Continuity and Discontinuity in Casabella and Spazio. The 1950's architecture magazines directed by Luigi Moretti and Ernesto Nathan Rogers

Orsina Simona Pierini

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Can architecture magazines play a role in theoretical thought? What tools do they employ? A comparison of two Italian magazines, Spazio and  Casabella, published in Milan in the fifties reveals their importance. It also provides relevant insight into the tools architecture uses to communicate,  the text-image relationship, and how architecture relates to other artistic disciplines and history itself.
In Italian architectural circles, Luigi Moretti and Ernesto Nathan Rogers are  acknowledged masters, embodying the capacity to reformulate and  articulate a new kind of architectural education. Certainly, neither of them  set out to re-establish a systematic theoretical discourse on architecture. They did not attempt to distill their thoughts into some grand unifying  theoretical opus. Instead, for them, the magazine was their medium of  transmitting criticism and open-minded inquiry.
Comparing the iconography and criticism of these two Milan magazines  clearly reveals the two editors share strong communication skills and are  able to convey a strongly proactive (one could even say theorybased) message, yet without falling prey to the constraints of academia or  formulaic essay writing. In this, they are helped by a shared passion for  the explicit freedom of the photographic image, often heavily cropped.
However, the impact is quite different: with Luigi Moretti, his iconic  architecture, while rarely published in the journal, nonetheless remains in  the back of our minds. In contrast, Rogers, ever the educator, seems to  have entrusted the pencil to his young, up-and-coming contributors.

Palabras clave

Magazines; architectural theory; postwar Milan; space; materiality

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