In memory of

June 15, 2008

Zevi

«If I should turn to the new generations, I’d say the following things:
1. Avoid to attend university, by now institutionalized and bureaucratized. Architecture cannot but be outside the academies.
2. Suspect anyone talking about “project culture”. It’s an evasive alibi. The only valid culture is architectonics.
3. Distrust not only dogmas and idols, but also pseudo-super-structural philosophizings, that characterize most of the time wasting chattering made in the project courses.
4. Aim to the language, high, low and middle. For clarity: high, Frank Lloyd Wright; low, Frank O. Gehry; middle, Günther Behnish. Poetic communication, slang communication and modern literary communication.
5. Trust the new, the risky modernity, modernity that “makes value out of crisis”. Then stop underlining how much old there is in new, and recognize how much there is of authentically new instead. Our culture is full of “suspended” values, virtual, not yet developed, to be affirmed and to let live.
6. Try to draw as few as possible. Space cannot be drawn, and that’s the only important thing in architecture.
7. Reject any deductive method, which university research is based on. Einstein and Popper taught: without deducing, inventing and verifying. Maybe to falsify.
8. Reference points: William Morris and the theory of the contents and functions list; Art Nouveau and Bauhaus for asymmetry and dissonance; Expressionism (from Häring to Scharoun) for the anti-perspective three-dimensionality; Theo van Doesburg and De Stijl, the quadric-dimensional scomposition (today reprised by decostructivists); Fuller, Morandi, Musmeci for the structural involvement in architecture; Wright for the flowing space; the most advanced landscape studies for the continuum between building, city and territory. Seven invariants, or principles, or features not only in the language of modern architecture, but in the modern language of architecture.
9. Banish every talk about “autonomy of architecture”. Architecture is splendidly free because structurally involved.

That’s all. I hope my absence makes you happy.

With every cordiality,

Bruno Zevi»

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