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CICA – A short history

By Dennis Sharp

The International Committee of Architectural Critics CICA – was established in 1978 in Mexico during the XIII World Congress of the International Union of Architects UIA. The first international meeting was held in Barcelona in July 1979 when an executive board was elected with the following directors: Pierre Vago (France), Louise Noelle Gras (Mexico), Dennis Sharp (UK), Julius Posener (Germany) and Jorge Glusberg (Argentina) under the presidency of Prof Bruno Zevi (Italy). The current CICA president is Prof Joseph Rykwert (UK/USA). The main open meetings of CICA are held to coincide with the UIA World Congresses.

CICA-meeting 1980 in Buenos Aires. Jorge Glusberg and Bruno Zevi, first President of CICA.

The prestigious CICA Book Awards were initiated at the XIV UIA World Congress in Warsaw, 1981. The first major CICA book award was given to Prof Manfredi Nicoletti for his book L’Architettura delle Caverne (Laterza). The CICA prize for journalism was jointly shared between James Marsden Fitch for an AIA Journal article and Kenneth Frampton for an article in L’ Architecture d’Aujourd’hui. The first CICA award for a preface or introduction to an exhibition catalogue went to Arthur Drexler for Transformations (MOMA). Since that time further awards have been made and recipients have included Alan Colquhon, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, Roger Connah, William Curtis and Heinrich Klotz. Publishers in receipt of awards include MIT Press, Phaidon, Laterza, Oxford etc.

In 2003 the CICA Awards were renamed after the founder members and the CICA Bruno Zevi Book Award was given to David Leatherbarrow and Mohsen Mostafavi for Surface Architecture (MIT). The CICA Pierre Vago Award for Architectural Journalism was given to the Finnish Architectural Review ARK for their special issue ‘100 Years’.

The CICA Julius Posener Award 2003 for an architectural exhibition catalogue text was awarded to Terence Riley and Barry Bergdoll for the catalogue Mies in Berlin (MOMA).

CICA-meeting at Expo-Sevilla 1988. Joseph Rykwert, President of CICA at the present, with Louise Noelle.

A very special CICA Award commendation was made to the China Architecture and Building Press and Springer Verlag, Vienna, New York for the ambitious ten volume series, edited by Kenneth Frampton, former CICA President, entitled World Architecture: A Critical Mosaic 1900-2000.

© 2023 International Committee of Architectural Critics – CICA – All rights reserved.

© 2023 International Committee of Architectural Critics – CICA – All rights reserved.