"Modern design was born out of a desire to leave behind the ornamentation and excesses of 19th century Europe. In essence, it's a stripped back, pared down style of design, favoring clean, often angular lines, neutral colors in tones of gray and beige, bare materials, and a general sense of spareness and minimalism. (I'm generalizing here for the sake of discussion — not all modern architecture is about cold gray cubes. Volumes have been written highlighting examples of brightly colored, joyfully curvy modern furniture and dwellings. Dwell itself attempts to celebrate this side of modernism. But the prevailing experience of modern design for most of us in the mainstream is stripped down, hard-edged, and cool verging on cold. Or as one Unhappy Hipsters caption reads, "still, gray, and gravel-strewn.") Though these aesthetics are often intended to create a sense of zen-like tranquility, the result is frequently closer to melancholy isolation, which is what Unhappy Hipsters is lampooning. The question is, why?"Personally, I think that if you are depressed the architecture of your living environment will either help or hinder, but it won't every be the cause of it. Not really.
Psyschology I'm a huge fan of modernist architecture. While I understand the general view that it's bland, functional, featureless and inhuman, the very best examples can also offer a haven of placidity, quiet and orderliness in opposition to the chaos which engulfs our daily lives. But in this year old post, Psychology Today wonders if it can actually make us depressed (reacting to the Unhappy Hipsters tumblr which is now a book):
Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011