TECHNE - Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment 2021-07-17T09:51:06+00:00 Redazione Techne Open Journal Systems <p><em><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">TECHNE</span></span></em><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"> , la rivista scientifica di SIT </span></span><em><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">d</span></span></em><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"> A, la&nbsp; </span></span><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">Società italiana di tecnologia architettonica</span></span></a><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"> , soddisfa gli obiettivi della società lavorando, a livello nazionale e internazionale, per promuovere la conoscenza e i metodi e le tecniche della tecnologia architettonica, al fine di proteggere e migliorare l'uomo ambiente creato e per promuovere applicazioni innovative e confronti interdisciplinari. </span></span><br><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">La rivista pubblica articoli su ricerche e applicazioni innovative, nonché saggi e relazioni. </span><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">Gli autori lavorano nel mondo accademico e nelle strutture di ricerca nell'area della progettazione architettonica, dell'industria, delle attività imprenditoriali e delle organizzazioni clienti, pubbliche e private. </span></span><br><em><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">TECHNE&nbsp;</span></span></em><span style="vertical-align: inherit;"><span style="vertical-align: inherit;">si rivolge a un mercato target interessato a discutere punti di vista rilevanti e critici e acquisire conoscenze utili per lo sviluppo di progetti attraverso un confronto di diversi approcci.</span></span></p> Note 2021-07-06T13:17:42+00:00 Maria Teresa Lucarelli <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The theme proposed in this issue is of great stimulus: starting from the arguments launched by the call and better specified in the topics, it was intended to start an interesting cultural and scientific comparison, never dormant, on the meaning of </span><span class="s2">heteronomy</span><span class="s1"> of architecture.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Associated today with the complexity of design and construction, the concept of heteronomy calls for others as </span><span class="s2">hybridization</span><span class="s1">, </span><span class="s2">contamination</span><span class="s1">, recalling in various ways the inevitable and necessary relationship with different knowledge.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The contrast, still in progress, with that late modernist cultural line that considers the autonomy of architecture to be fundamentally an artistic, symbolic and pure form expression (Ginex, 2002) – Aldo van Eyck was one of the most fanatical supporters – it seems to find, starting from the end of the 70s, more coherent answers with the contemporaneity in which the architectural project begins to deal with technological innovation both in the transformations of language and in the evolution of construction techniques; an ever closer comparison between creativity and technical knowledge. Architecture, therefore, returns to being a </span><span class="s2">synthesis</span><span class="s1"> between art and science of building, capable, of responding to an intrinsic aesthetic-formal need and, at the same time, functional to satisfy the multiple needs of the client.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It is therefore undeniable that Architecture, in the current socio-economic, environmental and health context have to assume more and more heteronomous characters in all phases of design, construction and management of the built environment. The situation of uncertainty that characterizes the historical moment urges the construction of scenarios in which the hybridization and contamination of knowledge, which nourishes heteronomy, can be a stimulus, reference and above all enrichment for a different way of thinking the “project”, free from disciplinary hierarchies. In fact, right from the “ideational” phase, the different instances and multiple knowledge that participate in the production of the project has to be identified, albeit through a delicate and complex action of cultural and scientific mediation, as said Cucinella (Norsa, 2021) creative empathy between the building, the places and the people since «[…]<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span> <span class="s1">the project has to be the result of collective (multidisciplinary) intelligence and the result […] intended as a “hybrid” between technology and the surrounding environment</span><span class="s2">».</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Therefore, it is essential to establish a constructive dialogue between the multiple disciplines and related skills to respond to complex problems and new challenges with which the architectural project has to deal by working on the frontier of specific knowledge in a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogic relationship.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In this comparison, there is no doubt that Technological Design – which has a recognized strategic vision and </span><span class="s2">governance</span><span class="s1"> capacity in all phases of the design process – can adequately respond </span><span class="s2">«</span><span class="s1">to the changing and rapid demands of contemporary society</span><span class="s2">» </span><span class="s1">both for an intrinsic ability – also referable to the declaration itself – to relate to a broad context of themes and problems; both for an evident aptitude for comparison and interconnection and hybridization with other knowledge.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If, therefore, architecture has always found, in its relationship with the humanistic disciplines – philosophy, sociology, anthropology, in particular – fertile ground to be able to define itself as heteronomous. That, today, taking them since ancient times, as its integral part in the inevitable as necessary confluence between ancient and new knowledge, has to know to relate – and so hybridize – with new and renewed knowledge. Digitization, for example, using enabling technologies, </span><span class="s2">big data</span><span class="s1">, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, platforms digital interoperability, including those of computer interoperability, if taken as an integral part of the project-process, allows more and more to effectively simulate the ideational, design and implementation activity, avoiding errors and interference, improving the quality level. However, it is essential to always refer to that semantic capital of which he speaks in his writings Luciano Floridi (2020) precisely because </span><span class="s2">«[</span><span class="s1">…] a wealth of knowledge that allows us to interface with the new tools that we use every day and that continually require technical adaptation but […] also semantic</span><span class="s2">»</span><span class="s1"> (Faroldi </span><span class="s2">et al.</span><span class="s1">, 2020).</span> <span class="s1">Therefore, the architectural project, as a container of different requests and skills, becomes heteronomous as a “place” of interrelationships between creativity and critical thinking, of technical skills and innovation (not only technological), necessary to face with greater strength and awareness the complexity of today and addressing the needs of tomorrow. <span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">These premises give relevance to the four topics proposed by the call: the first, “Approaches aimed at achieving an integrated/heteronomous project”, suggests a reasoning on how to find an effective “collaboration” between the various actions relating to the building process and the different skills involved, able to overcome divergences and conflicts allowing the desired integration between creativity and technique.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The second, “Research aimed at identifying tools to promote relations between the various professionals of the building process”, proposes a reflection on methodologies and tools capable of favouring the satisfaction of requests of a formal and, at the same time, functional and technological a horizontal and vertical integration between the subjects involved, their skills and specific specialisms, in a multidisciplinary vision of the design process.