PRINT April 1986


A DISCUSSION OF GAE AULENTI’S work—of its quality and importance, and also of its various difficulties, uncertainties, and defeats—seems basic to a discussion of the role that the generation to which she and I belong has played in Italian architecture over the last thirty years. In general, Aulenti’s life and mine have followed parallel paths, and they have also intersected both publicly and privately; thus my essay mixes different levels of discourse—biography, history, and analysis—in what may seem an imprudently personal fashion. I hope, though, that it will convey the context from which I write, as well as a sense of the different spheres of thought and activity that have gone into her work. During thirty years of acquaintance Aulenti and I have maintained diverse viewpoints and judgments, and yet remained on the same side—the unpopular side—of the troubled barricade between traditional

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