PRINT April 1972

Notes from Underground

You see, if it were not a palace but a chicken coop and rain started, I might creep into the chicken coop to avoid getting wet and yet I would not call the chicken coop a palace out of gratitude to it for sheltering me from the rain. You laugh, you even say that in such circumstances a chicken coop is as good as a mansion. Yes, I answer, if one had to live simply to avoid getting wet.

—Fydor Dostoevsky, 1864

Perspective was the original sin of Western painting.

—Andre Bazin, 1945

IN TIMES OF TRANSITION, in architecture at least, the true academy is to be found, if at all, underground. There it persists, largely unacknowledged; a residual memory, fortuitously embalmed in the passé craft and technical institutions of the 19th century. Conversely, a school of architecture where a coherent system is presented, both in theory and praxis, is scarcely to be found today in the elite university.

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