Topics: Postmodernism, Semiotics, Modernism Pages: 5 (1566 words) Published: October 1, 2010
The term ‘ Postmodernism’ is the buzzword that has been widely debated and engaging political, social and cultural ideas since the late 1960’s as it is apparent in various fields such as architecture, visual arts, literature, and technology. Though it has become incredibly universal practice, its connotations are tremendously complex and versatile, to the extent that it is often mutually contradictory. Charles Jenks (1978) defines Postmodernism as double coding “ the combination of Modern techniques with something else usually traditional building in order for architecture to communicate with the public and a concerned minority, usually other architects.”Each person defined Postmodernism differently. If a number of people consider it as a sanctification or an appreciated development, others think it as lack of self- individualism. In order to Postmodernism to be recognized, one must be able to understand the term of ‘ Modernism’. Modernism began in the 1890’s along with its later abandon which brought to the emergence of Postmodernism. Modernism is about adopting new technology by producing new architectural techniques. Modernism is minimal, true use of material and absence of ornament or decoration, whereas postmodernism is the rejection of strict rules (ibid.). Modernism is flashy with its use of building techniques, angles, stylistic references and decoration. Postmodernism in relation to architecture has become apparent as a series of architects’ response in opposition to Modernism. The primary distinction between Modernism and Postmodernism is that Modernism is about the search for universal truth and concentrate on simple individuals whereas Postmodernism believes there is no universal truth and is concerned with the humanity in the buildings dealing with different and complex culture. Postmodernism is a reaction to Modernism, typically, the negative critique to modernism. Post modernists believed that modernism was “soulless” and so, believed buildings should cater for humanity . Postmodernism is described by the combination of historical elements in a mixture style by the application of decorative elements and by borrowing elements from the old buildings and reintroduce in a new form.

Postmodernism is derived from variety of areas. At the beginning of the 20th century, the role of anthropology, semiotics and Semiology emerged in Postmodernism and were moderately new form of academic review that offer a method of describing culture in universal and more particularly traditional from Modernism. Anthropology is the study of cultures and humanities.. Anthropology in Postmodernism eliminates the universal theories and enlighten other cultures. Postmodernism conceal the division between high and low culture that led to challenge a varied of cultures. The cultural movement are noticeable in architecture buildings. The efficient and dignified space of Modernism have been substituted by variety of styles, aesthetics, and forms in a new way. Postmodernist architects design buildings. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols as components of language and the formation of communication. In Saussure’s terminology, the signified, and the signifier are the elements of the sign which is found in various terms.

According to Saussure, a sign are made of two separate components, a signifier which means the auditory of the spoken word as heard by the receiver of a message and a signified which the meaning described forth in the mind of the receiver effect from the stimulation of signifier ( Gottdinier, 1995). The sign is the signifier, the signified, and the combination of the two as he declared (ibid). Saussure theory of signs explains the term ‘signifier’ for the sound image, and the ‘signifies’ for the concept. As a result, the sign is generated by the relations. The components of the ‘signifier ‘ is material such as sound, objects and images. However in Semiology, one has to deal with a various systems...

Bibliography: Barthes, R 1968, Elements of semiology, Editions du Seuil, USA.
Ghirardo, D 1996, Architecture after modernism, Thames and Hudson, Singapore.
Gottdiener, M 1995, Postmodern semiotics, Blackwell, Massachusetts.
Littlejohn, D 1984, Architect: the life and work of Charles Moore, 1st edn, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.
Loveday, T 2010, 3121 history and theory 1, University of New South Wales.
Woods, T 1999, Beginning postmodernism, Manchester University Press, New York.
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