02.03.18 – Matière à penser

‘Leçon inaugurale’, Michel Roux-Spitz

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In his Leçon inaugurale du Cours de Théorie, Michel Roux-Spitz proposes a reform in the teaching of architecture to embrace scientific advances as techniques and draws on Charles Autran’s article ‘Classiques’ published in Nouvelle revue française in 1942:

‘let our architectural education […] return to its still valid original doctrine […] to the living classicism of our 17th century, which was not the pedantic use of vocabularies in dead languages, but that essential and specifically French need to submit everything to the control of intelligence, of reason; that eternal classicism, a true ‘vehicle of civilisation’ which ‘is not content to have been’, which ‘becomes’, which does not only look ‘backwards’ for its material, but also ‘forwards’; the classicism we find, finally, in each era of order, with a new face, never the same as that which preceded it, and which needs to live again, with respect to and at the scale of the scientific forces and the speeds that command our lives.’

Michel Roux-Spitz, 8 novembre 1943


‘VERS UN NOUVEL ORDRE, un nouveau classicisme à riches dessous scientifiques et techniques. VERS UNE HUMANISATION et une normalisation des applications de la science, de toutes ses découvertes qui ébranlent notre civilisation. VERS UN NOUVEAU HUMANISME. Leçon inaugurale du Cours de Théorie de l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes – Grand amphithéâtre de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris- prononcée le 8 novembre 1943’, in Michel Roux-Spitz, Réalisations, vol. II (1932-1939), Vincent, Fréal et Cie, Paris, 1932, 1951