Tendenza is commonly perceived as an architectural movement born forty years ago in Italy, spearheaded by Aldo Rossi. Around his figure orbited colleagues like Ezio Bonfanti, Rosaldo Bonicalzi, Daniele Vitale, and Massimo Scolari. Among many others, they would gather in a major public display at the Milan Triennale of 1973. This paper proposes a philological survey of the multiple manifestos and definitions of Tendenza. The study calls attention to the discrepancy of meanings between them, seeking to expose their contradictions. Within the flaws of this subject, rather than its dogmatic stance, history and theory face a challenge. They must review this “imperfect past,” embracing its “sound of confusion,” in order to create a critical archaeology of contemporary architecture.

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