Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies Rafael Moneo
          Review by Mario Cipresso

        • In this deceptively thick volume, Moneo presents a compilation of lectures he gave during the early 90's while at Harvard's GSD. Digging into his archives, he reassembles slides and text specific to the work of eight individuals that Moneo believes to be among the most influential contemporary architects of the late 20th century.

          Don't let the title intimidate you. Moneo is simply referring to the mechanisms, operational strategies, formal devices and procedures that architects utilize in their design process and their unwillingness to reveal those systematic theories of design. Rather, he believes that the current architectural discourse assumes a more reflective or critical posture rather than revolving around the process of design.

          Moneo manages to reveal to varying extents the working process of each architect by analyzing a body of work over the course of their career, identifying key changes in strategies. As an architect, learning the working process of such significant architectural figures is quite useful, allowing one to locate themselves (or others) within the greater architectural sphere. Here, connections begin to reveal themselves and linkages to architects past and present become evident.

          The project images are often a bit too small to be incredibly useful especially since Moneo often refers to specific features within the drawings and photos to explain his thoughts. However, this remains an excellent and recommended read.

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