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The third</span><span class="s2">, “</span><span class="s1">Identification of the architect’s skills, in order to establish new synergies between the different knowledges”, invites a reasoning on the strategic function of the architect. In all phases of the design process and an ability to foster connections with other stakeholders in the realization of the product; in short, the ability to find the appropriate synergies in the management of complexity.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The fourth, “Promotion of the architectural project as an interdisciplinary synthesis tool”, intends to shift the reflection on the degree of quality that the project can derive from the contamination/hybridization with other knowledge – also </span><span class="s2">in typological, morphological and technological terms</span><span class="s1"> – avoiding a sterile self-referentiality, inconsistent with the rapid changes of today’s society</span><span class="s2">.</span><span class="s1"><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Four themes that led to the submission of eighty abstracts – of which twenty-eight selected with double blind review – including a substantial number of theoretical and methodological essays, different research experiences including design, all representative of the contemporary debate on the subject to testify unequivocally the heteronomy of architecture.</span></p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Teresa Lucarelli The architecture of differences 2021-07-06T13:16:23+00:00 Emilio Faroldi <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Following in the footsteps of the protagonists of the Italian architectural debate is a mark of culture and proactivity. The synthesis deriving from the artistic-humanistic factors, combined with the technical-scientific component, comprises the very root of the process that moulds the architect as an intellectual figure capable of governing material processes in conjunction with their ability to know how to skilfully select schedules, phases and actors: these are elements that – when paired with that magical and essential compositional sensitivity – have fuelled this profession since its origins.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The act of X-raying the role of architecture through the filter of its “autonomy”</span> <span class="s2">or “heteronomy”, at a time when the hybridisation of different areas of knowledge and disciplinary interpenetration is rife, facilitates an understanding of current trends, allowing us to bring the fragments of a debate carved into our culture and tradition up to date.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">As such, heteronomy – as a condition in which an acting subject receives the norm of its action from outside itself: the matrix of its meaning, coming from ancient Greek, the result of the fusion of the two terms ἕτερος éteros</span> <span class="s2">“different, other” and νόμος </span><span class="s3">nómos </span><span class="s2">“law, ordinance” – suggests the existence of a dual sentiment now pervasive in architecture: the sin of self-reference and the strength of depending on other fields of knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Difference, interpreted as a value, and the ability to establish relationships between different points of observation become moments of a practice that values the process and method of affirming architecture as a discipline.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The term “heteronomy”, used in opposition to “autonomy”, has – from the time of Kant onwards – taken on a positive value connected to the mutual respect between reason and creativity, exact science and empirical approach, contamination and isolation, introducing the social value of its existence every time that it returns to the forefront.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">At the 1949 conference in Lima, Ernesto Nathan Rogers spoke on combining the principle of “Architecture is an Art” with the demands of a social dimension of architecture: «Alberti, in the extreme precision of his thought, admonishes us that the idea must be translated into works and that these must have a practical and moral purpose in order to adapt harmoniously ‘to the use of men’, and I would like to point out the use of the plural of ‘men’, society. The architect is neither a passive product nor a creator completely independent of his era: society is the raw material that he transforms, giving it an appearance, an expression, and the consciousness of those ideals that, without him, would remain implicit. Our prophecy, like that of the farmer, already contains the seeds for future growth, as our work also exists between heaven and earth. Poetry, painting, sculpture, dance and music, even when expressing the contemporary, are not necessarily limited within practical terms. But we architects, who have the task of synthesising the useful with the beautiful, must feel the fundamental drama of existence at every moment of our creative process, because life continually puts practical needs and spiritual aspirations at odds with one another. We cannot reject either of these necessities, because a merely practical or moralistic position denies the full value of architecture to the same extent that a purely aesthetic position would: we must mediate one position with the other» (Rogers, 1948).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Rogers discusses at length the relationship between instinctive forces and knowledge acquired through culture, along with his thoughts on the role played by study in an artist’s training.</span></p> <p class="p3">It is in certain debates that have arisen within the “International Congresses of Modern Architecture” that the topic of architecture as a discipline caught between self-sufficiency and dependence acquires a certain centrality within the architectural context: in particular, in this scenario, the theme of the “autonomy” and “heteronomy” of pre-existing features of the environment plays a role of strategic importance. Arguments regarding the meaning of form in architecture and the need for liberation from heteronomous influences did not succeed in undermining the idea of an architecture capable of influencing the governing of society as a whole, thanks to an attitude very much in line with Rogers’ own writings.</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The idea of a project as the result of the fusion of an artistic idea and pre-existing features of an environment formed the translation of the push to coagulate the antithetical forces striving for a reading of the architectural work that was at once autonomous and heteronomous, as well as linked to geographical, cultural, sociological and psychological principles.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The CIAM meeting in Otterlo was attended by Ignazio Gardella, Ernesto Nathan Rogers, Vico Magistretti and Giancarlo De Carlo as members of the Italian contingent: the architects brought one project each to share with the conference and comment on as a manifesto. Ernesto Nathan Rogers, who presented the Velasca Tower, and Giancarlo De Carlo, who presented a house in Matera in the Spine Bianche neighbourhood, were openly criticised as none of the principles established by the CIAM were recognisable in their work any longer, and De Carlo’s project represented a marked divergence from a consolidated method of designing and building in Matera.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">In this cultural condition, Giancarlo De Carlo – in justifying the choices he had made – even went so far as to say: «my position was not at all a flight from architecture, for example in sociology. I cannot stand those who, paraphrasing what I have said, dress up as politicians or sociologists because they are incapable of creating architecture. Architecture is – and cannot be anything other than – the organisation and form of physical space. It is not autonomous, it is heteronomous» (De Carlo, 2001).