Contemporary architecture is by and large a failure. The public finds it ugly, strange, and off-putting. It has created a built environment that is degraded and dehumanizing. The reason for this failure is the ideology of architectural Modernism, which came to dominance after the Second World War.

Modernism has various strands, but all of them reject traditional standards of beauty and harmony. Indeed, "beauty" is a forbidden word. For much of the 20th Century, and indeed continuing to day, Modernism replaced the poetry of design with the spirit of mechanization--as embodied in the steel-and-glass box and Brutalist concrete. As the seminal Modernist architect Le Corbusier said, "A house is a machine for living." We disagree. 

In recent years, Modernism has jumped from one fad to another--from blobitechture to Deconstructivism to parametricism to parasitic architecture, and so on. Our most important buildings are increasingly bizarre, hideous, and disorienting structures that have nothing do with their location or surroundings, and which show little respect for the public. 

The National Civic Art Society endeavors to help architecture return to its pre-Modernist roots, particularly the forms, principles, and standards of the unparalleled classical tradition, and the humanistic architectural idioms that are derived from it.

On May 10, 2019, the National Civic Art Society, together with ICAA-Mid-Atlantic, co-sponsored this lecture by James Stevens Curl on his new book Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism. Curl told the story of the advent of architectural Modernism in the aftermath of World War I, its protagonists, and its astonishing global acceptance after 1945.

At this November 14, 2017 event sponsored by the National Civic Art Society, architects Duo Dickinson and Michael Imber spoke about "Dramatic Cultural Change the Future of Architecture." The speakers addressed such questions as: In a time of increasing globalization, technological growth, and social alienation, what role ought architecture play?