E PLURIBUS UNUM
monumentality AND bottom-up truth in architecture
As humans began to make structures that could outlast their mortality, the content of what was left behind became relevant. Monuments have become grand tools of humanity and their value to society is practically incontestable. Monuments have the power of communication and gathering. They are important to people as a dissemination tool and as a totem capable of unifying society. Discourse around Architecture and Monuments have long been intertwined and even contemporary architectural discourse shares many similarities with the qualifications of monumentality. However, the increasing social, cultural, and ideological diversification that has arisen throughout the course of modernity suggests that a shift in the monumental paradigm is needed. Monuments have the ability to convey messages and the content of the message matters. With a greater understanding of a heterogeneous “public” and the perception of objects, monuments have the capacity to do more.
Unlike the historical model of monuments, which was to perpetuate a singular truth from a position of power, the role of the contemporary monument is to disseminate the diversity of multiple truths that comprise society. Architecture plays a unique role in how these types of information exchanges occur and it has an ability to remind the user of the presence of this multiplicity.