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The Nature of Age: A study of age and the potential for simulated age in architecture

Part 2 Dissertation 2015
Alexander Stuchfield
University for the Creative Arts Canterbury UK
Why do we appreciate the visible ageing of structures? Is it based entirely on historical presence or is the aesthetic also a factor? Is the creation of pre-aged architecture (simulated age) something to be encouraged for today’s cultural tastes?
Our society has developed a strong appreciation for the distressed aesthetic in recent years. This fashion has permeated many aspects of our daily lives; becoming visible in both our clothes and our homes. The goal of this essay is to examine the reason for this appreciation of visible age, then analyse the potential of simulated age as an architectural asset. This will require an investigation into why we preserve heritage and the different areas of value that we attribute to architecture. Using the framework of historical, use and age value laid out by Riegl in his seminal work The Cult of Modern Monuments, this paper will examine the effect of today’s culture on how we view and weigh these values.
It will consider case studies of various structures of architectural interest, using these to determine the effect of the various values we place on buildings and then comparing these to the effects of simulated ageing.

Alexander Stuchfield

L Jones
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