CLIP STAMP FOLD
252 Peter Crump 320 Pietro Derossi 261
289 Günther Feuerstein 293 Kenneth Frampton
The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196x to 197 x
322 Mildred Friedman 327
325 Olivier Girard 345 Jorge Gleason Peart 353 Nancy Goldring
348 Jean-Paul Jungmann
16 The Exhibition as Archive
356 Ugo La Pietra
18 SMALL TALKS
20 LONDON: Michael Webb, Robin Middleton, Peter Murray, and Grahame Shane discuss Archigram, Architectural Design, Clip-Kit, Megascope, Symbols, and the London underground scene of the 1960s
60 1 185 213 317 385 397 405 465 491 539 601
Architext Arse Bau Form Fotoromanzo Ghost Dance Times Global Tools Le Carré Bleu Megascope Provo Street Farmer
36 NEW YORK – PARIS: Yve-Alain Bois, Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss discuss Macula, Zone, and October. 46 LONDON – MILAN – PARIS – FLORENCE: Stefano Boeri and Bernard Tschumi discuss strategies of publication between the United Kingdom, France and Italy in the early 1970s. 58 NEW YORK – BARCELONA – MILAN: Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, and Anthony Vidler discuss Oppositions, Lotus, and Arquitecturas Bis. 70 EAST COAST – WEST COAST: Steven Holl, Alison Sky, Suzanne Stephens, and William Menking discuss architectural publishing in New York and on the West Coast during the 1970s.
358 Miguel Lawner 383 Lisa Licitra Ponti 409 Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier 387 Jacques Lucan 389 Alessandro Mendini 441
445 Rafael Moneo 417
448 Patrice Noviant 451
454 Dennis Sharp 475
505 Manuel de Solà-Morales 507 Philip Steadman
220 Takefumi Aida and
Roel van Duyn
483 Stanislaus von Moos
225 Oriol Bohigas
542 Tom Woolley
249 Andrea Branzi 229 Pierre Clément
628 PHOTOGRAPHIC REPORT
Michael Webb, Robin Middleton, Peter Murray, and Grahame Shane discuss Archigram, Architectural Design, Clip-Kit, Megascope, Symbols, and the London underground scene of the 1960s 20 Yve-Alain Bois, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss DISCUSS OCTOBER, MACULA, and ZONE 36
TALKS Stefano Boeri and Bernard Tschumi discuss strategies of publication between London, PARIS, MILAN, AND FLORENCE in the early 1970s 46
Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, and Anthony Vidler discuss Oppositions, Lotus, and Arquitecturas Bis 58 Steven Holl, Alison Sky, Suzanne Stephens and William Menking discuss architectural publishing in New York and on the West Coast during the 1970s 70
london Beatriz Colomina, Craig Buckley, Grahame Shane, Peter Murray, Robin Middleton, Michael Webb
Robin Middleton, Peter Murray, Grahame Shane, and Michael Webb discuss Action Communications Centre, Archigram, Architectural Design, Clip-Kit: Studies in Environmental Design, Megascope, and Symbols. Storefront for Art and Architecture. New York, November 28, 2006. Michael Webb (MWebb): I remember the Regent Street Polytechnic, which now is the University of Westminster; it was a good school that trained young students to make office fodder for the London offices. And we had, I’m glad to say, a rather reactionary faculty. For any revolution to get itself established you have to have a faculty of reactionaries. [Laughter] Isn’t that true? That’s the problem today because little magazines, little revolutions, can’t happen; all the professors would say, “That’s wonderful what you’re doing.” [Laughter] You need professors to say, “No, you’re not allowed to do that, and if you do it, you will be out on your ear.” When this little revolution started, John Hodgkinson, a young man in the year below me, started a magazine with the inevitable title Polygon. He published the projects of a few crazies in the school: John Davidson and myself among them, and I would say that that was the beginning. I think what
NEW – YORK once talking to Lawrence Alloway and saying that one of the things that I wanted to do was to be able to convey what an aesthetic experience was. And he asked, “Aesthetic experience?” He thought I had said something obscene. I tell you this story because it indicates what the nature of the contention among the various members of the board was. Lawrence [Alloway] and Max Kozloff were very committed to the social possibilities of contemporary art production, whereas Annette Michelson and I had, if you pardon the expression, a much more formalist view of what was important about writing about art and about art itself. And at a certain point we realized that we could no longer stay at Artforum, that it had become very hostile
Rosalind Krauss (RK): I’ll talk a little bit about the founding of October magazine, and I guess I should start with the comment made in the very interesting oral history called Challenging Art: Artforum 1962–1974, which was edited by Amy Newman and is about the first ten years of Artforum. She interviews [Philip] Leider, who was for many years the editor of Artforum, and he says that he did not believe that John Coplans (who became the editor after Leider left) would be able to hold together the very, very fractious group of associate editors who were on the board of Artforum. And it’s true that we all hated each other. We had extremely different positions about art and loyalties to different aspects of art. I remember
– PARIS Yve-Alain Bois, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss Discuss October, Macula, and Zone, Storefront for Art and Architecture. New York, December 9, 2006.
