Associazione Edoardo Benvenuto
per la ricerca sulla Scienza e l'Arte del Costruire nel loro sviluppo storico
Edoardo Benvenuto was born in Genoa on 11th December 1940. In 1958, on completing his studies ("maturità classica") at secondary school, he attended the Paganini Conservatory in Genoa, and was awarded a diploma in pianoforte in 1962. In 1965 he graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Genoa. From 1965 to 1974 Edoardo Benvenuto worked at the Istituto Ligure Ricerche Economiche e Sociali (ILRES) as a researcher in Urban Studies, and also had an illustrious academic career in the Faculty of Engineering at Genoa University: from 1969 to 1975 he lectured on Bridge Construction; in 1970 he was nominated to teach Dynamics of Structures; from 1970 to 1975 he was professor in charge of Structural Mechanics; in 1974 he won the Chair of Full Professor for Structural Mechanics. In 1975 he was called to teach at the new Faculty of Architecture in Genoa; he became its Dean in 1979 until 1997.
As a lecturer in Structural Mechanics and Director of the Institute of Constructions within the Faculty of Architecture, Edoardo Benvenuto introduced an innovative approach to the teaching and study of structural disciplines: he published La scienza delle costruzioni e il suo sviluppo storico (Sansoni, Florence 1981), and promoted a research doctorate in "History of construction sciences and techniques", in collaboration with S. Di Pasquale and A. Giuffrè. This approach achieved international reknown with the publication of another important work, An Introduction to the History of Structural Mechanics (Springer Verlag, Berlin-New York 1991) and of the Proceedings of the First Symposium Between Mechanics and Architecture held in Zaragoza in 1993, edited with P. Radelet de Grave and published by Birkhäuser, Basel 1995.
As Dean, he promoted the role of the Genoese Faculty of Architecture, not only by setting up the Specialisation Schools in Landscape Architecture and Monument Restoration, but also by organising cultural and working programmes with the Public Administration and Professional Societies on such themes as safeguarding the environment and recovery of historical town centres (in this context, his contribution in favour of moving the Faculty of Architecture into the town centre of Genoa was decisive); he also inspired reform within the Faculties of Architecture in Italy.
While carrying out his institutional work, Benvenuto also maintained his interests in other studies concerning scientific, philosophic and theological thought. In 1974 he published Materialismo e pensiero scientifico (Tamburini, Milan). From 1977 to 1980 he was in charge of teaching Contemporary Culture at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy. During this period he published La conoscenza di Dio (Borla, Rome 1978) and La Figura e il Regno (Vallecchi, Florence 1981), both together with G. Baget-Bozzo. Benvenuto's involvement in these disciplines also led to the founding of the journal Bailamme and to the publication of Il lieto annuzio ai poveri. Riflessioni storiche sulla Dottrina Sociale della Chiesa (EDB, Bologna 1997). A selection of his theological writings has been published posthumously in Fede e Ragione (Marietti, Genova 1999).
In recognition of his great devotion to work both as a teacher and researcher, in 1996 he was elected member of the UNESCO Committee for Exact Sciences; he also collaborated with the Committee for Culture. In 1997 the Order of Architects in Genoa made him an honorary member of the "Roll of Honour". In 1998 he became President of the Accademia Ligure di Scienze e Lettere. He died in Genoa on 27th November 1998.
(a complete bio-bibliography is in Bailamme, n. 25/3, December 1999)
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