Tag Archives: Autobiography of an Idea

Still, his buildings were fine

Reaching the end of Louis Sullivan’s Autobiography of an Idea, I could only wish that his place in architectural history was judged more by his buildings and less by what he wrote about architecture. Most of the book consists of … Continue reading

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More on form and function

Here is the first lengthy passage in which Louis Sullivan, writing in his Autobiography of an Idea, unpacks “form follows function,” which has become a mantra of the modernist movement. It had to be misinterpreted for that to occur. So … Continue reading

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Sullivan on the classical

About halfway through his Autobiography of an Idea, Louis Sullivan begins to discuss architecture. He is at MIT, circa 1872. He writes in the third person. Here he receives the received wisdom on classicism: Louis had gone at his studies … Continue reading

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Form, function and Sullivan

Am plunging into a 1956 softcover copy of Louis Sullivan’s The Autobiography of an Idea, first published in the early ’20s. The introduction to this edition by University of Illinois architecture professor Ralph Marlowe Line, written with the well-known forward … Continue reading

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