of what was contemporary at that point. I won’t go through the whole history of October, it’s sort of boring, but we were committed to having no advertising and no color. I mean nothing that would make us financially hostage to anything that would limit our freedom to engage with anything we thought was really important. At a certain point, obviously, we needed to enlarge the ownership of the magazine and the editorial board because the two of us were really stretched as far as we could go. And at that point ,we were extremely happy to bring on board Hal [Foster] and YveAlain [Bois], as well as Benjamin [Buchloh], who contributed enormously to the growth of the magazine and its richness.
to what we believed in. Part of the problem was that it had become hostage to advertising and therefore to the galleries. And this meant that one of Annette’s commitments, to performance and film, which were not commercially viable as far as the galleries were concerned, could no longer be represented by the magazine. So we decided to leave. And at the point when we left and formed October, Coplans seems to say triumphantly that he had purged the formalists. Well, indeed, he did purge us, and we were happy to be purged because we really had ambitions for a new magazine. One of them was to bring a post-structuralist discourse to New York and to make that bear on the aesthetic project, the artistic project,
LONDON – –PARIS –FL Bernard Tschumi, Stefano Boeri
– MILAN LORENCE Stefano Boeri, Editor in chief of Domus FROM 2004 TO 2007, and Bernard Tschumi, discuss strategies of publication between THE UNITED KINGDOM, France, and Italy in the early 1970s. Storefront for Art and Architecture. New York, January 20, 2007. Bernard Tschumi (BT): Where do you start when the exhibition on the walls around you makes you feel like you are in a time warp, a kind of dream or nightmare where you see pieces of your own past rolling before your very eyes? It’s weird and totally spooky. But I also find the documentation and the work for this exhibition absolutely stunning. So where to begin? You can start by talking about the period in which all this happened, which was very different from the period we are in now. In 1968 I was in Paris. From 1970 onward I was in London. What struck me was the undertone of change society was experiencing at that time. If we talk about Italy and France, it was incredibly political, while what was happening in England was
totally different — more playful and, in many ways, more inventive. And then there was something else, of course: what was happening in America. Oppositions, for example, was full of scholarship but quite detached from the immediacy or urgency of events. In Europe, everything seemed much more pressing and part of the struggle for the new, and not necessarily about trying to get a historical overview. But let’s stay with Europe for the moment, going back to these two streaks: political action vs. invention and fun. One of the slogans used in the students’ revolution in 1968 was “Imagination takes power.” Those two words, imagination and power, are quite striking when one puts them together. A few years later, those of
1962: Polygon No. 7; Internationale Situationniste No. 7; Room East 128 Chronicle P. 87 1963: A: fritt forum for alle som er interessert i arkitektur No. 2; Summa: Revista de arquitectura, tecnologia, y diseño no. 1 P. 88 1964: Connection No. 4; Megascope No. 1; Forum no. 1; Action Communications Centre; Klub No. 1; archigram No. 4; Op. cit. No. 1 P. 90 1965: Bau: Schrift für Architektur und Städtebau No. 1; Design Quarterly No. 63; Symbols; Aujourd’hui: Art et Architecture No. 50; Ekistics, July; Angelus Novus No. 4; Provo No. 4 P. 94 1966: Form No. 1; Architecture Principe No.1; Clip-Kit; Ontbijt op Bed No. 5; Suma y Sigue; Arte y Arquitectura No. 9; Melp! No.2; Signs of the Times, or Rather more Symbols than Signs; Architecture Principe No. 7 P. 98
STOCKT 1967: Architectural Design, February; Utopie: Sociologie de l’urbain No. 1; Pianeta Fresco No. 1 P. 102
1968: ARCH +: Studienhefte für Architekturbezogene Umweltforschung und Plannung No.1; Bau: Schrift für Architektur und Städtebau No. 1/2; Nueva Forma No. 25; Architectural Design, June; Contropiano: Materiali Marxisti No. 1; Architecture Mouvement Continuité, supplement No. 167; OSLOGRAM; Le Carré Bleu No.3; Ulm: Zeitschrift Der Hochschule Für Gestaltung No. 21; Casabella No. 329; Domus No. 469 P. 105 1969: Bau No. 1; Contropiano No. 1; Veröffentlichungen zur Architektur No. 23; A: Milieu; Novum Organum No. 7; Utopie: Sociologie de l’urbain No. 2/3; Marcatré No. 50/55; Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal No. 12; Casabella No. 339/340; Architectural Design, September; Whole Earth Catalog No. 1; Arquitectos de México; Form No. 10; CONTROSPAZIO NO. 1 P. 112 1970: Architectural Design, February; Design Quarterly No. 78/79; ARse No. 3; Archigram No. 9; Architectural Design, June; Domus No. 487; ArchiteXt No. 0; 84
