As Orsina Simona Pierini has said of the unique objectives of Spazio magazine, followed by Casabella, during the Ernesto Rogers years:
"The first architecture magazines of the twentieth century were closely tied to an idea of the contemporary and modernity that was well represented in manifestos and avant-garde art. After the war, however, the sense of what a magazine was changed direction. The peremptory affirmations and enthusiasm of 1920s writing gave way to criticism, doubt, and debate about the teachings of the Modern Movement. These were expressed in various European countries through the new tools of debate, editorials, and meeting places. In the Italian architectural community, Luigi Moretti and Ernesto Nathan Rogers [editor of Casabella, 1953-1965] are acknowledged masters, embodying the capacity to reformulate and articulate a new kind of architectural education, or at least intuit the need for a multiplicity of means to do so."
These editors, as well as those at Arts & Architecture, recognized the didactic potential of architecture, and especially, of the possibility for developing new approaches to essential issues of modernism in architecture. As Werner Seligmann has noted and demonstrated, these journals were profoundly formative, and so we might be able to see his distinct and irrepressible modernism as the byproduct of West Coast substance and Italian ideology.
The 1950s, Part 3:
Teaching Architecture in the US
Werner Seligmann began a teaching career almost immediately out of college, when he was offered a job at the University of Texas in Austin by Harwell Hamilton Harris. Hired in 1951 to build a vital, new school, Harris was a California architect who was himself heavily influenced by Wright via Rudolph Schindler, and by another Austrian émigré, Richard Neutra, with whom he worked. Fascinated by Josef Albers’s approach to design, Harris looked for a faculty sympathetic to this notion of space. The hiring of Robert Slutzky and Lee Hirsche, both students of Josef Albers, perhaps satisfied Harris’s aspiration.
Nevertheless, chief among these new hires was Bernard Hoesli, who had worked with Le Corbusier on several of his projects, and Colin Rowe, who had studied with Rudolf Wittkower. Despite Harris’s interest in the Bauhaus and Albers, both Hoesli and Rowe were as unsympathetic to the Bauhaus methodology as they were to the Beaux-Arts infrastructure prevailing in American schools of architecture. Yet, despite their differences regarding instructive techniques—Hoesli’s was strongly methodological while Rowe’s was highly discursive—they shared the ambition of producing a wholly new approach to architectural education, one based on experimentation and transformation, analysis and translation.
Rowe had already published “The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa” in 1947, in which he introduced a connective, diachronous thread between the architecture of Le Corbusier and Palladio (and he hinted at one between Le Corbusier and Schinkel, on which he later elaborated), arguing a fundamental eclecticism in Le Corbusier’s work.
Introduction page 7