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Even more so than in the past, it is not possible today to imagine an architecture encapsulated entirely within its own enclosure, autoimmune, averse to any contamination or relationships with other disciplinary worlds: architecture is the world and the world is the sum total of our knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Architecture triggers reactions and phenomena: it is not solely and exclusively the active and passive product of a material work created by man. «We believed in the heteronomy of architecture, in its necessary dependence on the circumstances that produce it, in its intrinsic need to exist in harmony with history, with the happenings and expectations of individuals and social groups, with the arcane rhythms of nature. We denied that the purpose of architecture was to produce objects, and we argued that its fundamental role was to trigger processes of transformation of the physical environment that are capable of contributing to the improvement of the human condition» (De Carlo, 2001).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Productive and cultural reinterpretations place the discipline of architecture firmly at the centre of the critical reconsideration of places for living and working. Consequently, new interpretative models continue to emerge which often highlight the instability of built architecture with the lack of a robust theoretical apparatus, demanding the sort of “technical rationality” capable of restoring the centrality of the act of construction, through the contribution of actions whose origins lie precisely in other subject areas.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Indeed, the transformation of the practice of construction has resulted in direct changes to the structure of the nature of the knowledge of it, to the role of competencies, to the definition of new professional skills based on the demands emerging not just from the production system, but also from the socio-cultural system. The architect cannot disregard the fact that the making of architecture does not burn out by means of some implosive dynamic; rather, it is called upon to engage with the multiple facets and variations that the cognitive act of design itself implies, bringing into play a theory of disciplines which – to varying degrees and according to different logics – offer their significant contribution to the formation of the design and, ultimately, the work.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">As Álvaro Siza claims, «The architect is not a specialist. The sheer breadth and variety of knowledge that practicing design encompasses today – its rapid evolution and progressive complexity – in no way allow for sufficient knowledge and mastery. Establishing connections – pro-jecting [from Latin </span><span class="s3">proicere</span><span class="s2">, ‘to stretch out’] – is their domain, a place of compromise that is not tantamount to conformism, of navigation of the web of contradictions, the weight of the past and the weight of the doubts and alternatives of the future, aspects that explain the lack of a contemporary treatise on architecture. The architect works with specialists. The ability to chain things together, to cross bridges between fields of knowledge, to create beyond their respective borders, beyond the precarity of inventions, requires a specific education and stimulating conditions. [...] As such, architecture is risk, and risk requires impersonal desire and anonymity, starting with the merging of subjectivity and objectivity. In short, a gradual distancing from the ego. Architecture means compromise transformed into radical expression, in other words, a capacity to absorb the opposite and overcome contradiction. Learning this requires an education in search of the other within each of us» (Siza, 2008).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">We are seeing the coexistence of contrasting, often extreme, design trends aimed at recementing the historical and traditional mould of construction by means of the constant reproposal of the characteristics of “persistence”</span> <span class="s2">that long-established architecture, by its very nature, promotes, and at decrypting the evolutionary traits of architecture – markedly immaterial nowadays – that society promotes as phenomena of everyday living.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Speed, temporariness, resilience, flexibility: these are just a few fragments.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">In other words, we indicate a direction which immediately composes and anticipates innovation as a characterising element, describing its stylistic features, materials, languages and technologies, and only later on do we tend to outline the space that these produce: what emerges is a largely anomalous path that goes from “technique”</span> <span class="s2">to “function”</span> <span class="s2">– by way of “form” – denying the circularity of the three factors at play.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The threat of a short-circuit deriving from discourse that exceeds action – in conjunction with a push for standardisation aimed at asserting the dominance of construction over architecture, once again echoing the ideas posited by Rogers – may yet be able to finding a lifeline cast through the attempt to merge figurative research with technology in a balanced way, in the wake of the still-relevant example of the Bauhaus or by emulating the thinking of certain masters of modern Italian architecture who worked during that post-war period so synonymous with physical – and, at the same time, moral – reconstruction.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">These architectural giants’ aptitude for technical and formal transformation and adaptation can be held up as paradigmatic examples of methodological choice consistent with their high level of mastery over the design process and the rhythm of its phases. In all this exaltation of the outcome, the power of the process is often left behind in a haze: in the uncritical celebration of the architectural work, the method seems to dissolve entirely into the finished product.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Technical innovation and disciplinary self-referentiality would seem to deny the concepts of continuity and transversality by means of a constant action of isolation and an insufficient relationship with itself: conversely, the act of designing, as an operation which involves selecting elements from a vast heritage of knowledge, cannot exempt itself from dealing in the variables of a functional, formal, material and linguistic nature – all of such closely intertwined intents – that have over time represented the energy of theoretical formulation and of the works created.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">For years, the debate in architecture has concentrated on the synergistic or contrasting dualism between cultural approaches linked to </span><span class="s3">venustas</span><span class="s2"> and </span><span class="s3">firmitas</span><span class="s2">. Kenneth Frampton, with regard to the interpretative pair of “tectonics”</span> <span class="s2">and “form”, notes the existence of a dual trend that is both identifiable and contrasting: namely the predisposition to favour the formal sphere as the predominant one, rejecting all implications on the construction, on the one hand; and the tendency to celebrate the constructive matrix as the generator of the morphological signature – emphasised by the ostentation of architectural detail, including that of a technological matrix – on the other.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The design of contemporary architecture is enriched with sprawling values that are often fundamental, yet at times even damaging to the successful completion of the work: it should identify the moment of coagulation within which the architect goes in pursuit of balance between all the interpretative categories that make it up, espousing the Vitruvian meaning, according to which practice is «the continuous reflection on utility» and theory «consists of being able to demonstrate and explain the things made with technical ability in terms of the principle of proportion» (Vitruvius Pollio, 15 BC).