The Epistemological Condition of the Magazine: Arquitecturas Bis and its Editorial Board (1974-1985)

Arquitecturas Bis covers displayed in order (1974‐1985)

by Alejandro Valdivieso (MDes HPD ’16)

Valdivieso’s research, developed between Madrid (UPM) and Cambridge (Harvard), focuses on History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture, specifically on late modern architecture, culture and media; and the way in which an ‘after-modern’ philosophical and historical self-consciousness approach was built up within the framework of several North American and European magazines during the mid-70s and 80s. More specifically, he is working on the Spanish magazine Arquitecturas Bis, published in Barcelona from 1974 to 1985, on the different members of its heterogeneous editorial board and on their theoretical and ideological “affiliations,” in order to understand how the magazine was a significant sign of an age that brought the rise of architectural theory in a context of critical reading of modernism and the consequent emergence of theories and histories of ‘resistance’ or ‘reaction,’ together with the engagement and reception to the whole domain of Cultural Theory. Finally, the aim is to understand the epistemological condition of magazines–as vehicles for translation and production of knowledge, beyond the outdated dialectical theory practice–and to demonstrate the way in which the specific case of Arquitecturas Bis worked as a vehicle for a “transatlantic” translation between Europe and the US, through Spain, positioning Spanish architectural practice and scholarship internationally, and introducing international debates into the Spanish, until that moment, isolated, or officially and politically directed agenda.

Arquitecturas Bis editorial board
Arquitecturas Bis editorial board. From left to right; Manuel de Solà‐Morales (1932-2012), Rosa Regàs (1933), Enric Satué (1938),Rafael Moneo (1937), Luis Peña Ganchegui (1926-2009), Federico Correa (1924), Oriol Bohigas (1925) and Lluis Domènech (1940) – missing Tomás Llorens (1936) –


Alejandro Valdivieso -fig-2
“32 floor plans of Louis Kahn to a scale of 1/750.” Arquitecturas Bis n. 41-42, January/June 1982, page 28.