Apologues, by Carlo Lodoli
dummy icon Carlo Lodoli (1690-1761) exists as a footnote in most major history books of modern architecture. He is typically noted for either his influence on the Venetian Neoclassical tradition or as an early prophet to some sort of functionalism. Though I would not argue his influence, I doubt his role in the development of a structurally determined functionalism. The issue of influence is always present as very little of his writings have survived and his built work amounts to a few windowsills. He did, however, teach architecture. Lodoli’s teaching approach was not necessarily professional in that he did not instruct his students in the methods of drawing or construction techniques. Rather, his approach was dialogical. The topics were sweeping, often ethical, and ranged from the nature of truth to the nature of materials and were communicated through apologues (fables). The main source for these fables is the Apologhi Immaginati (1787). Others were included in Memmo’s Elementi dell’Architettura Lodoliana (1786, 1833-34). There is no direct methodological application that can be taken from Lodoli’s apologues. This would be contrary to the nature of the lessons. I venture to say, however, that the lessons still offer insight into architectural education today. This essay offers a short introduction to Lodoli’s pedagogy and then provides a translation of a few apologues.