively lost this attitude. It adopted an in your face style of communication that could equally use the pop form of a collage of a magazine celebrity or return to the calculated expressivity of a sketch. Sensuality and formal exoticism were rendered in a realist manner that was appealing and immediately accessible through the 3D imagery offered by the admirable new world of digital video clips, advertising and visual culture in general.

However, it must be stressed that there is something deeper under the apparent superficiality, under the excess of communication and visibility. There is at least a cultivated and legitimised use of the several layers of communication that Umberto Eco referred to in The Open Work.

The ‘performativity’ of these young architects involves introducing different levels of understanding according to the capacity to share shown by the various observers or users. The capacity to ‘advance’ and offer more radical architectural languages to an audience that is not necessarily specialised finally emerges from the apparently light and brilliant images.

Thus, these successful languages and approaches almost immediately appear as a critical mechanism of architecture’s status quo. The fact that this communication often avoids the need for peer recognition and directly addresses the recipients of the work – the client or the public user – is a decisive watershed.

The different tactics used to create and ‘communicate’ both the project and the architectural discourse demonstrate the progressive opening up to the potential of ‘diversity’. Rejecting the standardising trend of principles that dictate a local ‘school’ of ‘how to do things’, architecture moves forward in at least two directions so as to approach a new internationalism.

Generation x headed towards a hyper-orthodoxy marked by a conceptual enrichment that reveals a range of culturally well informed influences. Given this stance, which was somewhat critical of the mediocrity and tedium that have meanwhile established,[vi] this generation adhered with relative ease and naturalness to minimalism – one of the two main cultural movements that mark contemporary cultural production. This offered generation x a means of expression that helped to sublimate the impulses that it had acquired during training. Yet it also allowed for the adoption of a broadly legitimised cultural model that, through life style, reaches a relatively broad public.

Minimalism and its internal coherence strategies ultimately express concepts that can be clearly grasped and understood by most of these architects’ potential clients. Thus, minimalism is an appropriate market strategy. Moreover, it also has implicit and explicit approval from architecture’s local and international gate-keepers.

In 1992, Ignasi Sola-Morales published “Difference and limit: Individualism in contemporary architecture” in Domus.[vii] This was perhaps the first time that minimalism had appeared as an inspiration that was only then imported or openly shared with the world of art. At the same moment, the two ‘paths’ that contemporary architectural culture could offer in response to the crisis of modernity started to emerge. Blinded by the extreme positions that then dominated – mainly due to the strong visibility of historical post-modernism – Sola-Morales failed to recognise that the terms he associated to identity were ambivalent in a sense that was more anticipatory than predicted. Within the same sphere of production, repetition and limit suggested one path; difference, despite everything, suggested another.[viii]

While the repetition and limit found in the ‘minimalist’ stance were still firmly rooted in structuralism and the identity of late modernism, difference not only suggested the definitive arrival of the post-structuralist legacy, but also the recognition of the ‘Other’ and the potential for ‘diversity’ in both practice and discourse.

Albeit in embryonic form, difference pointed towards the ‘aesthetic of diversity’. This was related to the ‘diversification’ that Jane Jacobs – in one of the earliest critical responses to the Modern Movement – saw operating in a clearly self-sufficient manner in urban cultures and in the formation of the contemporary metropolis.[ix]

In this sense, ‘diversity’ appears as the only term whose provisional value can counter the texture and historical weight of the notion of ‘minimalism’.

No matter how difficult it may be to define the limits of ‘diversity’, the second path mentioned above does not correspond to Calabrese’s neo-baroque or to the exaggerated forms of post-modernism. Instead, it corresponds to the very idea of ‘diversity’.

As may perhaps be recognised or calculated, ‘diversity’ is a path whose very nature will also eventually embrace minimalism. Indeed, all the leading figures from generation y include elements (some more openly, some less) that they have inherited from minimalism. However, it may be assured that none of them opposes – either out of principle or attitude – experimentation or the ‘aesthetic of diversity’.

The cosmopolitan culture of large cities simultaneously became a source of reference and the centre stage for demonstrating diverse attitudes and stances. Exchanges between participants, producers and consumers fundamentally happen within urban networks of well-established cultural affinities.