Transparent: Manuskript für Architektur Theorie Kritik Polemik Umraum No. 8/9; Circus No. 1; Architectural Association Quarterly, autumN; DESENHO NO. 2; OU... NO. 1 P. 118 1971: Inflatocookbook No. 1; In No. 2/3; Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal No. 13/14; Street Farmer No. 1; Contropiano No. 3; Arquitectura-UrbanismoConstruccion y Arte No. 21; Domebook No. 2; Architectural Design, September; Le Carré Bleu No. 3/4; ArchiteXt no. 1 Winter; Casabella No. 359–360 P. 124 1972: Architectural Design, April; VH 101 No. 7/8; 2C Construcción de la Ciudad No. 0; Casabella No. 367; Architectural Design, July; Fotoromanzo; ARse No. 5/6; Architectural Association Quarterly, October/December P. 129 1973: In No. 9; Casabella No. 377; ON SITE No. 4; Construcción, Arquitectura, Urbanismo No. 22; Design Quarterly No. 89, Architectural Design, September; Oppositions: A Journal for Ideas and Criticism in Architecture No. 1 P. 134
TAKING 1974: ON SITE No. 5/6; Global Tools No. 1; AMC No. 33; Art Net No. 1; L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui No. 174; Ghost Dance Times No. 1; Arquitecturas Bis No. 4; Inpiù No. 7 P. 138
1975: Net No. 1; Archithese No. 13; AMC l’Autre journal d’architecture No. 1; Ghost Dance Times No. 26; Arquitecturas Bis No. 10 P. 143 1976: Oppositions No. 7; October No. 1; Lotus International No. 11; Le Vide Sanitaire No. 2; Net No. 3; L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui No. 86; Arquitectura Autogobierno No. 1 P. 146 1977: Op. cit. No. 38; WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing (and Beyond) no. 4; Butletí de l’Agrupació del PSUC a l’Escola d’Arquitectura No. 2; L’Ivre de Pierres No. 1; Pamphlet Architecture No. 1; Carrer De La Ciutat No. 0 P. 150 1978: Carrer de la Ciutat No.1; Arquitecturas Bis No. 22 P. 154 1979: Macula No. 5/6; Fascicolo No. 8; Archetype no. 2; Skyline, September P. 154 85
1964 and published by Edizione Il Centro. Printed on matte paper in black and white, the magazine’s content was dedicated to the visual arts. Following the sparsely illustrated first few issues, however, it began to divest itself of illustrations. The main theoretical agenda was to reduce the visible to the realm of the spoken, based on the argument that perception cannot be abstracted from conception. This theoretical aspect of the magazine is reinforced by the methodologies that are continually employed: structuralism, Saussurian linguistics, semiology, and hermeneutics. Issues of Op. cit. regularly included important articles on architecture, on design and on the visual arts. In Op.cit., issue number 1, published in September 1964, the interdisciplinary impulse that would remain throughout the life of the magazine is discernible. The first issue includes these articles: “The ‘New Icons’ and the ‘Civilization of Consumerism,’” “Utopian Architecture,” “The Sociology of the Art of Sociologists,” “Experience of the Biennial,” “Technology and Contemporary Poetry,” “New Novels and the Figurative Arts,” and “Roberto Pane’s Gaudì.” AI
teaching of architecture, as well as proposals for new professors. While the letters of response from the faculty (published in the same issue) rejected the students demands, in the coming decade the figures championed by the students, from Aldo van Eyck, James Stirling, and Frei Otto, to Hans Hollein, Carl Pruscha, and Günther Domenig, would emerge as leading practitioners for the subsequent generation. CB 11. Archigram, No. 4, London Architecture plays a secondary role in the vivid, silk-screened cover of Archigram, issue number 4 (handmade by member Dennis Crompton), which is dominated by a comic superhero blasting the issue’s “Zoom” theme into view. Inside, the group’s agenda unfolds in the format of a comic strip, designed by Archigram member Warren Chalk. Appropriate to the comic, the present conditions of architecture are left behind as fantasy comes to the forefront as a pedagogical device. As a comic vixen tells us, the imaginary cities portrayed in comics “illuminate an area of opinion that seeks the breakdown of conventional attitudes, the disruption of the ‘straight-up-and-down’ formal vacuum—necessary to create a more dynamic environment.” The space suits, underwater vehicles, and inflatables that swarm the issue’s pages convey this turn away from “conventional attitudes.” In terms of architectural projects, Archigram, issue number 4 identifies the logical grounding of the visionary legacy in projects by Cedric Price, Hans Hollein, and Bruno Taut, and it introduced for the first time Peter Cook’s Plug-in City. When opened to its silk-screened center pages, the magazine offers a pop-up sci-fi cityscape with the invitation “Pop up into a new world.” For the uninitiated, a “Zoom Bibliography” appears at the end of the issue, providing a list of suggested comics, architectural magazines, including L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (June/July 1962) and Architectural Design (November 1963), and citing the popular illustrated magazine Paris-Match as a source for the most up-to-date coverage of technological innovations. IS 12. Op. cit., No. 1, September, Naples Op. cit.—short for the Latin opus citatum—is the term used to refer a reader back to an earlier citation. To find the opus citatum, one has to comb through previous footnotes to locate the relevant source. The magazine was founded in Naples in 92
