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. I propose to explore the pedagogic potential of Lodoli’s lessons of 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. Existing scholarship pertaining to Lodoli most often focuses upon his students’ production of texts, projects, and projections. Andrea Memmo’s Elementi dell’Architettura Lodoliana (1786, 1833) and Francesco Algarotti’s Saggio sopra l’architettura (1756) are both specifically named by the respective authors as advancing Lodoli’s architectural theories. Often overlooked are the apologues, or fables, used by Lodoli in lessons to his students. The main source for these fables is the Apologhi Immaginati (1787). Others were included in Memmo’s Elementi. Apologues from both sources have been translated for the first time into English and can be found in Appendix I of the dissertation.

I look specifically to these stories to understand and illustrate Lodoli’s approach to making, teaching and thinking. This is understood through Lodoli’s characterisation of the identity of materials and of the self. Within this dissertation I intend to flesh out the textual and architectural fabric surrounding the pedagogic activities of the Venetian Friar known as the Socrates of Architecture, Carlo Lodoli.



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