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How to See Architecture: Bruno Zevi (MArch ’42)

26 October 1:00pm - 7:00pm
Organized by: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Venue: Harvard Graduate School of Design, Piper Auditorium, Room 105
48 Quincy Street

One hundred years after his birth, the prolific work of Roman architect Bruno Zevi continues to engage current problems in theory and criticism, and deserves to be revisited. From the publication of Towards an Organic Architecture, in 1945, to his monograph on Erik Gunnar Asplund published the very year of his death in 2000, many of his books have had an electrifying effect on architects and historians. Active as educator and as political activist, he was an engaged, charismatic contributor to the public discussion through his weekly chronicle in L’Espresso. Beyond Italy, Zevi has had a determining presence in Latin America and other parts of the world.


Held at a school where his passage between 1940 and 1942 was far from uneventful, this symposium addresses issues relative to Zevi’s life, to his writings and to his brave fights for his ideas. His position in Italian politics and in the historical interpretation of architecture will be questioned, as well as the theoretical, narrative and rhetorical strategies at work in his engaged texts.


The first session, moderated by K. Michael Hays and with contributions from Pippo Ciorra, Alicia Imperiale and Jorge Francisco Liernur, will locate Zevi’s prolific action in a field of tension between architectural positions which extends from Rome to Buenos Aires.


The second session, moderated by Anthony Vidler and with contributions from Daria Ricchi and Roberto Dulio, will dissect Zevi’s ideas and strategies, revealing his overlooked relationships with historians such as Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti and architects such as Luigi Moretti.


A conclusive lecture from Jean-Louis Cohen will measure Zevi’s role within the double perspective of architectural practice and historical reflection.