Architext 160 Arse 185 Bau 213 Form 333 Fotoromanzo 401
FACSIMILES Ghost Dance Times 429 Global Tools 437 Le CarrĂŠ Bleu 497 Megascope 523 Provo 563 Street Farmer 601
Takefumi Aida and Minoru Takeyama 220 ERNESTO ALVA 217 Jean Aubert 193 ISABELLE AURICOSTE 197 STEPHEN BANN 223 ORIOL BOHIGAS 225 Andrea Branzi 249 PIERRE CLÉMENT 229 Beatriz Colomina 257 PETER COOK 281 Dennis Crompton 313 PETER CRUMP 252
CHIP LORD AND CURTIS SCHREIER 409 JACQUES LUCAN 387 Alessandro Mendini 389 Robin Middleton 441 HANS MOL 414 RAFAEL MONEO 445 Peter Murray 417 PATRICE NOVIANT 448 John Outram 451 Grahame Shane 473 Dennis Sharp 454 Alison Sky 475
Pietro Derossi 320 Peter Eisenman 261 Günther Feuerstein 289 KENNETH FRAMPTON 293 MILDRED FRIEDMAN 322 EDITH GIRARD 327 OLIVIER GIRARD 325 JORGE GLEASON PEART 345 NANCY GOLDRING 353 Hans Hollein 377 Jean-Paul Jungmann 348 Ugo La Pietra 356 MIGUEL LAWNER 358 Lisa LICITRA Ponti 383
MANUEL DE SOLÀ-MORALES 505 PHILIP STEADMAN 507 Bernard Tschumi 479 ROEL VAN DUYN 510 ANTHONY VIDLER 537 STANISLAUS VON MOOS 483 DAVID WILD 514 JAMES WINES 517 Tom Woolley 542
Mildred Friedman Design Quarterly editor, 1970–91
Interview by Anthony Fontenot New York December 12, 2005
Anthony Fontenot (AF): Design Quarterly was first published in 1946 by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis as Everyday Art Quarterly and then was renamed Design Quarterly in 1954. In the mid-sixties the publication began to shift from its initial focus on arts, crafts and “well-designed” objects to feature articles on experimental architecture, urbanism, new technologies, and the environment. Peter Seitz served as editor from 1964 to 1968, followed by a short stint by Christopher Finch, and then you served as editor from 1970 to 1991. What were some of the reasons for the magazine’s shift? Mildred Friedman (MF): One reason was that my interests were broader, and the other was when Edward Larrabee Barnes’s new building for the Art Center, completed in 1971, was under construction, we had our offices elsewhere. The whole museum staff moved to downtown Min-
neapolis, which then was, and still is, a disaster area. We were on the main drag: Hennepin Avenue. Since we were downtown, with Chris Finch and Richard Koshalek we did an issue on Hennepin Avenue, because it was there, it was fun, and it was interesting. We did something because it was either of the moment or something that attracted us for one reason or another, or something we felt had not been sufficiently explored elsewhere.
AF: Did you have to submit the topics for each issue to a board for its approval? MF: The great thing about Walker Art Center, which is very unlike most museums, is that when we wanted to do something we just did it. It was a great system and very unusual. Minneapolis is an
interesting town. It has a large and very good university with lots of interesting people. And the support for the arts there is incredible. But if the Walker Art Center Board of Directors hires you and they don’t like what you do, they simply fire you!
AF: Very democratic! [Laughter] MF: Yes. To me, it makes perfect sense. They don’t come and say, “Why don’t we do this and that.” The constraints we worked within were that it was a quarterly, therefore we did four issues a year. And sometimes we did a double issue, which meant we only had to do three a year. In addition to publishing the journal, we were also doing many other things as well, including various museum exhibitions. I think the publication was unique
because it came out of a museum. No other museum was publishing anything like it.
AF: You mean at that time? MF: Still. I don’t know if anybody is doing anything like it. I have not seen it if they are. Museums do catalogues when they do exhibitions—that is what they do. But they don’t do magazines. I don’t know why they don’t but they don’t. It is expensive, for one thing. We published with MIT press for years. We invited them to collaborate with us because we needed financial support. AF: Did publishing the journal with MIT increase the readership? What sort of impact did it have on the publication? MF: I think it helped. Because there was a whole student body there and as a result, Design Quarterly was sent to just about every major library and school in the world. It was a subscription journal but you could buy it at the Walker. Because it was a quarterly, you don’t get the kind of feedback that you might with a weekly or a monthly for example. It is too slow. AF: How important was the role of the graphic designers in the issues? MF: We had a series of in-house graphic designers who did everything extremely well. AF: Design Quarterly seems to have been able to survive without advertisements and had the luxury of presenting pure content, as well as the luxury of paper quality, color, etc. MF: A number of issues were catalogues for small shows at the Walker Art Center, so that was one way of paying for it. When we did big shows we did much larger books. We also received a lot of support from the Graham Foundation. AF: How many of the issues were actually catalogues for exhibitions?
