Re-visiting the political context of Manfredo Tafuri's "Toward a critique of architectural ideology": 'having corpses in our mouths'

Ozyetis, E 2013, Re-visiting the political context of Manfredo Tafuri's "Toward a critique of architectural ideology": 'having corpses in our mouths', Masters by Research, Architecture and Design, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Re-visiting the political context of Manfredo Tafuri's "Toward a critique of architectural ideology": 'having corpses in our mouths'
Author(s) Ozyetis, E
Year 2013
Abstract In this thesis I revisit Manfredo Tafuri’s 1969 article “Per una critica dell’ideologia architettonica” (Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology) within the political context of Italy in the 1960s. I address the research question: what is the contemporary relevance of the essay read in this context? I suggest that testing the arguments in Tafuri’s 1969 essay against his complete oeuvre and his subsequent career as a critic or a historian obfuscates and misconstrues the context and the essay.

I argue that the essay was published in a moment when operaisti protagonists were processing the implications of the operaisti discourse they constructed in relation to the intensification of the social conflict in Italy in the late 1960s and the 1970s. This provides a convincing context for Tafuri’s application of this discourse as a total rejection of the possibility of the existence of an architectural profession outside participation in capitalist development. I conclude that, located with precision within the context of the journal Contropiano, where his essay was first published, “Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology” is more likely to agitate intellectuals and architects than it has previously.

It is important for the generation who has not yet acquired professional autonomy, such as architectural students or interns, to be reminded of Tafuri’s critique within its context as they assume their social vocation. Thus this is my target readership for this thesis. It is particularly important to revisit Tafuri and his 1969 essay at a time when there is a growing discussion around a social vocation or discourse on sustainability, participatory design, radical architecture and such. The social agenda still makes the art and the profession of architecture resilient to transforming political, economic and social structures. In this light, it is not only necessary but also relevant to revisit the nature of the social vocation of architects as it had been criticized in Tafuri’s 1969 essay within the intellectual debates Italian operaisti project initiated.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) Manfredo Tafuri (1935-94)
Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology
Architectural Practice
Plan of the Capital and Built Environment Professionals
Operaismo
Autonomia
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Created: Fri, 20 Sep 2013, 11:18:49 EST by Brett Fenton
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