The Contested Nature of Modernity: “Type and Individuality” in the Deutscher Werkbund | The Plan Journal

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Bilgen Dündar

The purpose of this paper is to contribute an inclusive insight into the debate of type (Typisierung) and individuality in the Deutscher Werkbund. The debate is widely discussed on the dichotomy between art and industry in the historiography of modern architecture. This paper aims to show that both camps of the debate wanted to constitute the synthesis of art and industry, but the methods that they used were different. This paper considers the debate as a referent of the contested nature of modernity. Modernity oscillates between the desire to give the modern world new modes of structure, order, regulation and to accept modernity with all complexities. This article claims that while the notion of type represents the former one, the notion of individuality represents the later one in the realm of architecture. This article unveiled the control mechanisms in the discourses of defenders of Typisierung. It found the concepts norm, organization, system, standardization, which were the reflections of the Enlightenment. On the other hand, it pointed out the reactions of the individualists against these discourses.