MF: In 1951, issue18/19 was devoted to the exhibition Knife/ Fork/Spoon, which traveled to seven other venues in the United States. In 1968, Peter [Seitz] organized an exhibition called Mass Transit: Problem and Promise, which was published as Design Quarterly,number 71, guest edited by Patricia Conway George.
AF: In 1972 Emilio Ambasz curated “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), highlighting contemporary Italian design. Did that show inspire you to do an issue on Ettore Sottsass Jr. and Superstudio? MF: That was a wonderful show. He is a very good curator. He also did the great exhibition “Taxi Project: Realistic Solutions for Today” in 1976 at MoMA. It was wonderful. In 1973 we held an exhibition titled “Sottsass, Superstudio: Mindscapes”, which was published as Design Quarterly issue 89. We went to Italy and we met Sottsass and Adolfo Natalini of Superstudio—terrific people. And we asked them if they would do a show at the Walker and they agreed. They were happy to do it. It was wonderful. Sottsass made extraordinary drawings. He sent them over and after the show there was some issue about sending them back. He would have had to pay some sort of import/export tax. So he said, “you keep them.” So the Walker got all these amazing drawings free of charge. And of course they still have them. AF: The period between the 1965 issue titled “A Clip-On Architecture,” authored by Reyner Banham, and the 1973 issue “Sottsass Superstudio: Mindscapes” is a period highlighted by a particularly critical engagement with an international design culture. Design Quarterly addressed an incredible spectrum of issues dealing with technology, urbanism, alternative architecture practices and the city, as well as various contemporary art practices, including conceptual art. The “Concep-
tual Architecture” issue of 1970, number 78/79, is a case in point. In our research, we noticed that after 1973 there were a number of journals that shifted from an interest in practice to examining the role of theory in architecture and design culture, such as Oppositions. Do you have any thoughts on this shift? MF: Oppositions is too intellectual for me. It is just not my kind of thing. I like to look at things. I know there are many people who appreciate it. Beyond theoretical concerns, I think that there are too many important things that need to be addressed, and not just in this country but all over the world. To take the best young minds and make them focus on that kind of stuff, to me is just a waste. I’m sorry, I just don’t think it is interesting. I think it is a terrible thing to do to kids. It seems to be a way of removing ourselves from important issues. It seems to me there would be a way to have enough momentum among the intellectual community to fight for or against certain issues as opposed to removing ourselves from issues, but there isn’t. Why? I think it is because enough people don’t really understand what the issues are and how important it is to address them. It is embarrassing because nobody seems upset. AF: Which magazines do you read today? MF: Well there isn’t much. I read the New Yorker every week. I read the New York Review of Books. AF: When you want to know what is happening in architecture, what do you read? MF: There is Architectural Record. It is the only one left. Am I missing something? I mean, there really isn’t much. That is what I think is sad. I wish there were more. I do read Metropolis and ID so that I can know what is going on in the world but they are not really architecture magazines.
AF: It is strange to reflect on this period in the 1960s and 1970s and to realize that we don’t seem to have many publications that are capable of being deeply critical and raising important issues today, questions concerning ecology, art and the city, for example. One thing that seemed interesting about Design Quarterly is that throughout its history it seems to have been able to radically alter its direction and reinvent itself in order to address specific issues of the moment. I know that you have been working on a history of Design Quarterly which has given you an opportunity to reflect on some of the important issues that the journal raised. Will this be published as a book? MF: Well I tried for a while to find a publisher and then I just sort of gave up. I could get it published if I paid for it but I can’t pay for it. It is just one of those things. A number of publishers think that there is no market for it, and they may be right. AF: Were you thinking of taking certain issues and reprinting them? MF: Well that is one way to do it. Another way to do it is to take just the written material but I think that would be very sad, relative to this magazine. I was really proposing that we only do certain issues that address an idea that still has relevance. To me that was really the key. There are a number of issues that while maybe they were interesting in 1960s they are not necessarily interesting now.
AF: Currently, there is a huge interest in the period of the 1960s and 1970s. MF: Why? AF: One speculation is that currently we are on the tail end of an era and not in the midst of a new one. I think we are still dealing with questions that were raised in the 1960s and early 1970s. We have not necessarily invented anything new and we are still trying to resolve some of the very basic questions that were raised then. When I look at certain magazines of that period, I’m astounded by the fact that many of the same issues that we are trying to address today were clearly articulated then. Design Quarterly offered various new insights into the emerging topics during that time. MF: In that sense, you are probably right. All the issues of technology, cybernetics and computers were initially raised in that period. I think, of course, it has gone way beyond anything anyone ever dreamed about but still the basic issues were raised. One thing that is unfortunate is that I think it has kept kids out of libraries. I don’t think as many people use libraries as did previously. It is amazing to see the amount of information that is now available online. It is radical.