Cultural consumption in daily urban life unites different age groups and creative beliefs within the concept of expressing new attitudes and ‘ways of doing things’.

As Iain Chaimbers points out, today’s social and aesthetic environment was anticipated in the metropolitan cultures of the last thirty years, “among the electronic signifiers of cinema, television and video, in recording studios and record players, in fashion and youth styles, in all those sounds, images and diverse stories that are daily mixed, recycled and ‘scratched’ together on that giant screen which is the contemporary city”.[x]

Urban culture is the stage where the creative performances that progressively intervene in daily visual and social culture both come together and into conflict.

The resulting exchange not only involves swapping processes and response strategies – now called briefing, concept, problem solving and experimentation – but also sharing materials and references that are to be recycled.

Ultimately, the “giant screen” that Chaimbers speaks of is the space where the raw materials that become available for appropriation, collage and quotation are filtered and made available. However, these are specific operations where we again discover the nuances of difference that define a moment of transition.

The references used, as well as the ends and the effects of the appropriation process, can acquire radically different aspects for generations that are relatively close to one another.

In generation x, these processes had the purpose and rigour of a ‘convenient’ appropriation. In other words, the appropriation was accepted within the traditional, tolerated limits established by ‘high culture’ and its legitimacy was thereby guaranteed.

While co-operation policies extended the multidisciplinary logic of traditional architectural practice, appropriation was an openly marginalised aspect regarding the relevance of knowledge taken directly from architecture. This means that quoting Dan Graham or Donald Judd, for example, has its role, but it is a relative role (and a contradictory one, but who cares?) as opposed to the importance of redesigning the modernist box.

Multi-author creativity is also genuinely fruitful and welcomed with open arms, but it does not ‘disturb’ the virtuosity of architectural compositions that are in impeccably good taste.

In the following generation, appropriation is toned down by humour and the accepted relativity of its own nature. The ‘imaginary museum’ from where references can be extrapolated is far less restricted by the notion of what is ‘culturally correct’. Equally, the appropriated objects are either significant but trivial (the pack of Português Suave cigarettes), or over-erudite and exotic (The Complete Works of Shakespeare) to be cited and understood as ‘influences’. Although they continued to allow for serious, ‘performative’ proposals, these outside elements had the precious gift of being able to deconstruct the supposed ‘gravity’ of architectural practice.

The feeling of integration and of shared attitudes and ‘ways of doing things’ with de-located creative networks joined forces with a progressive identification with a more general European urban culture. The combination of these factors also meant that the complex resulting from Portuguese architecture’s image of itself as geographically and architecturally peripheral gradually lost relevance.

Thus, the younger generations express their identity through broad creative affinities rather than integration into a coherent and homogeneous trend. The sense of playing and experimenting became more decisive in constructing the design and in anticipating the efficacy of the finished work.

The limits of architectural practice were tested through cultural miscegenation, helping to demystify institutionalised discourses and typified acceptations of the specific culture of architecture. Examples of this include a.s*, marcosandmarjan and s’a arquitectos.

Alternatively, the principles of architectural training are explored in a more expressive, creative and radical way. This is evident in Brandão’s idea of structure and its negative and in Rodrigues’ spatial and objectual poetic.

Since this exploration of the core of architecture is also the key feature in recognising generation x, then we can begin to understand a shared phenomenon.

Through the two extreme ‘stances’ identified here, these generations tried more or less openly to escape the ‘cultural standardisation’ that was subtly establishing itself in Portuguese architecture. The still dominant ‘ethnic majority’ in Portuguese architecture – under the direct historical influence of the Oporto School – merely reproduces a non-critical architecture. This generally involves a physical and linguistic response which is economically appropriate to some local context that has been frozen in time. Given the need to bring a new dynamic to the consumption of an architecture that corresponds with the improvement of lifestyles and identity expressions, this mediocre response and its underlying simplistic discourse are increasingly inappropriate and unsatisfactory. It is also easy to see that dissatisfaction with the progressive weakening of architectural culture can open the door wide to the worst that corporate globalisation has to offer.

We can therefore understand that the radical nature that is inherent in new forms of identity is perhaps fundamental for the survival – or rather the positive transformation – of a cultural specificity that is being lost.

