Postmodern architecture arose in the 1960s and ’70 and is characterized by an often irreverent and eclectic mishmash of distinguished classical and modern styles. As per Joe Cianciotto this architecture style focuses on creating singular designs that had never been seen before.  He mentions that some of the most controversial, idiosyncratic, and memorable buildings of the globe have come out of this 20th-century architectural movement. Mr. Cianciotto is an architect residing and working in the Bay Area. His primary architectural styles of choice are modernism (especially midcentury modern), postmodernism, and neo-futurism.

Postmodern architecture is popular for embracing individualism and experimentation.  This architecture style emerged as a movement against the traditional, classical styles, while aiming to make building designs more dynamic, fun, and interesting. Joe Cianciotto says that postmodern home design largely incorporates the elements of certain classic architectural styles in a whimsical and exaggerated manner. Postmodern architecture focuses on inhibition-free designing, along with conceptual consideration of the surrounding environment. These considerations included the integration of the design of adjacent buildings into postmodern structures, so that they looked impactful, while providing a feel of cohesiveness.

Even though the functionality is a key aspect of postmodern buildings, they lay more emphasis on the aspects of creativity and innovation. Joe Cianciotto says that postmodern buildings are defined by their certain distinctive features and characteristics, such as:

  • Colors: Colors play an important role in transforming the traditional buildings into artwork, and adds a certain vibrant aura to it.  Usually, ceramic tiles and stones, as well as colored glass, are used on the exterior surfaces of postmodern buildings. Their interiors additionally feature bold primary colors and metallic hues.
  • Textures: The use of various types of textures plays a vital role in making postmodern architectural structures unique and innovative. Many of the architects specializing in postmodern designs tend to break up large commercial buildings into distinguished, smaller structures for the purpose of creatively representing their function and meaning. These architects often use a mix of diverse building materials and varying structure heights to allow each of the buildings to stand out in a unique manner. Distressed textures are especially popular in postmodern designs. In many cases, the layering of multiple textures is also done to enhance the appeal of a building.  
  • Shapes: Asymmetry is among the most vital defining characteristic of postmodern design. The floor plans of postmodern buildings are never completely symmetrical, which adds to the personalization and uniqueness of such structures. According to Joe Cianciotto architects typically love to play around with lines and shapes while designing such buildings, while specifically exaggerating slopes and rooflines. It is also common to find ambiguous shapes and odd angles in postmodern structures.

In addition to the points mentioned above, the aspect of humor is also important to postmodern designs. A building that appears like it is about to collapse, but it was strategically designed to look that way, is a great example of the usage of humor in postmodern architecture.