Giancarlo De Carlo – writings by John McKean

A list of writings by John McKean concerning Giancarlo De Carlo


“Uno Sguardo a Giancarlo De Carlo”

Chapter in Giancarlo De Carlo: Il progetto dome eredità, a cura di Monica Mazzolani e Antonio Troisi, About Cities, EuroMilano, no date (2019/2020)


“Giancarlo De Carlo: master of concrete”

talk to DoCoMoMo, London, October 2007


“Giancarlo De Carlo et l’experience politique de la participation”

Chapter  in La Modernite Critique, autour du CIAM 9, d’Aix-en-Provence – 1953, ed. Jean-Lucien Bonillo, Claude Massu, Daniel Pinson, Marseille: editions Imberton, 2006, 191 – 206


“Giancarlo De Carlo : An Appreciation”

written just after his death for The Architects’ Newspaper, New York, June 2005

June 16th 2005 Thanks so much for writing such a beautiful remembrance for your friend. It’s touching! Cathy Lang Ho, Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper

Also on

I read your piece on De Carlo and I thought it was very touching. Luigi Prestinenza PugliI, si

“Who was Giancarlo De Carlo?”

obituary for The Architects’ Journal, v 221, no 22, 9 June 2005 p. 20 (and fuller on, their website)


“The notion of neo-realism in architecture as reflected in the work of Giancarlo De Carlo”

Italian Research Seminar, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh, 6 May 2004

“Learning from De Carlo”

talk in debate at Centre Pompidou, Paris, following the opening of the exhibition of Giancarlo De Carlo’s work, 21 April 2004

Layered Places: Giancarlo De Carlo

Stuttgart/London : Edition Axel Menges (ISBN : 3-932565-12-6) 208 pp hardback

“Die ablesbare Entwicklung innerhalb der zahlreichen Projekte und auch des Formvokabulars zeichnet ein Portrait De Carlos, das – ähnlich seiner Architektur – verschiedene Schichten übereinanderlagert, ohne den eignen Charakter zu verleiren or zu leugnen.”

Rainer Schützeichel, Der Architekt, 11/12, 2005

“This thoughtful volume provides a history of the architecture, ideas, and teaching of Italian architect Giancarlo De Carlo through a series of essays that describe and analyzed his major projects. McKean begins with a chapter on De Carlo’s life, education, and philosophy against the historical context in which he lived. Essays on the projects follow…”

Art Book News Annual 2005

“Dear John, You went deeply into the story and discover occasions, plights and phases in my work and thinking that nobody saw before. But what I liked the most, besides your scientific inquiry, is that you didn’t make any attempt to organize the various periods of my thinking and acting labelling them with standard definition. Moreover you didn’t disjoin my work and my life. So, the book – due the quality of the texts – is very good, really outstanding. Unfortunately I wouldn’t say the same for the quality of the layout and for the choice of the projects. The layout looks oldish and clumsy: it reminds to me the serious books of the sixties having all the photos of the same size as regularity was a prove of objectivity. The truth is that Mr. Menges lacks imagination and he is also stubborn. He didn’t listen to the many advices and questions and requests we addressed to him all along the preparation of the book and didn’t try to understand the most subtle connections among the various projects. So that, especially close to the end, some projects arrive on the stage with no reason, some other are forgotten, some photos that should have been small are large and the reverse. I didn’t have the opportunity to communicate with him (he didn’t send to me the first copy with a nice letter of welcome: I have some copies because I bought them) and I do not think I will. Better to wait for John McKean’s writings concerning Giancarlo De Carlo page 2 an (improbable) Italian edition in which some changes could be made in the very last part. And better we hope that he will distribute the book anyway. All this doesn’t change that I am enthusiastic of what you did and that I thank you very much for the affectionate effort. All the best and thanks again, Giancarlo”

Giancarlo De Carlo, 1 June 2004

“If I had ever practiced architecture seriously, Giancarlo would have been my principle guide. As it is he has always been an influence deepening my understanding of the relationship of people and building – which your magnificent book confirms.”

