The first edition of this book was published in Italian in 1989, about two years after the death of Ludovico Quaroni; this edition in English is addressed mainly to non-Italian scholars with an interest in modern architecture in Italy. Given the imperfect parallel between musical and literary composition, therefore, in this book an intimate intellectual atmosphere prevails, which reveals the author’s skill in creating a narrative and also in engaging in a type of critical writing that is rarely undertaken by architect-intellectuals. The five episodes in the book cover almost thirty years, from 1958 to 1987, which were years that remained deeply preserved in the author’s memory. The literary form of the pieces gives all of them a common structure: they are dialogues; usually consisting of brief exchanges of few words, spoken or written, between the author (Lucio Barbera) and Quaroni. In one of them – Charisma – the dialogue takes place between Quaroni and a larger chorus. In another – Elective Misunderstanding – we have a double dialogue at a distance, a trio, if we return to the musical metaphor, between Quaroni, Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso and Barbera. The last piece is a longer conversation by Quaroni on himself; a taking stock and a valediction. On the frontispiece, Barbera gives a clear indication of his intentions: “For students of Architecture who are well-educated and for architects interested in getting to know better a Master of their trade”.
Lucio Valerio Barbera born in Rome on March 28th 1937. A pupil and assistant of Ludovico Quaroni. Professor of Architecture and Urban design at Sapienza University of Rome. Chair-holder of the UNESCO Chair in “Sustainable Urban Quality and Urban Culture, notably in Africa” settled at Sapienza University of Rome (from 2013). Founder of the Scientiﬁ c Society Ludovico Quaroni (since November 2010). President of the Deans’ Conference of the Italian Faculties of architecture CPA (2007-2009). Within Sapienza University of Rome he covered the position of Dean of the First Faculty of Architecture “Ludovico Quaroni” (2003-2009), Director of Architectural Design Department, Coordinator of the Doctorate program in Architectural Design and Theory (1993-2007), Co-founder of the Master ARCHEO Architecture for Archaeology-Archaeology. Promoter of International Confe-rences and Seminars on housing, landscape architecture, education architects; design joint workshops in China, Iran, Africa. Deputy Mayor of Rome for Cultural Politics and Historic Center (1992-1993). He practices as architect, planner, landscape designer internationally since late ’60.