Deader Than Disco / Architecture

  • Art Nouveau style had appeared practically overnight and flourished throughout the early 1900s, swept Europe from end to end, and died just before World War I, never to be fully revived but rather to influence and evolve into Art Deco. It remained so different than either its immediate predecessors or modern styles that in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy of the 2000s it has been chosen to depict Elven architecture, specifically because they were supposed to be different from Men in tastes and way of thinking. The Other Wiki notes that "... it was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants but also in curved lines", which would also fit nicely with the perception of Elves as more in tune with nature.
  • Art Deco (Art Moderne during the 1920s), with its symmetrical and futuristic designs, was popular and widespread throughout the world during The Roaring Twenties and the 1930s, influencing everything from skyscrapers to furniture to fashion. After the Depression lifted during the late 30s and as World War II broke out, it declined, and its style didn't help out much during the war. During the 1960s, it was revived due to a resurgence of interest.
    • A New Yorker cartoon circa 1980 says, "Do you realize we're living through the second time people got tired of Art Deco?"
  • Mid-20th Century Modern (often jokingly referred to as "Brady Bunch Architecture") was derided for many decades. Only in very recent times has it begun to be admired. It had been invented and perfected throughout an age which barely escaped from World War I to plunge itself in another war, an age that struggled with either mass poverty of the Great Depression or simply poverty during the Civil Rights clashes, where the cleanly designed majestic buildings were aimed to create a sense of hope - they came right from the future as people envisioned it. Not incidentally, in the form derived from Art Deco above, they were enormously popular throughout the Eastern Bloc and newly-decolonized countries, where they came to be derided as "Stalinist Architecture". A lesser known fact is the country which admires it most and fights to implement it wherever possible is North Korea — easy to guess why. Once the people began to realize the gigantic glass areas are very poor heat insulators and climate control systems built with no regard to environmental advantages are terrible energy eaters, the style began to subtly change to incorporate modern materials and building techniques.
  • The "McMansion" style, with its soaring ceilings, open plans, enormous rooms, and enough square footage to comfortably hold one of those huge families from a TLC reality show, was an incredibly popular style of American home construction from the late 20th century up through around 2005-07. But in the wake of the late '00s recession, those same attributes made the costs of heating and cooling them prohibitive for a great many people. The fact that most McMansions were built in exurbs located up to an hour's drive or more from the nearest major city — and where land was cheap enough to put them within financial reach of people who weren't named Trump or Kardashian — also hurt them when gasoline stopped being cheap. (Such exurbs themselves often found themselves going from boom towns to dying towns virtually overnight.) Finally, McMansions made up a majority of the houses foreclosed upon during the subprime mortgage crash, as their sheer size often made them too expensive for most people to purchase without a loan.
  • Brutalist archetecture, as explained in this article. Buildings in this style were designed so that form followed function, their few windows and tons of unfinished concrete often making them look like fortresses, and they were indeed very durable and cheap to build, leading to the proliferation of brutalist structures in urban centers and on university campuses in the 1960s and '70s. However, while modernist structures from that same time period are still beloved today, brutalist structures aren't. For many people, they evoked the image of flood channels and highway overpasses, and before long they came to be seen as blights on the landscape. Furthermore, while they were easy to build and keep standing, keeping them looking decent was a different story altogether, as unfinished concrete has a tendency to crack and stain very easily, especially in humid climates. Finally, the proliferation of brutalist structures in the Eastern Bloc gave the style an indelible association with Soviet-style communism; many dystopian sci-fi films from the '70s and '80s used such buildings as symbols of the oppressive regime. Nowadays, "brutalist" is often used a synonym for any ugly concrete building or public space, and few people still defend the style.
  • Utopian architecture boomed in the first two-thirds of the 20th century, when architects and futurists of every political stripe and cultural outlook sought to find a way to "reengineer the city" in a manner more conductive to progress towards an envisioned utopian society. Among the more famous proposals were Frank Lloyd Wright's "Broadacre City" that served as a blueprint for postwar suburbia, Paolo Soleri's arcologies, Walt Disney's original "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow" (which later evolved into Disney World), and Le Corbusier's unrealized "Plan Voisin" for central Paris and his more successful plan for Chandigarh, India. These designs fell out of favor in The '70s as a new generation of urban planners criticized them for ignoring the human inhabitants of cities, trying to force them into the architect's vision instead of designing cities around their needs. Today, this sort of utopianism is rarely seen within serious study of architecture and urban planning. It has made a minor comeback among environmentalists seeking to build sustainable alternatives to car-focused urban centers, but beyond that, it's been mostly relegated to the realms of science fiction and retro-future kitsch.
  • Very close to everything associated with "car friendly" cities. Be it urban highways on stilts, urban highways in any form at all, pedestrian underpasses, gigantic parking garages or plazas that are just a vast swath of bare concrete. Sure they may still be found in some cities, but hardly any serious architect (let alone any mayor that wants to get reelected) still proposes to build stuff like that.
  • In Scandinavia, flat roofs. They have proven extremely impractical in humid, cold and snowy climate. Flat roofs became in vogue in Scandinavia in the 1930 by Modernist architecture, under influence of le Corbusier, Aalto, Wright, Jacobsen and Mies van der Rohe. They are practical in warm, arid climates, but in Scandinavia they proved leak prone and have caused severe mold and mildew problems, and severly contributed to sick building syndrome. Today flat roofs have all but disappeared on homes, and they are only used on buildings with pre-planned lifespan, such as warehouses, retail stores etc.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DeaderThanDisco/Architecture