Sigfried Giedion

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Sigfried Giedion (14 April 1888 in Prague – 10 April 1968 in Zürich) (sometimes misspelled Siegfried Giedion) was a Bohemian-born Swiss historian and critic of architecture.

His ideas and books, Space, Time and Architecture, and Mechanization Takes Command, had an important conceptual influence on the members of the Independent Group at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the 1950s.[1]

Giedion was a pupil of Heinrich Wölfflin. He was the first secretary-general of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne. He also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

In Space, Time & Architecture, Giedion wrote an influential standard history of modern architecture, while Mechanization Takes Command established a new kind of historiography.

He married Carola Giedion-Welcker (de), who created a circle of avante-garde artists in Switzerland, which included Hans Arp and Aldo van Eyck. His daughter Verena married the architect Paffard Keatinge-Clay.


  • Spätbarocker und romantischer Klassizismus, 1922
  • Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition, 1941. Harvard University Press, 5th edition, 2003, ISBN 0-674-83040-7
  • Nine Points on Monumentality, 1943
  • Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History, Oxford University Press 1948
  • Walter Gropius, work and teamwork, Reinhold Pub. Co. 1954
  • Architecture, You and Me: The Diary of a Development, Harvard UP 1958
  • The Eternal Present, 1964
  • Architecture and the Phenomenona of Transition. The Three Space Conceptions in Architecture, 1971
  • Building in France, Building in Iron, Building in Ferroconcrete, Getty Research Institute, 1995, originally published in German as Bauen in Frankreich, Bauen in Eisen, Bauen in Eisenbeton (Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1928)


  • Sokratis Georgiadis (1993) Sigfried Giedion: An Intellectual Biography, Edinburgh University Press


  1. ^ Massey, Anne (January 1995). The Independent Group: Modernism and Mass Culture in Britain, 1945-1959. Manchester University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7190-4245-4. 

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