Indole of Material and Form
acsa la In the early eighteenth century Carlo Lodoli (1690-1761), an architectural apologist from Venice, made a radical critique of the orders. He argued that the orders were not truthful (read: meaningful) because they were an assemblage of stone that imitated a construction originally conceived in wood. Rather than continuing to blindly imitate the ancients, Lodoli proposed that new criteria of beauty should be understood through knowledge of the inherent nature of materials as well as the performance of architecture. Such knowledge, Lodoli argued, could be found through making and further that beauty would be found through use. In this paper, I describe and then elaborate upon Lodoli’s criticism of the Orders to include an analysis of fòrcole—wooden oar-posts used in Venetian boats including the gondola. The twisted form of fòrcole, though seemingly arbitrary, is extremely precise. When complete, the form of fòrcole shares as uncanny similarity with much of the fashionable architecture being produced today. Intentions could not be more different.