GSD Talks: Michael Hays, Erika Naginski, and Pier Vittorio Aureli On The Legacy of Manfredo Tafuri

From his early essays to Interpreting the Renaissance (Yale UP; Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2006) Manfredo Tafuri’s scholarship consistently enacted a movement from the intrinsic formal properties of the individual architectural artifact to the vaster currents of history. In 1974, when his texts first appeared in English (in the journal Oppositions), a common tendency in the U.S. was to interpret the architectural work as an expressive act directed to its immediate audience. By portraying the way the past and present context could be expressed by the architect unconsciously, as well as consciously, Tafuri showed that the architect was not only the master of a certain set of conceptual and expressive tools but also, the architect was constituted by the context in which he worked. By tracing the influence on architecture of the social, intellectual, and historical context, and of the unconscious (collective and individual), Tafuri’s work affirmed the relevance not only of social science and linguistics but also of political and economic theory, psychoanalysis, and art, to the interpretation of architecture.

It is little wonder that his works struck professional and scholarly architectural audiences alike with the force of a challenge. 

His influence abides twenty years after his untimely death in February 1994.

On Thursday 27 February from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Loeb Library, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Michael Hays, and Erika Naginski will lead an informal conversation to explore the influence of Tafuri’s thought and teaching on generations of teachers and students of architecture history. All are welcome to participate.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office two weeks in advance at 617 496 2414 or [email protected]

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].