Manfredo Tafuri, “Operative Criticism,” in Theories and History of Architecture (London: Icon, 1981), 141-169. Originally published in Italian as Teorie e storia dell’architettura (Bari: Laterza, 1968). Historian Panayotis Tournikiotis counts Nikolaus Pevsner, Emil Kaufmann, and Bruno Zevi, among other figures, in this group. See Panayotis Tournikiotis, introduction, The Historiography of Modern Architecture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999), 13-15.
To this point, Geiser correctly calls out several shocking omissions such as the Arts and Crafts Movement and proto-modern German Werkbund members Peter Behrens and Hermann Muthesius.
Sigfried Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition (London: Oxford University Press, 1949), 6. Also cited in Tournikiotis, 45.
Sokratis Georgiadis, Sigfried Giedion: Eine intellektuelle Biographie (Zurich: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur, 1989); Werner Oechslin and Gregor Harbusch eds., Sigfried Giedion und die Fotografie (Zurich: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur, 2010); Almut Grunewald, ed., The Giedion World: Sigfried Giedion and Carola Giedion-Welcker in Dialogue (Zurich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2019).
Giedion recommended Tyrwhitt to McLuhan, and she subsequently served as an effective conduit between the two. See Geiser, 380-389.
Several other translators collaborated with him, including Royston Millmore and Philip Morton Shand.
Geiser notes that while Giedion spent time in Paris, “he must have encountered the philosopher Walter Benjamin in the reading room of the Bibliothèque Nationale.”
Jasmine Benyamin is associate professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches history and theory courses and design studios at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She holds bachelor’s degrees in architecture and French literature from Columbia University, a master of architecture degree from Yale University, and a PhD from Princeton University. Her dissertation research was the recipient of several grants, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) and fellowships from both the DAAD and Fulbright Foundation. Her publications include essays and reviews for JSAH, Thresholds, Constructs, JAE, Offramp, and The Journal of Architecture.
How to Cite This: Benyamin, Jasmine. Review of Giedion and America: Repositioning the History of Modern Architecture by Reto Geiser, JAE Online, August 28, 2020.