Inside Architecture is a concise, insightful examination of the role the modernist project has played in late twentieth-century building, as well as an attempt to reconcile the dilemmas and shortcomings of modern orthodoxy with a renewed vision of modernism.Since the 1950s, Vittorio Gregotti has constructed a critical position that is probably without peer among practicing architects. Through his experiments with the neo- avant-gardes in 1963, his editorship of Casabella from 1982 to 1995, and his teaching, practice, and writing, Gregotti's voice has influenced almost every recent architectural debate. Inside Architecture, his first major work to be translated into English, balances a series of architectual themes concerning the theoretical debate surrounding modernism and tradition with the more practical affairs of the architect. Gregotti first identifies the elements of mass culture and public institutions that have led to the deterioration of natural and man-made environments. He then investigates eight issues—precision, technique, monumentality, modification, atopia, simplicity, procedure, and image—that influence the activities of contemporary architects. Gregotti is particularly suspicious of the deconstructivist argument and its heavy reliance on literary models. And he provides an incisive critique of the recent interest in modernist aesthetics, warning against reviving the forms of an old movement without considering the cultural and social criteria that once gave it purpose and meaning. The Graham Foundation / MIT Press Series in Contemporary Architectural Discourse
Architecture has always been legitimated either by tradition or by projection into an imagined future. It is the apparent loss of both these paradigms that concerns Vittorio Gregotti in this book. His wide ranging chapters all seem to converge on the following question: how might it be possible to recreate a unified theory of archtiecture under conditions of capitalist pluralism and mass culture? Speaking from within a cultural tradition rich in 'thinking' architects, Gregotti brings to this problem an unusual honesty and philosophical depth of thought. He should be read by all those who are concerned with the problem of continuity and coherence of thought within the modernist tradition.
Alan Colquhoun, School of Architecture, Princeton University
Inside Architecture brings vittorio Gregotti's insightful design criticism to an american audience. In his discussions of significant contemporary design themes such as the role of invention, the value of context, and the domain of technique Gregotti steers a thoughtful course between naive historicism and irresponsible avant gardism as he reflects on the ideals and principles that animated modern architecture in this century.
Dennis P. Doordan, School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame
This is the most important book by the most important architect, critic, and intellectual writing today.