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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2021 Abstracts

Less is more or less is a bore? A study on architectural simplicity and complexity.

Presenter: Riley Winter, Engineering and Design Technology, Architecture
Authors: Riley Winter
Faculty Advisor: Brandon Ro, Engineering and Design Technology, Architecture
Institution: Utah Valley University

In the debate between modernists and classicists about what makes something beautiful, the ideas of simplicity and complexity are argued against each other. The modernist point of view often follows the idea that less is more, while the classicists believe that less is a bore. It is my goal to demonstrate that less truly is a bore and that beauty is found in the details of complexity. To illustrate my point that less is a bore, I will be doing a photo analysis of neighboring buildings in Salt Lake City. These two buildings are the United States Courthouse building and the US Bankruptcy Court building. With its simple cubic design and façade of glass and steel, the United States Courthouse building will be my example of why less is a bore. While the adjacent US Bankruptcy Court building will be my counterexample showing beauty through its complex and ordered design. My photo analysis of the two buildings will begin zoomed out and examine the buildings from distance and then zoom in to show how one building continues to become more interesting while the other does not. This study will effectively show the beauty found in the detail used by the classicists and neglected by modernists.