AF: Have you started the process of deciding which issues are more relevant than others? MF: Yes. AF: In your time there, which issues stand out in your mind today as being particularly relevant? If you had to name three which ones would it be? MF: I don’t remember exactly which ones but we would probably come up with the same ones.
Olivier Girard AMC
Editor, 1974–77 member of the editorial board, 1977–81 Interview by Jong-Woo Lee Paris, January 9, 2006 Jong-Woo Lee (JWL): I would like to know a little about how the editing of AMC happened, the organization of the program. Olivier Girard (OG): It was a bit empirical, which means that we principally got together, Patrice Noviant and I, to schedule and prepare all the issues. Others were contacted for articles, they weighed in periodically, but it was really the two of us doing the issue. There was another person who was important, it must be said, Geneviève Mesuret, the editorial secretary—also at the same time the secretary of the SADG [Société des architectes diplômés par le Gouvernement]. It was mostly the three of us: Mesuret, Noviant, and me. We conducted research in order to find material that we could publish, for the articles, in order to define the areas of reflection. Actually, it was not a very difficult process of inquiry because people in the schools and in the profession very quickly became aware of the opening up of the magazine, and so they contacted us themselves to participate, in order to publish things. We edited the magazine that way, from one issue to the next, putting together things that had some coherence between them. In fact, we opened the magazine to the maximum number of people.
JWL: Was it especially people from UP8, now l’Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-Belleville? I see several articles that came from research in that school. OG: Yes, but it’s more complicated than that. There was a great influence, a heavy involvement of people from UP8, a bit through me because I was just coming out of there. But Noviant was not at all from the milieu of UP8. He had been educated in urbanism at Sciences Po. He wasn’t much into architecture at the time; he was more an urbanist and very interested in urban programming. That’s why we were able to do a dynamic magazine. There were horizons of interest such that it was not just a magazine by people from UP8. If you look at the magazine, there are lots of contributors, lots of texts that come from elsewhere. JWL: And so you also went looking for people who— OG: One must look at the issues. In terms of the people who wanted to contribute, for example, I remember Ricardo Porro, a Cuban—who, before emigrating to France had been the official architect of Fidel Castro— and had done a bank, and a gallery in Vaduz, in short, all the great extremes of architectural commissions. That’s how I met Ricardo.
It is also how I met Henri Gaudin, who started out by publishing his first housing project in AMC. We were also in contact with Italian groups from Rome, in particular GRAU [Gruppo Romano Architetti Urbanisti], Do you know about GRAU? JWL: Yes. Alessandro Anselmi was a member. It became the subject of the publication AMC l’Autre— OG: You already know everything! I’m the one who founded AMC l’Autre journal d’architecture, a publication parallel to AMC magazine. There were three or four issues of AMC l’Autre, I don’t remember anymore... JWL: It stopped after the second issue, which was a double issue. OG: Ah, yes, maybe there were only two. The first issue was about the La Roquette competition, and the second was an exchange with the journal Controspazio, because Alessandro Anselmi was in charge of the journal Controspazio. French projects were published in Controspazio, and we published Italian projects, more specifically Roman projects, in that issue of AMC l’Autre. It didn’t last, however, because it was still a significant expense. There was already one magazine; so it was a little difficult to deal with financially. AMC l’Autre was in
the format of a newspaper, and it was pretty. It was triggered by the competition for La Roquette, because La Roquette represented the first competition of the new generation emerging out of 1968, and it was a competition open to everyone. The competition was launched, and there were, I don’t know, fifty or sixty projects, which at that time was a lot. We did this issue by publishing a certain number of projects, projects that we had already targeted as being good projects. We were not just deciding all alone. Everyone got involved in it freely. What especially marked this event in the publication was that I allowed each project to be critiqued with a kind of double voice. Did you see that issue? JWL: Yes, but I had a hard time understanding it, the approach was not very direct... OG: It’s a style of writing that we don’t really see today. For each project presented, there were two texts, two critiques: there was one critic who really liked the project, who explained why very seriously, and one who did not like it at all. And so for all of these presentations there were two contradictory articles, one for and one against the submission. That was really interesting, because the notion of critiquing a project was actually rather new or was at least renewed. For example, the great magazines of modern architecture—the great magazines that continued after 1945—where all the modern projects were presented, were very beautiful journals, with many articles that sang the praises of modern architecture. But they were not at all up to the level of critical debate; critical debate was found more often, for example, in the Congrès internationale d’architecture moderne, where architects vigorously discussed projects and trends, about what should or should not be done. Starting to present projects along with critical discourses—including some by certain people who wrote for two or three whole pages that the project was worthless—was a rather
