Monday, March 21, 2011

BP9 - Colonial Expansion in Architecture

I believe colonnial expansion as it pertains to art and architecture can be both a hindrance on a local culture and in some cases a saving grace.  Aesthetically the architecture I speak of is a thing of personal opinion, but when the structures that influence change a culture or the day to day life of the populace then it demands closer scrutiny as to whether it should be accepted or prevented.  It is as basic as preservation or advancement.

When I think of colonial expansion to the United States I see the obvious pre-revolutionary war period.  When the US was just a colony and was starting from a European standpoint the only architecture was what could be brought from the old world.

Brick Colonial Home

 Words: wealth, symmetry, importance, geometric

Wooden Colonial Home
 Words: basic, rural, isolated

These homes show the very basic nature of construction from that day.  Not only were the structures limited in material selections and available funds, but they were great distances from classical structures which could have influenced more aesthetically pleasing elements.

As for how America's modern influence spreads out across the world I wish to look at it in perspective.  Even though there are many American influences that are for the best, some have spread some of the not so great parts of our culture.  For instance I will use the gray area of McDonald's.

Typical American McDonald's
Words: standout, public, contrasting

Viewed by many in different ways, McDonald's has shown itself as being a cheap restaurant for anyone who is in need of its services, but that's not what I'm talking about.  Focusing on the corporations aesthetics we can see how even when incorporated into a native area somewhere in the world the colors, logo, and basic design remain the same.

Chinese McDonald's
 Words: importance, size, advertising

Indian McDonald's
Words: bounds, fitting, colors

What needs to be discussed about this is whether or not the local culture is taken into consideration?  Do the golden arches and red coloring mean the same thing for these areas as they do for America?  What happens if a native area finds a certain color or gesture of architecture offensive?  I think we just need to be more considerate when trying to push what works locally on a modern global world.

Photo Credit: (, (, (, (, (, 


  1. Matt, I would work on how you articulate your thoughts. For example cross contamination? maybe assimilation, eclectic borrowing, adaption, or integration would be better word choices. Some other phrases, 'perspective like", "eatery", "And like that obviousness" all these need to be revised. Furthermore, while your first colonial building is sparse it definitely speaks the classical language, especially assimilated from Palladian classicism, through symmetry and architectural details like the balustrade, octagonal dome. That being said, I think your prompt on McDonalds is intriguing but to be honest that red roof does't work in any country.

  2. Thank you Justin for your constructive criticism. I have changed some of the areas in my composition that were not to your liking.