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Architecture will increasingly be forced to demonstrate how it represents an applied and intellectual activity of a targeted synthesis, of a complex system within which it is not only desirable, but indeed critical, for the cultural, social, environmental, climatic, energy-related, geographical and many other components involved in it to interact proactively, together with the more spatial, functional and material components that are made explicit in the final construction itself through factors borrowed from neighbouring field that are not endogenous to the discipline of architecture alone.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Within a unitary vision that exists parallel to the transcalarity that said vision presupposes, the technology of architecture – as a discipline often called upon to play the role of a collagen of skills, binding them together – acts as an instrument of domination within which science and technology interpret the tools for the translation of man’s intellectual needs, expressing the most up-to-date principles of contemporary culture.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Within the concept of tradition – as inferred from its evolutionary character – form, technique and production, in their historical “continuity” and not placed in opposition to one other, make up the fields of application by which, in parallel, research proceeds with a view to ensuring a conforming overall design. The “technology of architecture”</span> <span class="s2">and “technological design”</span> <span class="s2">give the work of architecture its personal hallmark: a sort of DNA to be handed down to future generations, in part as a discipline dedicated to amalgamating the skills and expertise derived from other dimensions of knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">In the exercise of design, the categories of urban planning, composition, technology, structure and systems engineering converge, the result increasingly accentuated by multidisciplinary nuances in search of a sense of balance between the parts: a setup founded upon simultaneity and heteronomous logic in the study of variables, by means of translations, approaches and skills as expressions of multifaceted identities. «Architects can influence society with their theories and works, but they are not capable of completing any such transformation on their own, and end up being the interpreters of an overbearing historical reality under which, if the strongest and most honest do not succumb, that therefore means that they alone represent the value of a component that is algebraically added to the others, all acting in the common field» (Rogers, 1951).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Construction, in this context, identifies the main element of the transmission of continuity in architecture, placing the “how” at the point of transition between past and future, rather than making it independent of any historical evolution. Architecture determines its path within a heteronomous practice of construction through an effective distinction between the strength of the principles and codes inherent to the discipline – long consolidated thanks to sedimented innovations – and the energy of experimentation in its own right.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Architecture will have to seek out and affirm its own identity, its validity as a discipline that is at once scientific and poetic, its representation in the harmonies, codes and measures that history has handed down to us, along with the pressing duty of updating them in a way that is long overdue. The complexity of the architectural field occasionally expresses restricted forms of treatment bound to narrow disciplinary areas or, conversely, others that are excessively frayed, tending towards an eclecticism so vast that it prevents the tracing of any discernible cultural perimeter.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">In spite of the complex phenomenon that characterises the transformations that involve the status of the project and the figure of the architect themselves, it is a matter of urgency to attempt to renew the interpretation of the activity of design and architecture as a coherent system rather than a patchwork of components. «Contemporary architecture tends to produce objects, even though its most concrete purpose is to generate processes. This is a falsehood that is full of consequences because it confines architecture to a very limited band of its entire spectrum; in doing so, it isolates it, exposing it to the risks of subordination and delusions of grandeur, pushing it towards social and political irresponsibility. The transformation of the physical environment passes through a series of events: the decision to create a new organised space, detection, obtaining the necessary resources, defining the organisational system, defining the formal system, technological choices, use, management, technical obsolescence, reuse and – finally – physical obsolescence. This concatenation is the entire spectrum of architecture, and each link in the chain is affected by what happens in all the others.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">It is also the case that the cadence, scope and intensity of the various bands can differ according to the circumstances and in relation to the balances or imbalances within the contexts to which the spectrum corresponds. Moreover, each spectrum does not conclude at the end of the chain of events, because the signs of its existence – ruins and memory – are projected onto subsequent events. Architecture is involved with the entirety of this complex development: the design that it expresses is merely the starting point for a far-reaching process with significant consequences» (De Carlo, 1978).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The contemporary era proposes the dialectic between specialisation, the coordination of ideas and actions, the relationship between actors, phases and disciplines: the practice of the organisational culture of design circumscribes its own code in the coexistence and reciprocal exploitation of specialised fields of knowledge and the discipline of synthesis that is architecture.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">With the revival of the global economy on the horizon, the dematerialisation of the working practice has entailed significant changes in the productive actions and social relationships that coordinate the process. Despite a growing need to implement skills and means of coordination between professional actors, disciplinary fields and sectors of activity, architectural design has become the emblem of the action of synthesis. This is a representation of society which, having developed over the last three centuries, from the division of social sciences that once defined it as a “machine”, an</span><span class="s3"> “</span><span class="s2">organism”</span> <span class="s2">and a “system”, is now defined by the concept of the “network” or, more accurately, by that of the “system of networks”, in which a person’s desire to establish relationships places them within a multitude of social spheres.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The “heteronomy” of architecture, between “hybridisation” and “contamination of knowledge”, is to be seen not only an objective fact, but also, crucially, as a concept aimed at providing the discipline with new and broader horizons, capable of putting it in a position of serenity, energy and courage allowing it to tackle the challenges that the cultural, social and economic landscape is increasingly throwing at the heart of our contemporary world.</span></p> 2021-05-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Emilio Faroldi Heteronomy of architecture. Between hybridation and contamination of knowledge 2021-07-06T13:16:25+00:00 Ingrid Paoletti Maria Pilar Vettori <p class="p3"><span class="s2">«For a place to leave an impression on us, it must be made of time as well as space – of its past, its history, its culture» (Sciascia, 1987).