Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

In my tentative ventures on to Twitter, I have had barely any response to any of my tweets apart for one yesterday about Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.   I have known that for many years they have been candidates for the RIBA Gold Medal, because I have been asked to write in their support, but have been told (very forcefully) that there is absolutely no way that this will ever be allowed to happen.   Why the vehemence ?   I suppose it is partly that Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture was one of the early death knells of doctrinaire modernism, because of its admiration for references to history and particularly mannerism (the qualities of complexity in its title).   And Learning from Las Vegas was in its own way equally, if not more significant in its timing and recognition that architecture has a semiotics.   But these ideological battles are now long ago.   Surely it is time to bury the hatchet and recognise their significance in architectural thought, independent of the politics surrounding the competition for, and design of, the Sainsbury Wing.


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