"Hardcorism is pure form unconcealed. It is blunt, straightforward, explicit, up front. It presents itself as it is, and represents what it presents. No decoration. No crime. No ornament. No structure. No distractions. No program. No excuses. No dialectics. No post-occupancy. No hat-tricks. No diagrams. Archetypes of Jungesque proportions, Hardcorism is pure imagery embedded in the Collective Unconscious. Hardcorism is architecture made for photography, for engraving, for model making. Hardcorism is emphatic; final. Hardcorism is reductionist. It is architecture as architecture."
I wish architecture was that simple. Maybe it should be, and perhaps it is. It is certainly bracing to have a call to order as clear as the one published by the group calling itself WAI Architecture Think Tank. Entitled “Pure Hardcorism,” the manifesto is making the rounds or swirls of the Internet, though with less enthusiasm, I detect, than the latest cat video.
What Nathalie Frankowski and Cruz Garcia, the names behind this WAI acronym ("What About It?"), are calling for is pretty tough and, in many ways, retro. They look back to painter and art theoretician Kazimir Malevich, but also to the pyramids and Boulee—and, by implication, to Le Corbusier and Albert Speer, to name but two absolute formalists. They call it, in fact, “architecture’s ultimate orthodoxy.” Though this makes me cringe, their basic points, which show up, in good manifesto fashion, in their “program,” are bracing: “Space is irrelevant"; "Image is everything"; "Form is absolute"; "Architecture is immaterial.”