Lessons From Bernard Rudofsky

architect Bernard Rudofsky
written by Monika Platzer


Bernard Rudofsky (1905-1988) was neither an architect nor a theorist in the usual sense. At the start of his career he designed and built a number of houses in Italy and Brazil, where he employed the formal language of the Modernists even though his theoretical writings appear to indicate he rejected their teachings. From the 1940s onwards, Rudofsky was primarily engaged as a critic and cultural theorist who did not just write about architecture and design, but also on topics such as apparel, footwear, cuisine and bathing. The common element behind all of these activities, though, was the human body, and his lamentation of the loss of sensual awareness. His most famous exhibition, “Architecture without Architects”, which he conceived for MoMA in 1964, achieved international success and toured the world for eleven years.