Architecture Burger project AB1006, code-named “The Smartpatrol Blog,” is an effort to investigate, analyze, and define “the Lower Modernisms”. I hope to refine my conception of that term along the way, but here is a working definition of the Lower Modernisms: those categories of design endeavors that are Modernist in style and intent, but fall short of meeting the standards to qualify as legitimate Modernist Design. In the case of Modern Architecture, these categories would include both work not sufficiently rigorous to be Modern, and work not sufficiently disciplinary to be considered Architecture. The Lower Modernisms is plural because it encompasses a plurality of styles and categories, and seems a suitable umbrella term for a diverse set of underachieving design tendencies.

The Lower Modernisms project is undertaken for Architecture Burger, a design-research collective dedicated to exploring the intersections between architectural culture and consumer culture. The project author is James Alan Black, AIA, LEED AP, a Los Angeles-based architect and an employee of House & Robertson Architects, Inc., since 2005. A California native, James earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Chicago and a Masters of Architecture degree at UCLA. James was a founding partner of the Architecture Burger collective in 2003. In addition to his interests in architecture and design, James is also an avid bicyclist and the author of the Cincuenta Taquerías blog.