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THE NON-CONFORMIST: THE ARCHITECTURE OF LINA BO BARDI

ARCHITECTS’ REPUTATIONS are far more fragile than the structures of bricks and mortar—or steel and glass—that they erect, as the ritual of celebrating artistic centennials too often attests. The exhibitions organized to mark the hundredth anniversary of Mies van der Rohe’s birth in 1986, for example, fell on deaf ears, so maligned at that exuberantly postmodern moment was Mies’s rigorous and crystalline modernism. Le Corbusier’s centenary, one year later, delivered a megaretrospective at Paris’s Centre Pompidou and an avalanche of new books but spurred no fresh engagement with his work. The belated reception of design is rarely in line with contemporary sensibilities.

The stars, however, seem to have been perfectly aligned for the recent centennial of the birth of Lina Bo Bardi, who was born in Italy in 1914 and adopted Brazil as her home country in 1946, living and working there

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