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Architecture is one the many disciplines which, due to their heteronomous nature, aspire to represent the past, present and future of a community. Just as the construction of buildings is not merely a response to a need, but rather an act that incorporates the concrete translation of desires and aspirations, so too do music, philosophy, and the figurative arts reflect contemporary themes in their evolution. The fragmentation of skills, the specialisation of knowledge, the rapid modification of the tools we work with, the digitalisation and hyperdevelopment of communication are all phenomena that have a substantial impact on the evolution of disciplines in a reciprocal interaction with the intangible values of a community – economic, social and cultural – as well as the material assets of the places where it expresses itself.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Interpreting heteronomy as a condition in which an action is not guided by an autonomous principle that is intrinsic to the discipline, but rather determined by its interaction with external factors, a theoretical reflection on the evolution of the tools of knowledge and creation has the task of defining possible scenarios capable of tackling the risk of losing an ability to synthesise the relationships between the conditions that define the identity of architecture itself.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The challenge of complexity is rooted in social, technological and environmental shifts: a challenge that involves </span><span class="s3">space</span><span class="s2">, a material resource, in its global scale and its human measure; and </span><span class="s3">time</span><span class="s2">, an immaterial resource, nowadays evaluated in terms of speed and flexibility, but also duration and permanence. These elements impact upon the project as a whole, as a combination of multiple forms of knowledge which, given their constant evolution, is subject to continuous comparison.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The cultural debate has investigated at length the topic of art being forced to devote itself to heteronomy whilst also retaining a need for aesthetic autonomy. The risk of forgetting its own ontological status, of losing its own identity in the fragmentation and entropy of the contemporary world, finds an answer in the idea of design as a synthesis between an artistic idea and the social and environmental conditions in which it is places, configuring itself as an element capable of reconciling the antithetical drives towards an autonomous vision of the work, on the one hand, and a heteronomous one linked to its geographical, cultural, sociological and psychological characteristics, on the other.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">In the systemic and concerted working process so intrinsic to disciplines such as filmmaking and music – but also the visual arts or even philosophy – the act of designing is the expression of the relationship with a community of individuals whose actions are based on a role that is as social as it is technical, given that they act based on material and immaterial values of a public nature.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">If indeed the sciences – as Thomas Kuhn demonstrated in his writings on the scientific revolutions – cannot be understood without their historical dimension, then disciplines such as those addressed in this Dossier represent cultural phenomena that can only truly be understood in their entirety when considered in the context of their era and the many factors that fed into their creation. However, precisely as demonstrated by Kuhn’s theories (Kuhn, 1987), their evolution also consists of “scientific revolutions”: moments of disruption capable of changing the community’s attitude towards the discipline itself and, perhaps more importantly, its paradigms.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Music, cinema, art, architecture and philosophy are all expressions of that which makes us human, in all its complexity: divided and confined to their own disciplinary fields, they are not capable of expressing the poetic quality of life and thus «making people feel and become aware of the aesthetic feeling» (Morin, 2019).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s3">Emanuele Coccia</span><span class="s2">, an internationally renowned philosopher and associate professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, imagines a world in which everything you see is the product of an intentionality articulated by human, non-human and non-living actors. Design – not only anthropocentric design – is the most universal power in the world. Every living being can, in effect, design the world, but at the same time, every agent of matter can also design, and it is the interplay between these elements that creates a continuous metamorphosis of our environment. In other words, being alive is not a necessary condition for being a designer. The two anthropologists Alfred Gell and Philippe Descola, in their writings on Western society and nature, present contrasting views on the presence of the soul/animism in nature. The result is a sort of architecture of the landscape, in which nature itself is imbued with a sense of design intentionality that exists in a continuum with mankind. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s3">Edoardo Tresoldi</span><span class="s2">, a young Italian sculptor, is one of the latest exponents of the heteronomy of architecture, which rejects the limiting confines of individual disciplines so as to imagine a transversal vision of the environment and its construction. Through the interplay of transparencies created with ephemeral metal structures, Tresoldi exalts the geometrical qualities of this raw material, going beyond the simple spatiotemporal dimension to establish a dialogue between place and the artistic representation thereof. Tresoldi recounts this journey of his through five themes: Place, because architecture in itself is markedly conditioned by its context, as is – in his case – art; Design, that is the act of envisaging the work, which is ultimately influenced by everything around us and our imagination; Time, as art is characterised by a potential interweaving, a continuity in the creative processes influenced by the history of the place; Material, or rather, materiality and the duality between the technical and artistic parts; and, finally, “What’s Next”, exploring the idea of what the future holds for us. On this last point, Tresoldi imagines his works further opening up to a diversified range of skills in a way that would also carve out new professional profiles for young people.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s3">Cristina Frosini</span><span class="s2">, Director of the Milan Conservatory, with a contribution on music – «the supreme mystery of the sciences of man» (Lévi-Strauss, 2004) – offers reflections on a field with deep affinities with the discipline of architecture, with both sharing a strong relationship between composition and execution. The sheer vastness of musical expression, from the precision of the classical score to the freedom of interpretation exemplified by the conductor or the improvising jazz musician, sees the concepts of overall rhythm and melody, the homogeneity and identity of different instruments, and the circularity of the process as the key themes of music as a public art whose creative process has always been founded upon the relationship between technical factors and cultural factors.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The contribution provided by </span><span class="s3">Michele Guerra</span><span class="s2">, an academic and professor of History of Cinema, confirms the words of Edgar Morin. «Nowadays, cinema is widely recognised as an art, and in my opinion, it is a tremendous polyphonic and polymorphous art that is capable of stimulating and integrating into itself the virtues of all the other arts: novel-writing, theatre, music, painting, scenography, photography. [...] it can be said that those who participate in the creation of a film are artisans, artists, who play an important role in the aesthetics of the film» (Morin, 2019). The work of the “cinematographic construction site” is driven by forces which, incorporating the status quo of the technical and material factors, lead to “an idea of imaginary metamorphosis” which reflects the aspirations of a society in its efforts to become contemporary.