Liquid Monumentality: A Search for Meaning
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Contemporary architecture suffers from an acute malaise: it has lost its sense of meaning, and in turn, its sense of significance. In our world of economy and utility—the liquid world—architecture can only allude to a higher purpose, a feigned declaration of its inability to contend with the current state. Yet this was not always the case. For thousands of years everything from the minutest of details to the greatest of narratives found their expression in architecture, and specifically, in a culture’s understanding and application of monumentality. The monument embodied the spirit of its times, and in its near-immortality provided a refuge for the loftiest of hopes and dreams. While it may appear that words like immortality and spirit are at odds with the ceaseless and constant change of the globalized world, change is not a new concept of our era. Since the beginning of history monumental architecture tempered its solidity with an implicit appreciation for the transience it sought to overcome. Liquid Monumentality reconstructs this dialectic of permanence and change in an attempt to answer one question: is the monumental still relevant in our liquid age?