Post-fuctionalism, thus, is a term of absence. In its negation of functionalism it suggests certain positive theoretical alternatives - existing fragments of thought which, when examined, might serve as a framework for the development of a learner theoretical structure - but it does not, in and of itself, propose to supply a label for such a new consciousness in architecture...
A model of functionalism based in the theory of human motivations developed by Abraham Maslow […] helps us understand the various tugs on architects' hearts and minds in practice. It adds clarity to the debates about what our contemporary design ideologies offer us.
…functionalism in architecture can never be pure functionalism. 'The absolute rejection of style', Adorno concludes famously, 'becomes itself a form of style'.
In functionalist architecture the form was derived from thew expression of efficiency […]. In the 'functional city' and 'functional building' it was the differences that were particularly manifest. This amounted to an extreme specification of requirements and types of utility, which inevitably resulted in more fragmentation than integration
Functionalism, as the architecture is called, considered families, schools and other social entities as cogs in a machine. Each part contributes to the functioning of the system as a whole. Their collective utopia rejected "elegant" architecture as bourgeois. They shunned the old pastoral ideal of home and hearth as pictured in the paintings of Carl Larsson. They condemned the traditional family and stay-at-home mother as dying artifacts.
The emergence of functionalism marked the rebirth of faith in both the present and the future. Departing from their social commitment, the architects of the new age wished to provide inexpensive and healthy housing for the working classes. The Industrial revolution, combined with state-of-the-art materials, mass production and efficiency were to make this development possible. Democracy and the liberated society were the ideals.
The philosophy of functionalism was followed more closely by Bauhaus and International Style architects. Toward the end of the 20th century, the term Functionalism was used to describe any practical structure that was quickly constructed for purely practical purposes without an eye for artistry. However, for Bauhaus and other early Fuctionalists, the concept was a liberating philosophy that freed architecture from frilly excesses of the past.
Leading exponents of Functionalism were the German Bauhaus school, the Dutch group De Stijl, and the Scandinavians, especially the Swedish and Finnish designers. Prominent architects in the field were Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius.
At the heart of functionalism is the idea that designers should be guided by the purpose of the item being designed. Excessive ornamentation is to be avoided. With the rise of functionalism, a new mode of expression became evident in products and buildings. The Utopia here concerned an intention to have machine-age technology and science permeate every aspect of life, creating a basis for social change and improvement.
Functionalism (architecture), was a movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, that advocated that architecture should be stripped of all ornamentation so as to allow its structure to express its function or purpose. It was given impetus by Frank Lloyd Wright, who in 1901 originated the famous phrase "form follows function", and by Le Corbusier, who in 1927 stated that "a house is a machine for living".