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">A concept of a heteronomous approach to “making” is also founded upon recognising the didactic value of the work, as emerges from </span><span class="s3">Luigi Alini</span><span class="s2">’s contribution on the figure of Vittorio Garatti – an intellectual first and architect second – whose pieces are the result of work that is as much immaterial as it is material, with an «experiential rather than mediatic» approach (Frampton, in Borsa and Carboni Maestri, 2018), as true architecture is expected to be.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The heteronomy of architecture, much like that of other similar disciplines, is based on engagement on two fronts: an understanding of the relevant international scenarios and the definition of the project charter, with a view to conforming it so that it takes into account any changes, operates in continuity with and with an appreciation for history, and develops in harmony with the universality of the discipline and the teachings of its masters.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Stimulating a dialogue between different cultural positions is a means to create the conditions for a degree of adherence to contemporaneity without compromising on a principle of historical continuity. In light of this, the contribution by </span><span class="s3">Ferruccio Resta </span><span class="s2">– the current Rector of the Politecnico di Milano – focuses on the varying cultural and intellectual positions that have animated the culture of the Politecnico over the years, representing a highly valuable heritage for the university. Nowadays, with the presence of certain indispensable premises such as sustainability and connectivity, technology seems to overwhelm the design process, outsourcing it to a sort of management of the engineering and component production aspects. Hence the need to reaffirm a “humanistic and human” dimension of the act of making, starting at the root by orienting the training processes in line with the words of historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari, who says: «Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching “the four Cs” – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. More broadly, they believe, schools should downplay technical skills and emphasize general-purpose life skills. Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, learn new things, and preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations».</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">This need reopens the theme of the dualism between “art” and “discipline”, surpassing it in favour of a coexistence of terminology in that it is the quality of the design and the piece that define where it belongs.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Reflecting on the foundations of the paths and tools employed in different disciplines – in light of the innovations that involve the project charter in terms not only of concepts, but also of instruments – means reflecting on the concept of “project culture”, understood as the ability to work through actions which combine different contributions, tackling complex problems by way of a conscious creative process.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The ability to envisage the new – as is implicit in the etymology of the word “project” itself – and, at the same time, to interpret continuity in the sense of a coherent system of methods and values, is shared by the disciplines and skills brought together in the Dossier: dealing with culture, society, the city, the landscape and the environment all at once requires a multifaceted vision, an ability to read problems, but also a certain openmindedness towards opportunities, the management of complexities, control of the risks of drops in quality in service of concepts of efficiency based on numerical parameters and the standardisation of languages.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">A comparison of the various contributions and perspectives throws up a picture in which the importance of relationships, the search for what Eiffell defined «the secret laws of harmony», the disciplinary specificity of design as the ability to relate in order to «understand, criticise, transform» (Gregotti, 1981), the ability to distinguish that which is different by involving it in the transformation of design, all represent the foundations for the evolution of heteronomous disciplines in how they move beyond the notions of technique and context as passive referents which generate possibilities in line with the Rogersian reflection on pre-existing environmental elements as historical conditions for reference, critically taken on as determinants.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Hence the validity of a “polytechnic” cultural approach that is not only capable of deploying tools and skills which can deal with the operating conditions to be found in a heteronomous context, but also of stimulating critical approaches oriented towards innovation and managing change with the perspective of a project as an opportunity – in the words of Franco Albini – for «experimentation and verification in relation to the progression of construction techniques, tools for investigation, knowledge in the various fields and in relation to the shifts in contemporary culture» (Albini, 1968).</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The need for a sense of humanism is strongly linked to the reintroduction of the concept of “beauty”, in its modern meaning, under which it shifts from a subjective value to a universal one. Hence the importance of the dialogue with disciplines that identify with the polytechnic mould – that is, one which has always been deeply attentive to the relationship between theory and practice, to the design of architecture as an action that is at once intellectual and technical.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">As such, starting from the assumption that «no theory can be pursued without hitting a wall that only practice can penetrate» (Deleuze and Foucault 1972; Deleuze, 2002; Foucault, 1977; Deleuze, 2007), it is now essential to promote the professional profiles of artists, musicians, philosophers, humanistic architects and so on who are capable of managing design as a synthesis of external factors, but also as an internal dialectic, as well as skills capable of creating culture understood as technical knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Sometimes, faced with the difficulty of discerning an identity for disciplines, we attempt to draw a boundary that allows us to better understand their meaning and content. However, going on the points of view that have emerged in the Dossier, it seems more important than ever to «work on the boundaries of each field of knowledge», drawing upon a concept expressed by Salvatore Veca (Veca, 1979), making communication between fields a central value, interpreting relationships and connections, identifying the relational perspective as a fundamental aspect of the creative act.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The position of architecture as an “art at the edge of the arts”<sup>1</sup>, as so often posited by Renzo Piano, allows for a reflection on its identity by placing it in a position that centralises rather than marginalises it. A concept of “edge” that touches upon the sociological viewpoint that distinguishes the “finite limit” (boundary) from the “area of interaction” (border) (Sennet, 2011; Sennet, 2018), in which the transformational yet constructive contact with the entities necessary for its realisation takes place. The heteronomy of architecture coincides with its “universality”, a concept that Alberto Campo Baeza (Campo Baeza, 2018) believes to represent the identity of architecture itself. Indeed, its dependence upon human life, the development of society, of its cultural growth, derives from a single and inalienable factor: its heteronomy, the necessary condition for a process as artistic as it is technical, tasked with expressing the values of a community over time and representing the “beautiful”</span> <span class="s2">rather than the “new”.