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Modernity The Machine Age The roots of the Modern Movement goes back to the profound social and technological changes which characterised the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the twentieth Cities in the western world were expanding This urbanisation needed a new approach to building New technologies would have to be used offering cheaper and more efficient means of satisfying a larger population and a growing number of industrial clients In the United States the cities of Chicago and New York gave birth to some tall metal-framed buildings in the second half of the 19th century Louis Sullivan one of the most prominent members of the Chicago School of architects quoted form follows function an important phrase for Modernists ever since A few architects built astounding new skyscrapers which would soon be a feature of cities across the world Although these skyscrapers were modern they were not modernist Le Corbusier criticised the Americans lack of urban planning European architects responded to the Americans technological advances including bridges and other building forms as well as skyscrapers and it lead to the development of Modernism In the early twentieth century technological advances were rapidly changing western society Road and rail networks were changing the face of modern countries people were more mobile goods and materials could be transported across the world easily and quickly Reinforced concrete and the availability of plate glass meant that architects would soon be able to use this new technology in the buildings they were designing Machines in the form of cars telephones and ocean liners caught the publics imagination and showed the positive force that technology could play in peoples lives In 1921 Le Corbusier described a house as a machine for living in Le Corbusier and others believed that houses should have the purity of form of a well-designed machine The qualities of mass-produced cars and other machines were therefore of great interest to them
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