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Rafael Moneo and the Problem of the Arbitrary

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Rafael Moneo (born 1937) is one of the most thoughtful current architects, whose work has inspired a younger generation in Spain and internationally, since he has taught at Harvard for many years. His practice and writings challenge contemporary assumptions, which suggest that architecture’s role has somehow been superseded, and question the position of those who “wish to think of architecture only in relation to instantaneity and action”. Yet, unusually for an architect much concerned with theoretical issues, he insists that it is only in the construction of a project that architecture can actually be realised – “architecture needs the support of matter” – and this is one defence against the arbitrary. Another is an acute self-consciousness about the history of architecture, which is available for appropriation by the skilful architect. This lecture will discuss Moneo’s prolific architectural output, in an attempt to illustrate his theoretical position.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series series.

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