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">A design practice based on – to borrow some concepts already expressed years ago by Edgar Morin – “contaminations that are necessary as well as possible”, on the contribution of “knowledge as an open system”, but above all, one aimed at working “against the continuities incapable of grasping the dynamics of change” (Morin, 1974), thus becomes an opportunity to develop a theory on the identity of the discipline itself, striking a balance between the technical and poetic spheres, but necessarily materialising in the finished work, lending substance to the «webs of intricate relationships that seek form» (Italo Calvino).</span></p> 2021-05-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Pilar Vettori, Ingrid Paoletti Architecture between heteronomy and self-generation 2021-07-06T13:16:33+00:00 Luigi Alini <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Introduction</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">«</span><span class="s2">I have never worked in the technocratic exaltation, solving a constructive problem and that’s it. I’ve always tried to interpret the space of human life</span><span class="s3">»</span><span class="s2"> (Vittorio Garatti).</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Vittorio Garatti (Milan, April 6, 1927) is certainly one of the last witnesses of one “heroic” season of Italian architecture. In 1957 he graduated in architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan with a thesis proposing the redesign of a portion of the historic centre of Milan: the area between “piazza della Scala”, “via Broletto”, “via Filodrammatici” and the gardens of the former Olivetti building in via Clerici. These are the years in which Ernesto Nathan Rogers established himself as one of the main personalities of Milanese culture. Garatti endorses the criticism expressed by Rogers to the approval of the Rationalist “language” in favour of an architecture that recovers the implications of the place and of material culture. The social responsibility of architecture and connections between architecture and other forms of artistic expression are the invariants of all the activity of the architect, artist and graphic designer of Garatti. It will be Ernesto Nathan Rogers who will offer him the possibility of experiencing these “contaminations” early: in 1954, together with Giuliano Cesari, Raffaella Crespi, Giampiero Pallavicini and Ferruccio Rezzonico, he designs the preparation of the exhibition on musical instruments at the 10th Milan Triennale. The temporary installations will be a privileged area in which Garatti will continue to experiment and integrate the qualities of artist, graphic designer and architect with each other. Significant examples of this approach are the Art Schools in Cuba 1961-63, the residential complex of Cusano Milanino in 1973, the Attico Cosimo del Fante in 1980, the fittings for the Bubasty shops in 1984, the Camogli residence in 1986, his house atelier in Brera in 1988 and the interiors of the Hotel Gallia in 1989. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">True architecture generates itself</span><span class="s2"><sup>1</sup>: an approach that was consolidated over the years of collaboration with Raúl Villanueva in Venezuela and is fulfilled in Cuba in the project of the Art Schools, where Garatti makes use of a plurality of tools that cannot be rigidly confined to the world of architecture.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">In 1957, in Caracas, he came into contact with Ricardo Porro and Roberto Gottardi. Ricardo Porro, who returned to Cuba in 1960, will be the one to involve Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi in the Escuelas Nacional de Arte project.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The three young architects will be the protagonists of a happy season of the architecture of the Revolution, they will be crossed by that “revolutionary” energy that Ricardo Porro has defined as “magical realism”.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">As Garatti recalls: it was a special moment. We designed the Schools using a method developed in Venezuela. We started from an analysis of the context, understood not only as physical reality. We studied Cuban poets and painters. Wifredo Lam was a great reference. For example, Lezama Lima’s work is clearly recalled in the plan of the School of Ballet. We were pervaded by the spirit of the revolution.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The contamination between knowledge and disciplines, the belief that architecture is a “parasitic” discipline are some of the themes at the centre of the conversation that follows, from which a working method that recognizes architecture as a “social transformation” task emerges, more precisely an art with a social purpose. Garatti often cites Porro’s definition of architecture: architecture is the poetic frame within which human life takes place. To Garatti architecture is a self-generating process, and as such it cannot find fulfilment within its disciplinary specificity: the disciplinary autonomy is a contradiction in terms. Architecture cannot be self-referencing, it generates itself precisely because it finds the sense of its social responsibility outside of itself. No concession to trends, to self-referencing, to the “objectification of architecture”, to its spectacularization. Garatti as Eupalino Valery shuns “mute architectures” and instead prefers singing architectures.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">A Dialogue of Luigi Alini with Vittorio Garatti</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Luigi Alini.</span> <span class="s2">Let’s start with some personal data. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">Vittorio Garatti.</span><span class="s2"> I was born in Milan on April 6, 1927.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">My friend Emilio Vedova told me that life could be considered as a sequence of encounters with people, places and facts. My sculptor grandfather played an important role in my life. I inherited the ability to perceive the dimensional quality of space, its plasticity, spatial vision from him.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. Your youth training took place in a dramatic phase of history of our country. Living in Milan during the war years must not have been easy. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">In October 1942 in Milan there was one of the most tragic bombings that the city has suffered. A bomb exploded in front of the Brera Academy, where the Dalmine offices were located. With a group of boys we went to the rooftops. We saw the city from above, with the roofs partially destroyed. I still carry this image inside me, it is part of that museum of memory that Luciano Semerani often talks about. This image probably resurfaced when I designed the ballet school. The idea of a promenade on the roofs to observe the landscape came from this. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. You joined the Faculty of Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic in May 1946-47.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">Milan and Italy were like in those years. The impact with the University was not positive, I was disappointed with the quality of the studies.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. You have had an intense relationship with the artists who gravitate around Brera, which you have always considered very important for your training.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">In 1948 I met Ilio Negri, a graphic designer. Also at Brera there was a group of artists (Morlotti, Chighine, Dova, Crippa) who frequented the Caffè Brera, known as “Bar della Titta”. Thanks to these visits I had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">As you know, I maintain that there are life’s appointments and lightning strikes. The release of Dada magazine provided real enlightenment for me: I discovered the work of Kurt Schwitters, Theo Van Doesburg, the value of the image and three-dimensionality. </span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. You collaborated on several projects with Ilio Negri.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">In 1955 we created the graphics of the Lagostina brand, which was then also used for the preparation of the exhibition at the “Fiera Campionaria” in Milan.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">We also worked together for the Lerici steel industry. There was an extraordinary interaction with Ilio.