Le Corbusier and Kracauer on Architecture and Design Critical Précis This paper represents a critical précis of the arguments in two important readings in the area of early twentieth century architecture and design – Le Corbusier’s Towards a New Architecture and Kracauer’s “The Mass Ornament” – with reference to Le Corbusier’s building designs and, in particular, his Plan Voisin. The thesis will be argued that Kracauer’s theory of mass ornament can be read as a critical response to the aesthetic of power that informs Le Corbusier’s Towards a New Architecture. As will be seen, Le Corbusier’s subordination of human individuality and difference to a geometric order in harmonized work and residential spaces is reflective of the early twentieth...The end:
.....oes not serve as the foundation” of this order (Kracauer 81). Kracauer recognition of the power and visual drama of mass ornament allows us to understand the appeal of Le Corbusier’s theories in Towards a New Architecture and his designs for the City of Three Million and the Plan Voisin while highlighting, at the same time, the troubling disappearance of the individual from vision of the future. In this way, these readings can be seen as complementary perspectives on early twentieth century architecture and design. References Kracauer, Sigfried. “The Mass Ornament.” The Mass Ornament: The Weimar Essays. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp.74-86. Le Corbusier. Towards a New Architecture. 1982 (First published 1927). Pp.7-24.