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Giancarlo De Carlo

From Planum Archive:
Presentation by Giancarlo De Carlo and Patrizia Gabellini

 Italian Version

Another life of Space & Society

by Giancarlo De Carlo

Among the various, chequered vicissitudes of Space & Society, perhaps the most surprising was that in the twenty-three years of its existence it went through seven different publishers. Right from the first change of publisher, at meetings of the editorial board and in the leading articles, we began to say, partly to reassure ourselves, that it would have seven lives, the way cats do. And this rash prophecy was taken as a goal that would enable us to overcome all the obstacles encountered at every change of publisher. 

But the most extraordinary circumstance was that the seventh life was truly the last (on paper); and even more extraordinary is the fact that it's about to begin yet another life (on the web): immaterial this time, just as its first seven previous lives were material. Like E.A. Poe's ghostly cats the review will reappear, bright and vibrant, on the site Planum, this time taking advantage of a technology that perhaps would have been most congenial to it right from the start.

The great problem, in fact, ever since it began its existence, was how to circulate the magazine adequately, in short distribution: because the publishers had no motive to push it since there were no commercial or advertising interests to be gained. Now, however, thanks to the potential of the new medium, readers in smaller towns, who could not find it in the bookshops, young people who continue to ask for news and ideas from all over the world, students, architects, planners, intellectuals, users of three-dimensional physical space, all those who are unsatisfied with what is being said and written officially about architecture, etc., will be able to retrieve the "questions" that Space & Society" deliberately left open when it went out of print.

They can begin by finding the indexes to the 92 issues published between 1978 and 2000, then the abstracts of the various articles, then fragments and comments on still relevant themes that the review explored. Then gradually other critical instruments will be added; and in the near future a Forum will be opened where everyone, in Italy and abroad, will be able to join in the discussion and spread it, multiply it, expanding it beyond the confines already reached.

In this way Space & Society will start flashing into its eighth metamorphosis, without the risk any longer of being sold out, protected by becoming impalpable, like the ghost of a cat.

Space & Society on Planum

by Patrizia Gabellini 

Space and Society, an international journal of architecture and urban planning edited for 25 years by Giancarlo De Carlo, is now present in the Journals /News Stand section, with the table of contents of the 92 quarterly issues published from 1976 to 2000. By accepting the Planum proposal De Carlo has inaugurated a new season of its "seven lives" journal with a profoundchange marked by the passage to the electronic publication.

Space and Society is the first "closed collection" to be placed in Planum's Journals Data Base: there will be no new issues, instead there will be the possibility to compare and read the past issues together with those of other European journals, which, in many cases, have only recently dealt with the arguments Space and Society has put forward since the beginning. 

This journal has been influenced by a unique cultural position, it often observed the deep transformation of the city and the territory in the world from unusual points of view ever concerned with being at the centre of the debate, cultivating cross-cutting topics, between space and society, between disciplines and countries, because "architecture and urban planning are an international problem". It is worth noting that the first 3 issues of the Journal were published as the Italian edition of "Espace and Societé" edited by Henry Lefebvre in Paris.

Giancarlo De Carlo often underlined theSpace and Society character: " Our review is truly international, in the sense that our contributors are from various countries world-wide, and in the sense that we try to choose and deal with topics that affect the whole architectural scene, not just the Italian. We also try to avoid local polemics and gossip: rather we seek the polemic that ranges over a wider field. This is because we believe in the exchange of ideas: in fact we are concerned to explore in depth the problems of each place - of the place where we live and work - and so we continue to keep up contacts with the outside world, if only to verify by comparison, the scale of our judgments"( GDC, S&S presentation at the Round table of the Rome National Gallery of Modern Art, 28 February 1980, in "A Longitudinal section through the review", p.41).

On the other hand the journal's cultural line reflects the profile of its director: Giancarlo De Carlo who in the sixties was already famous in Italy and abroad for his innovative works and for the critical but constructive position about the modern Movement.