Returning to the broader picture, one question seems to make sense. In each case and given each situation and local tradition, is it not logical that a generation that is far more miscegenated and undivided by the old borders within Europe’s geographical space should privilege a European urban identity?

In opposition to globalisation’s standardising mechanisms, it is this ‘youthful’ identity that seems more appropriate and ‘attuned’ in terms of providing an ‘effective’ yet ‘critical’ response to the rapid and chaotic advance that characterises the mixtures of popular and specific cultures in contemporary metropolises.

Cast against a network of diffuse global values and given the growing maladjustment of ‘invented’ national cultures, the identity that emerged from young urban cultures after May 1968 is an inescapable alternative.

This cultural identity has proved to be the most aware and the most available to express and reinterpret that ‘aesthetic of diversity’ that marks out the new distinction of place.

Pedro Gadanho, 1 June 2004

[i] Z. Bauman, “From pilgrim to tourist – or a short story of identity”, in Stuart Hall & Paul du Gay (eds.), Questions of Cultural Identity, Sage Publications, London, 1996.

[ii] As it deals with questions that are only touched on here, the concept of “critical internationalism” merits mention. This was opposed by Jean-Louis Cohen to Kenneth Frampton’s concept of “critical regionalism”. Cohen demonstrates that the practices of “resistance” based on cultural specificity, which Frampton lauded in contrast to the means of standardisation found in late capitalism, have in fact become globalised. In this sense, local practices such as those of Siza Vieira in Portugal would act within the logic of a ‘niche market’ and the methodology and language of the results could be exported to undifferentiated sites worldwide. As Nuno Grande says, this “leads Cohen to suggest that Frampton’s concept is obsolete in a context where there is no longer a single globalising mechanism that opposes local diversity. The multiple relations that we can now establish within the international communication networks enables us to reach the point where ‘local’ is used as a critical subversion of ‘global’, provided we know how to understand globalisation itself and how to operate within it” (see N. Grande, “Internacionalismo crítico, o possível lugar de uma revista de architecture”, in NU, #18, NUDA/AAC, Coimbra, 2004.

[iii] This is the theme explored in my text for the catalogue Space Invaders, an exhibition of young British architecture curated with Lucy Bullivant for the British Council in London and ExperimentaDesign2001. See P. Gadanho, “Geografiks: twelve fragments on the nature of urban practice”, in Ruth Ur (ed.), Space Invaders, British Council, London, 2001.

[iv] It is interesting to look at this aspect from the analytical bases proposed by cultural studies. The question of the invention of tradition is one of the founding strategies that define the relationship between the creation of national cultures and cultural identity within modernity. On this issue, see S. Hall, “The question of cultural identity”, in S. Hall, D. Held & T. McGrew (eds.), Modernity and its Futures, Polity Press, Open University Press, 1992.

[v] See David Harvey, The Condition of Post Modernity, Basil Blackwell, London, 1989. Although Harvey was writing at a moment when discussion of post-modernism was still influenced by polarities that were losing their impact, some of his perspectives are still very valid: “Whereas the modernists see space as something to be shaped for social purposes and therefore always subservient to the construction of a social project, the postmodernists see space as something independent and autonomous, to be shaped according to aesthetic aims and principles which have nothing necessarily to do with any overarching social objective, save, perhaps, the achievement of timeless and ‘desinterested’ beauty as an objective in itself.”

[vi] This tedium is already brazenly assumed by some Portuguese commentators. See Manuel Graça Dias, “Da coerência e da entrega”, in NU, #18, op. cit.

[vii] Ignasi de Sola-Morales, “Difference and limit: Individualism in contemporary architecture”, in DOMUS, #736, Milan, 1992.

[viii] Sola-Morales also fails to understand that arte povera, which he also refers to in his article, pointed precisely towards a radically different relationship to the one established by minimalism with the materials of contemporary cultural and urban identity. Therefore, as also found in the general effects of art and pop culture, there was a sign of a ‘diverse’ path.

[ix] Moreover, Jacobs was surprised that architects and urbanists not only “failed to recognise” the cities’ trend towards self- diversification, but were also not attracted by the “aesthetic problems of expressing it.” (see Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, 1961).

[x] See Iain Chaimbers, Popular Culture: The Metropolitan Experience, London, 1986.