Sigfried Giedion

Siegfried Giedion

1888 (Prague) – 1968 (Zürich)

Giedion’s wider significance is as a founder of the study of the made environment, and its technological impulses. He was taught by Wölfflin, and himself strongly influenced McLuhan, met during WWII. He was an intimate of Schwitters (with Joyce and Ernst, a regular Zürich visitor). His visits to the Bauhaus and meeting Le Corbusier were seminal to his future career; Corbusier, Gropius and Moholy-Nagy all became lifelong friends, Corbusier jointly instigating a forum about urbanism. Benjamin, researching in the same Paris library, was as admiring as Wright was dismissive. Sert and Léger wrote a stirring paper with him. Online biographies don’t do him justice.