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His ideas and books, Space, Time and Architecture, and Mechanization Takes Command, had an important conceptual influence on the members of the Independent Group at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the 1950s.
Giedion was a pupil of Heinrich Wölfflin. He was the first secretary-general of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne. He also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
In Space, Time & Architecture, Giedion wrote an influential standard history of modern architecture, while Mechanization Takes Command established a new kind of historiography.
He married Carola Giedion-Welcker, who created a circle of avante-garde artists in Switzerland, which included Hans Arp and Aldo van Eyck. His daughter Verena married the architect Paffard Keatinge-Clay.
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