new phenomenon. [Laughter] People today often say that this is a phenomenon that has completely disappeared from architecture journals. [Bernard] Huet, was editor in chief of l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (AA) during that same period. AA was really the most important [architecture] magazine in France. So there was a sort of competition, because we knew each other very well and we were all good friends with each other, not only Huet and me. He was “the master.” Huet, at a certain point, downright criticized me for doing AMC at the same time that he was doing issues of AA. The difference between AMC and AA is that we were still newcomers in architectural and urban thinking, whereas Huet was already considered as a great master of educational reform. It’s Bernard Huet who completely led the reform of teaching at Beaux-Arts in France. So Huet, when he began leading AA, already had a very advanced theoretical and historical background, much more solid and at the same time more selective, more dogmatic than ours. JWL: And Nostalgie—did you create that column? OG: Yes, I think that it was me—or it was us. In any case, the idea of columns like that, columns that you see in every issue, was a little like Winsor McCay’s comic strips from the turn of the [twentieth] century called Little Nemo in Slumberland. I don’t know if you know them. They were American comic strips depicting this little boy’s dreams, which McCay produced every week on the last page of the . . . I can’t recall which newspaper.1 You knew that every week you could find a column on a certain page. The idea was to publish columns like that which can be found from one issue to the next, and that allowed for doing a little monograph regularly, for showing buildings that we really liked but that were hardly being talked about anywhere else. Readers proposed examples whose file they could put together themselves or else we decided our-
selves on a building and entrusted the article and the compilation of documents to someone else. Often it was even necessary for them to draw the documents or to redraw them depending on what was missing. JWL: In creating this column, were you thinking of another journal, perhaps a foreign one, that had already undertaken something similar? OG: No, I don’t think that the idea of it existed elsewhere. Do you know of any? JWL: Perhaps Casabella? OG: Yes, Casabella. I was going to say that personally I was really fascinated by the Italian magazines. What the Italians were producing had nothing to do with the education we had received at UP8. We were fascinated by [Vittorio] Gregotti and the universities of Calabria. We were completely taken with what Gregotti called the integral approach to landscape, by geometries at the scale of the landscape. When we were at AMC, what happened is that we distanced ourselves from Huet and from our education. We came to realize first through Anselmi, through GRAU, and then through [Franco] Purini and Gregotti, a circle of influence that was more attached to understanding the qualities of the city in order to update them, which is not the same as rediscovering the city. Then we also discovered, with a fair bit of interest, groups who were not really talked about in school, people like Paul Bossard, like those of the AUA [l’Atelier d’urbanisme et d’architecture] and the Atelier de Montrouge, people who represented leftist architecture strongly marked by Le Corbusier, whose own political course was, however, less clear. . . .
1 A series of weekly comic strips by Winsor McCay called Little Nemo in Slumberland appeared first in the New York Herald from 1905 to 1911 and then in the New York American from 1911 to 1914.
Edith Girard AMC, AMC l’Autre FREQUENT CONTRIBUTOR
Interview by Jong-Woo Lee Paris November 22, 2007
Jong-Woo Lee (JWL): AMC published a few issues of a supplement called AMC l’Autre, and the second issue was an exchange with the journal Controspazio. It was you in particular who kept up a relationship with Alessandro Anselmi from Controspazio. I would like to hear you speak about how that came to be? Edith Girard (EG): It’s a funny thing. I met him in Cuba in 1968 in a camp of young European revolutionaries who had been invited by Fidel Castro! We have always remained friends. I was very young, nineteen years old. At the time, Anselmi was part of the GRAU [Gruppo Romano Architetti Urbanisti]
studio. In Italy, as well, there were struggles and no work for architects. In France there still was a little work, but in Italy, there was zero, so they could spend their time painting projects as Aldo Rossi did—or arguing. Controspazio came out of that, well, from the intellectual argument, because at the same time they [the people around Controspazio] were also friends with the Tendenza, with [Franco] Purini and the GRAU studio. Aldo Rossi was a critic of the Modern Movement, but still within the logic of the Modern Movement. It was a concern for the relationship between
There was the whole series of profiles on Auguste Perret, on André Lurçat, on Michel Roux-Spitz, on Le Corbusier, etc. It was work on the history of French architecture that had never previously been done and that the journal did: a reinterpretation of the history of the modern movement. My generation was also interested in the history of recent architecture: that defined the editorial policy. The article on the “Ceinture de Paris,” for example, was an architect’s diploma research. It wasn’t an article that we commissioned. We went to the schools looking for people who had worked on subjects that interested us, and we gave them the opportunity to publish articles. The most interesting things for us were topics related to history and to reflections and debates on architecture. The journal’s editorial policy was to summarize the questions posed by the contemporary situation within a historical perspective. This policy was not necessarily expressed explicitly. We never actually said: “We are going to do this exactly.” JWL: Did this attempt to rediscover or reinterpret the modern movement have a link with Italian theory of the time, like that of Manfredo Tafuri? JL: It was part of the same world! A certain number of people who worked with us were interested in Tafuri. But there was no direct influence; the problems were those that were being posed in Europe at that time. We didn’t say to ourselves: “Ah, the Italians are doing this or that. We’re going to do the same thing.” We were in the same intellectual world. However, what was going on in Italy was rather in advance with respect to what was going on in France. We therefore had a lot of interest in what was going on in Italy. At the same time, Bernard Huet was the editor in chief of l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui. We had identical objectives—except that Huet was in an international journal, and we were in a much more
