Manuel López wins second prize in Hofer competition

Manuel López (PhD ’18) has been awarded second prize in the Philip Hofer competition for his collection of books on 1980s Spanish architecture.

The Hofer Prize was established to encourage Harvard students’ interest in collecting books or works of art. It is confered by Houghton Library to students whose outstanding collections display imagination, consistency and intellectual breadth.

Manuel Lopez’s “Books That Built Democracy” includes books, prints, and crafted objects, evidence of the creativity unleashed after the end of the dictatorship in Spain. The collection demonstrates that the 1980s, the early years of democratic development, was one of the most fertile periods in Spain’s modern history.

Focussed on the architectural production and discourse of a particular region, Valencia, the collection shows how intensely architecture was committed to a progressive program of political and cultural renewal. Architects, politicians, and civil servants were determined to use architecture and urban design to foster public patronage, recover regional identity, and create public space loaded with civic significance. Exchanges among architects, local craftsmen, painters, and graphic artists are well represented through built projects, book covers, and posters, works that constructed the imagery of that prodigious decade.