So it seems, then, that we are in the throes of an all-out cultural Renaissance. Everything old-fashioned, traditional and handmade has become new and exciting again. The pendulum has swung, as it has countless times before, and it is likely to stay tilted towards tradition for at least as long as it takes for the hipsters to grow old and die and for their grandchildren to think of something else. It seems the only people who have not noticed are the architects and preservationists who still think the architecture of our time is the architecture of sixty years ago. No, modernism, as a cultural phenomenon, came and went, and there is no reason for the very odd style of architecture that it spawned to outlast it. It is time again for traditional building to be revived — not to copy old buildings — certainly not to make the 19th century happen over again just like it did last time. Rather, it is time for architects to really consider how to make tradition a living style once more — to reflect us and our time as much as it reflects the past. I do not know exactly what this will look like, but I know it will be authentic, and very good. The contemporary fashion in clothes, food, drink, etc., is all about quality, craftsmanship, the human touch, a real feeling for the good and the natural.
Architecture reflecting these values will not be cold modern structures with a superficial veneer of ornament. It will be truly traditional — honestly built with authentic and local materials, and beautified with simple, meaningful ornamentation.