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A Journey through Tafuri’s Unsolvable Contradictions

A Review of Project of Crisis: Manfredo Tafuri and Contemporary Architecture by Marco Biraghi

Luisa Lorenza Corna


Marco Biraghi’s Project of Crisis provides a broad introduction to the thought and working-methods of historian Manfredo Tafuri. It also explores how this framework informed his studies of contemporary architecture. This review foregrounds the most distinctive aspects of Biraghi’s analysis, focusing upon its attention to the diversity of Tafuri’s philosophical sources. However, it argues that the author’s decision to focus upon the letter of Tafuri’s texts pushes questions of cultural and political context into the background. On occasion, this obscures the formative role that a set of historical, political and cultural changes had upon Tafuri’s work. It also undermines Biraghi’s capacity to grasp the political entanglements and limitations of Tafuri’s thought.