The Space and Society international approach has assumed also a third world character confirmed by the dossiers on the Indian (in the 1987), Chinese (in the 1985) and Muslim city: 
"We have dealt as widely as possible with the Third World. Why the Third World? Because we believe that in the Third World architectural problems can be seen much more clearly than in the First or in the Second. In the Third World everything is taken to the limit" (ibidem, p.43). Another similarity that Space and Society shares with Planum is that although, or maybe because of its choice to focus on Europe, it looks continuously beyond, to the near and farthest countries. Giuliana Baracco, 'held firmly in her hands the threads of the editorial work and the life of the review', having defined the adventure of Space and Society "certainly a beautiful story" she points out: "Today a review has to be very flexible ... I would change it into a collection of sensations. Our world is too much in movement so that all you can do is present observations, clues, Snapshots. It is not possible to give answers, pass judgment, to deliberate. And paradoxically this happens in a world where it's impossible to escape from a whole spate of information" 
Planum inserts Space and Society in a new and different , fluid and iridescent circuit, the Internet, where the phenomenon emphasized by Giuliana Baracco and typical of our era is so clear and visible, where the intersections of the information fluxes resemble the waves of the sea and the publicist activity looks similar to the surfer's one. 

The Internet, however, has also another face, perhaps less showy, but equally, or maybe more important for our disciplines: the construction of big data banks, simultaneously searchable, it is continuously able to preserve and to put in circulation the memory, to establish new and never thought of relations of sense, to give more depth to running information, trying to discover their furthest and thinest roots. This is the reason why Planum follows with persistence a policy of archive acquisition, such as the journals archive and simultaneously the plans, projects, policies and realizations archive. Another way to escape from the "gossip" trap that De Carlo avoided with the journal and his job.


The journal was edited from no.1 to no. 92 by Giancarlo De Carlo
Amedeo Petrilli was the deputy editor from no.58 to no.85.

Giuliana Baracco co-ordinated the editorial staff from no.1 to no.89


The following were members of the editorial staff at different periods and with different responsibilities:

 Marco Abate | Giorgio Bigatti | Daniele Brandolino | Nicolò Ceccarelli | Marco Ceccaroni | Gabriele Corsani | Barbara Croce | Paolo Ferrario | Francesco Florulli | Giovanni Galli | Betta Latis | Laura Malighetti | Mauro Manfrin | Mario Mastropietro | Angela Mioni | Gaddo Morpurgo | Amedeo Petrilli | Antonio Petrilli | Daniele Pini | Lamberto Rossi | Francesco Samassa | Stella Silba | Roberta Sironi | Donatella Testini

The following were editorial consultants:

 Julian Beinart | José M. Garcia De Paredes | Georges Descombes | Balkrishna Doshi | Bengt Edman | Sverre Fehn | N. John Habraken | Herman Hertzberger | Lucien Kroll | Donlyn Lyndon | Fumihiko Maki | Henry Millon | Frei Otto | Reima Pietilä | Peter Prangnell | Alison Smithson | Peter Smithson | Luo Xiaowei

The following were corresponding members of the editorial staff: 

Peter Blundell Jones | Marco Ceccaroni | Pasquale Culotta | Antonio Di Mambro | Per Olaf Fjeld | Franco Mancuso | Naomi Miller | Luciana Miotto | Ruben O. Pesci | Juhani Pallasmaa | Attilio Petruccioli | Athinà Savvidu | Hugo Segawa | Yorgos Simeoforidis | Franco Zagari


• Another life of Space & Society
Giancarlo De Carlo

• Space & Society on Planum
Patrizia Gabellini

• Contents

The seven lives of "Space & Society" 
Andrea di Giovanni

• Dentro gli archivi di «Spazio e Società»
Francesco Samassa

Trilogy, X Triennial of Milan
, 1954
Cronache dell'Urbanistica italiana

• La città degli uomini

Una lezione d'urbanistica 

• The comment by Giancarlo de Carlo 
Abstract of the Giancarlo De Carlo conclusive intervention at the conference "The films and the journal of Giancarlo De Carlo on-line in"

Thursday, February 27, 2003, Palazzo della Triennale, Milan
(edited by Andrea Di Giovanni)