Tag: correspondence letters ephemera

Derrida & Eisenman: Laugh(ing) of(f) the lyre

Derrida & Eisenman: Laugh(ing) of(f) the lyre

By André Patrão

‘I think I understand, at least in principle.’ [1] Jacques Derrida tries to keep track of Peter Eisenman’s elaborate explanation. It is the 21st of April 1986, and in New Haven, Connecticut, philosopher and architect conduct the fifth of six meetings for their design of a garden in Bernard Tschumi’s… Read More

Sir John Soane’s Museum: Bound Legacy

Sir John Soane’s Museum: Bound Legacy

By Alexandra Politis

John Britton, a topographer and antiquarian by trade, began preparations to publish a guidebook to John Soane’s house-museum in 1825.  The earliest mention of such an endeavour appears in a letter to Soane dated 3 November, in which Britton outlines his desire to ‘produce a vol to surprise the public,… Read More

Haiku

Haiku

By John Cage

Here John Cage is writing in November 1950 to Cecil Smith, the Editor of Musical America, in passionate defence of Eric Satie, who had been attacked in the journal in an article by Abraham Skulsky. In 1948, Cage had delivered a controversial talk at Black Mountain College, titled ‘Defense of Satie,’… Read More

Gio Ponti: un disegno è un idea

Gio Ponti: un disegno è un idea

By Niall Hobhouse

Signora Onvoloni, here is a drawing that might find a place in your cabinet of ideas: ‘a drawing is an idea’ – Gio Ponti, translated by Guido Beltramini [1] All seems simple enough on the face of it, and of course one smiles, just as Gio hoped we might. But… Read More

Living in Colour

Living in Colour

By Alberto Ponis

Since 1963, when I left London to work and stay in Sardinia, I kept and still keep a yearly agenda/diary, one day for a page, to note the place where I am, the weather, the appointments, the site visits and the other sort of events of some interest. These are… Read More

Gio Ponti: ‘Come for Porchetta’

Gio Ponti: ‘Come for Porchetta’

By Niall Hobhouse

The Milanese architect Gio Ponti typically arrived at his office very early in the morning and would use the quiet interlude before his colleagues appeared to write a succession of letters – to friends and associates, to clients and contractors, to his associate editors at Domus or Stile, to his fellow architects Le… Read More

Zaha and Aldo Self reflections

Zaha and Aldo Self reflections

A. W. N. Pugin

A. W. N. Pugin

By Peter Howell

In 1846 Viscount Feilding (later 8th Earl of Denbigh) married Louisa Pennant. She was the great-granddaughter of the topographer Thomas Pennant, and inherited his house, Downing Hall, in Flintshire. They decided to build a church to celebrate their marriage. The architect was Thomas Henry Wyatt (who also added to Downing). Building… Read More

Child’s Play: Adolfo Natalini’s ‘Disegni Per Bambini’

Child’s Play: Adolfo Natalini’s ‘Disegni Per Bambini’

By Sophia Banou

In 1972 Adolfo Natalini spent a few months in the United States. The main event of his visit was the seminal exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape in New York MoMA (May 26 – September 11, 1972). Nevertheless, Natalini spent these months not only working on perhaps the most existential project of… Read More

Alexander Pope: ‘et sibi’

Alexander Pope: ‘et sibi’

By Niall Hobhouse

The great poet carefully instructs Francis Bird on the memorial tablet for his father – also Alexander Pope – to be placed in the north gallery of St Mary’s, Twickenham. Pope asks the sculptor to record his own respect for his father, to leave a space for his mother’s name… Read More

Le Corbusier: Unité d’habitation

Le Corbusier: Unité d’habitation

This letter from Le Corbusier, to Marseille photographer Louis Sciarli, responds to a request from Elle magazine for photographs of the school on the rooftop of the Unité. Le Corbusier includes a drawing that instructs the unfortunate photographer as to exactly how he would like the children to be posed. M. Sciarli… Read More

From the Desk of John Summerson

From the Desk of John Summerson

The cat was called ‘Puss’. Anthony Vidler recalls that it ‘was fierce, and farted underneath the desk’.