local journal, much more linked to the expression of a generation. JWL: At the end of the 1970s, perhaps because of financial problems, the interval between issues became increasingly longer. Did that influence the content or the thematization of the journal? JL: Yes. In any case, every time we did an issue, we more or less thought it was the last. That led us to be more radical. Every time, we told ourselves, “Maybe after this it will all be over.” So the last two issues took a very long time to be published. But the last one, we knew that it would be the last. We lived precariously. We really thought that the journal could disappear from one day to the next. Every time, we tried to put everything we could into the issue. JWL: In AMC, I think that the discourses of several sites of debate are associated, in the way that instructors from various architecture schools got involved— JL: It’s the same generation! That’s all. People of the same age, who all knew each other. It’s a milieu that witnessed the demise of the ENSBA, and at that time, when there were positions for professors or assistants in the new schools, those same people took them. It was a critical moment, in France and, I think, in Europe. JWL: When you edited AMC after it had been purchased by Le Moniteur, from 1983 to 1988, did you keep the editorial policy that had begun in the period of the SADG [Société des architectes diplômés par le Gouvernement]? JL: Yes, basically. There were, nonetheless, some changes at the time, because when AMC became Le Moniteur, my generation was starting to build. That provoked a change in the content, because now we could publish built projects, whereas in the 1970s—the period that roughly corresponds to issues 33 through 54/55— there were very few built projects published. It’s a generational effect: the young architects began to build. Yves Lion, for example, designed his
first great building, a competition that he had won in 1978: the Palais de Justice of Draguignan [AMC 52/53], which was only completed in 1983. That’s just the time when the magazine began to reappear. On the other hand, in terms of content, the way of treating things, the centers of interest, and the intellectual dimensions, there was not really any change. There was continuity. When I was at Le Moniteur— from 1983 to 1988—the question of the journal’s profitability did not come up. For the Le Moniteur, AMC was a journal of prestige. I had great freedom in terms of the content, and there was very little advertising, because no one went to look for any. It was a journal that was not yet the one it would become, not yet a profitable journal, as it is today. For the five years at the SADG and the five at Le Moniteur, when I was in charge I always ultimately had great freedom.
Alessandro Mendini Casabella Editor in Chief 1970–76
Interview by Olympia Kazi Milan February 27, 2006 Olympia Kazi (OK): In Italy, unlike in other European countries—for example in France and England where little magazines like Archigram and Utopie were born—the phenomenon known as “Radical Architecture” found space in mainstream and architecture trade magazines. We could say that Domus— the first magazine to give space to the Radicals —was contaminated by them. In 1970, when you took over the reins of another mainstream magazine, Casabella, it too changed radically. It was, in some ways, hijacked by the Radicals. Alessandro Mendini (AM): The profound changes at Casabella were
also due to changes in ownership. The magazine had belonged to the publisher [Gianni] Mazzocchi of [Editoriale] Domus. At a certain point Mazzocchi sold it to an attorney from Milan with a centrist political agenda: Luigi Bellini. Bellini, who would later become commissioner at the municipality of Milan, was an open-minded and dynamic figure. However, when he bought Casabella almost as a personal toy—he was a very wealthy person—he was completely blind to the world of architecture. So, when the great editor in chief [Ernesto Nathan] Rogers left, Bellini replaced him with [Gian Antonio] Bernasconi. Bernasconi, a somewhat agnostic figure, had the tremendous advantage of having designed the Olivetti building in Milan, which is a magnificent building. His main claim to the position of editor in chief of Casabella was having built this building. He was a gentleman, but not a man of culture. He did not know how to manage a magazine. He wasn’t an organizer. At one point, I was asked if I’d like to take over the magazine’s archives. I said yes, because I liked to play around with architectural literature and reporting. I began cataloguing all of the project files that were arriving from the world over, and I organized the archives. Then, they said to me: “Now we’d like you to write an article”; “Now we’re sending you to conduct an interview”; “Now you’ll be doing this, that, or the other.” After about a year and a half, now I can’t remember precisely, I became managing editor, then editor in chief, and then Bernasconi left the magazine. During my time as managing editor, graphic designer [Angiolo Giuseppe] Fronzoni profoundly transformed the magazine’s visual aspect. Fronzoni was a very radical figure and a hard-core Communist. Fronzoni and I worked in symbiosis. In the beginning, we did some moralistic, minimalist cleaning up. Then, Professor [Giovanni Klaus] Koenig from Florence took over as
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