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Forgetting Architecture

Organisational Units
Location Description
Room 211a
Location Venue (1)
Main Building
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna

Lecture by Angelika Schnell from the Institute for Art and Architecture (in english)

Aldo Rossi is considered as one of the key figures of the Rationalist
, a group of architects in the sixties and seventies that
ignored any criticism of the term rationalism that unmasked it as
irrationalism and as a philosophy of power. According to it, Rationalist
does not base upon an „instrumental“ rationalism of
advanced technologies but instead refers solely to the „Architecture of
the City“, i.e. the European City. Through the XV. Triennale in Milan
with the title Architettura Razionale , curated by Rossi, the group
enters programmaticly the international arena. Maybe there is no other
architecture theory of the second half of the 20th century that was
considered as ambitious, coherent, and intellectual as the movement of the Rationalists. And their key instruments as typology and morphology are still conceived as important methods for urban design.

However, Rossi’s own selection of projects and his contribution to the catalogue elucidate the conceptual inner contradictions. Rossi always tried to include the complex reality in the theory of Rationalist Architecture and in doing so he made unexpected detours: the spiritus rector of the group turned out to be the outsider. The notion of Type, so crucial for his architectural theory, is rather a product of aging, even decay than an abstract idea. In the end, Rossi writes in his autobiography: „Forgetting architecture comes to my mind as a more appropriate title for this book.“

Angelika Schnell, Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing.
Angelika Schnell studied Architecture in Berlin and Delft. Editor at ARCH+, she was teaching History and Theory of Architecture at TU Berlin, Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, University of Innsbruck. Since 2009 she is Professor for the Platform History Theory and Criticism at the Institute for Art and Architecture, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Dissertation: „The Construction of the Real – A Systematic Research of the Historiographic Position of Aldo Rossi’s Architectural Theory“