John F. C. Turner, 16 June 2005

Giancarlo De Carlo: Des Lieux, Des Hommes

Translated by Pierre Camus, Paris : Centre Pompidou (with Axel Menges, Stuttgart) 216 pp, paperback

“Une livre parfait qui accompagne cette exposition et permet de le découvrir. […] Des articles très accessibles ouvrent au neophyte les arcanes d’un art que Giancarlo De Carlo, grand intellectuel, ami d’Italo Calvino, voulait humaniste avant tout.”

Geneviève Welcomme, ‘Giancarlo De Carlo, un bâtisseur humaniste’, La Croix, Paris, 13 May 2004

“We never had such a full page dedicated to one of our architectural exhibitions. We are very thankful to Giancarlo De Carlo, but also to you whose book is a real complement, a lasting work, to this joyful show.”

Jacqueline Stanic, curator of GDC Exhibition, Centre Pompidou, 11 May 2004

“the translation is excellent”, Giancarlo De Carlo, 1 June 2004

Three page review of Giancarlo De Carlo. Des lieux des homes, the exhibition and the book by Naomi Miller, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol 64, No 3, September 2005, pp 364 – 367

Cited in: Jean Castex, Architecture of Italy (Reference Guides to National Architecture) USA: Greenwood Press (2008)

“Inhabiting Ca’Romanino : a De Carlo house and its client”

paper to ‘Men Making Homes’ symposium, University of Brighton, January 2004; chapter in book proposal (ed Lesley Whitworth and Elizabeth Darling). unpublished until much revised version, in Italian, in press for 2020.


Giancarlo De Carlo in Conversation

This autobiography published in Italian (De Carlo in conversation with F Bunčuga) has been translated into English by John McKean with Alessandra Pedron. Translation remains unpublished.

“Il Magistero: De Carlo’s dialogue with historical forms”

Places, (Pratt Institute, California) Vol 16 No 1, 2003, pp 54 – 63

online at:  

or: aces+john+mckean+




“Il Magistero, Urbino University School of Education”

Masters of Building essay The Architects’ Journal, (London) 13 February 2003, 19-35


Obituary of Spazio e Società, Space and Society

The Architects’ Journal, 2/9 August 2001, 46


“Giancarlo De Carlo: a profile”

introducing the monographic issue on De Carlo co-edited by John McKean, World Architecture, No 11; 1991.

“Giancarlo De Carlo”

encyclopædia entry in D. Sharp (Ed.) The Illustrated Dictionary of Architects and Architecture, Headline (UK), Whitney Library of Design (US), 1991


“Conflict and Participation: De Carlo and Segal”

The Architects’ Journal, 8 February, 1989, 94.


“ILAUD and Clear”

Building Design, 2 March, 1984, 18- 19.

“Giancarlo De Carlo, Unearthing the Future”

Building Design, 24 February 1984, 22-4.


“ ‘Instead of inventing, he merely chooses’: an essay on Eclecticism”

ILAUD Year Book 1982, Sansoni (Milano), 94-9.


“Student city in Urbino” appraisal of De Carlo’s work

The Architect, January 1980 , 23-26 (pseudonym: Laurie Melville)


Giancarlo De Carlo

Book commissioned for Crosby Lockwood/Granada series of architectural monographs (ed. Dennis Sharp). Preliminary work 1979. Series abandoned by publisher who bought a package set from the US of the more fashionable “Post-Modern” architects.

John McKean was first invited by Giancarlo De Carlo to address ILAUD (The International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design), Urbino University, Italy, in October 1979; his 1979 paper was published in ILAUD Yearbook 1980). Over subsequent years he was regularly invited to give a talk and to run seminars.


“Power versus Morality”, a profile of Giancarlo De Carlo

Building Design, 23 June,1978, 18-19.