Grey Room

Interrelations: The CIAM Grid in 1949

Andreas Kalpakci

Franco Albini and Nestorio Sacchi. Floor plan of Sala delle Capriate, CIAM 7 display, Bergamo, 1949. Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo.


People and paper occupied equal space in the production of CIAM (Congrès internationaux d’architecture moderne) discourse. This dichotomy was an organizational arrangement expressed in exhibition design. The technique holding these two halves together was the grid. This article asks how the CIAM Grid performed this organizational work—if at all. Scholarship presents two contrasting accounts. For architectural historiography, CIAM embodies the ideological struggle between the avant-garde and the establish- ment, with the Grid on the latter side, engendering postwar bureaucratization and a loss of interwar élan.