Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Yesterday I found this really cool time-lapse video of the map of Europe and the different countries that have existed there since the year 1000 up until present day. It's very fascinating to see how many countries have at one point been large and important and then and then vanished, how the other ones have grown and shrunk or even completely moved from one place to another.

It seems to me that architectural variations are mostly regional, not national, and I guess this map illustrates how nationalism in architecture (and politics, for that matter) is a slightly absurd exercise. In Norway, a country with an enormous coast and most of its population living less than two hours away from the sea, national romanticism in architecture deemed coastal vernacular traditions in building to be much too influenced by foreigners, and emphasised interpretations of inland architecture and building from the great valleys. Very strange. It's not that I don't find a lot of this romanticist architecture to be beautiful, with its crisp detailing and great craftmanship, but I still think it could have been even richer and better if it included more regional traditions. I don't know how this would work in other countries, but I suppose it's similar.

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