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Cuteness

Princeton University: Thesis (In Progress)

Advised by Sylvia Lavin and Michael Meredith

Spring 2016

 

If architectural style can be thought of as the phylogenic classification of physiognomic qualities, the categorical process immediately relegates the built form to a historical category soon after it is able to be placed into a taxonomy. The process of evolution is defined by certain traits that allow organisms to adapt to their environments, therefore reevaluating existing classifications of style to describe an alternate reality of certain adaptations that could allow each case study to adapt to existing conditions.

 

Style in architecture is a potentially sterilizing term, as evidenced by Henry Russell Hitchcock’s and Philip Johnson’s labeling of the International Style. Once a movement is accepted into the canon through a set of instructions, it no longer can participate in a speculative conversation and therefore belongs to history.

 

Cuteness could be the adaptation of certain species in danger of extinction. The literal infantilization of style could ensure survival. This thesis will select case studies of defunct and already classified examples of architectural styles, in danger of extinction, through the process of documentation, the qualities of species could be reframed to allow the case studies to regain consumer appeal after they are no longer deemed functional.