ORNAMENT IS A CRIME.
So it reads one of the slogans that sum up the International Style, developed in the 1920s to bring industrialized mass-production techniques to architecture, and think of houses as 'machines for living'.
It is likely that if you look out the window you see a glass office building. Before the Seagram Building (1958), designed by German architect Mies van der Rohe, skyscrapers didn’t look like that, they weren’t ‘transparent’. Like the neighbouring Empire State or the Chrysler they were probably Art Deco or copying historic styles.
However, together with Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, van der Rohe was to change that by championing a radical simplification of architecture. The structural elements of a building would make all the ornamentation in an attempt to establish a more honest conversation with the public.
I think that these architects were successful in conveying these ideals through their architecture; another very different thing is what corporations do in them.
Anyway, who cares? IT’S A BUILDING WEARING A SUIT!!
This illustration is the second in succession of 6 postcards designed for Bauhaus: Art as Life at the Barbican.