</span></p> <p class="p3">L.A. The cultural influence of Ernesto Nathan Rogers was strong in the years you studied at the Milan Polytechnic. He influenced the cultural debate by establishing himself as one of the main personalities of the Milanese architectural scene through the activity of the BBPR studio but even more so through the direction of Domus (from ‘46 to ‘47) and Casabella Continuità (from ‘53 to ‘65).</p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">When I enrolled at the university he was not yet a full professor and he was very opposed. As you know, he coined the phrase: God created the architect, the devil created the colleague. In some ways it is a phrase that makes me rethink the words of Ernesto Che Guevara: beware of bureaucrats, because they can delay a revolution for 50 years.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Rogers was the man of culture and the old “bureaucratic” apparatus feared that his entry into the University would sanction the end of their “domain”.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. In 1954, together with Giuliano Cesari, Raffella Crespi, Giampiero Pallavicini and Ferruccio Rezzonico, all graduating students of the Milan Polytechnic, you designed the staging of the exhibition on musical instruments at the 10th Milan Triennale. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">The project for the Exhibition of Musical Instruments at the Milan Triennale was commissioned by Rogers, with whom I subsequently collaborated for the preparation of the graphic part of the Castello Sforzesco Museum, together with Ilio Negri.&nbsp;We were given a very small budget for this project. We decided to prepare a sequence of horizontal planes hanging in a void. These tops also acted as spacers, preventing people from touching the tools. Among those exhibited there were some very valuable ones. We designed slender structures to be covered with rice paper. The solution pleased Rogers very much, who underlined the dialogue that was generated between the exhibited object and the display system.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. You graduated on March 14, 1957.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">The project theme that I developed for the thesis was the reconstruction of Piazza della Scala. While all the other classmates were doing “lecorbusierani” projects without paying much attention to the context, for my part I worked trying to have a vision of the city. I tried to bring out the specificities of that place with a vision that Ernesto Nathan Rogers had brought me to. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">I then found this vision of the city in the work of Giuseppe De Finetti. I tried to re-propose a vision of space and its “atmospheres”, a theme that Alberto Savinio also refers to in Listen to your heart city, from 1944.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. How was your work received by the thesis commission? </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">It was judged too “formal” by Emiliano Gandolfi, but Piero Portaluppi did not express himself positively either. The project did not please. Also consider the cultural climate of the University of those years, everyone followed the international style of the CIAM.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">I was not very satisfied with the evaluation expressed by the commissioners, they said that the project was “Piranesian”, too baroque. The critique of culture rationalist was not appreciated. Only at IUAV was there any great cultural ferment thanks to Bruno Zevi. </span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. After graduation, you left for Venezuela.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">With my wife Wanda, in 1957 I joined my parents in Caracas. In Venezuela I got in touch with Paolo Gasparini, an extraordinary Italian photographer, Ricardo Porro and Roberto Gottardi, who came from Venice and had worked in Ernesto Nathan Rogers’ studio in Milan. Ricardo Porro worked in the office of Carlos Raúl Villanueva. The Cuban writer and literary critic Alejo Carpentier also lived in Caracas at that time.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. Carlos Raul Villanueva was one of the protagonists of Venezuelan architecture. His critical position in relation to the Modern Movement and the belief that it was necessary to find an “adaptation” to the specificities of local traditions, the characteristics of the places and the Venezuelan environment, I believe, marked your subsequent Cuban experience with the creative recovery of some elements of traditional architecture such as the portico, the patio, but also the use of traditional materials and technologies that you have masterfully reinterpreted. I think we can also add to these “themes” the connections between architecture and plastic arts. You also become a professor of Architectural Design at the Escuela de Arquitectura of the Central University of Caracas.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">On this academic experience I will tell you a statement by Porro that struck me very much: The important thing was not what I knew, I did not have sufficient knowledge and experience. What I could pass on to the students was above all a passion. In two years of teaching I was able to deepen, understand things better and understand how to pass them on to students. The Faculty of Architecture had recently been established and this I believe contributed to fuel the great enthusiasm that emerges from the words by Porro. Porro favoured mine and Gottardi’s entry as teachers. Keep in mind that in those years Villanueva was one of the most influential Venezuelan intellectuals and had played a leading role in the transformation of the University. Villanueva was very attentive to the involvement of art in architecture, just think of the magnificent project for the Universidad Central in Caracas, where he worked together with artists such as the sculptor Calder. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">I had recently graduated and found myself catapulted into academic activity. It was a strange feeling for a young architect who graduated with a minimum grade. At the University I was entrusted with the Architectural Design course. The relationships with the context, the recovery of some elements of tradition were at the centre of the interests developed with the students. Among these students I got to know the one who in the future became my chosen “brother”: Sergio Baroni. Together we designed all the services for the 23rd district that Carlos Raúl Villanueva had planned to solve the </span><span class="s3">favelas</span><span class="s2"> problem. In these years of Venezuelan frequentation, Porro also opened the doors of Cuba to me. Through Porro I got to know the work of Josè Martì, who claimed: </span><span class="s3">cult para eser libre</span><span class="s2">. I also approached the work of Josè Lezama Lima, in my opinion one of the most interesting Cuban intellectuals, and the painting of Wilfredo Lam.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. In December 1959 the Revolution triumphed in Cuba. Ricardo Porro returned to Cuba in August 1960. You and Gottardi would join him in December and begin teaching at the Facultad de Arcuitectura.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Your contribution to the training of young students took place in a moment of radical cultural change within which the task of designing the Schools was also inserted: the “new” architecture had to give concrete answers but also give “shape” to a new model of society.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">After the triumph of the Revolution, acts of terrorism began. At that time in the morning, I checked that they hadn’t placed a bomb under my car.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Eisenhower was preparing the invasion. Life published an article on preparing for the invasion of the counterrevolutionary brigades. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">With Eisenhower dead, Kennedy activated the programme by imposing one condition: in conjunction with the invasion, the Cuban people would have to rise up. Shortly before the attempted invasion, the emigration, deemed temporary, of doctors, architects, university teachers etc. began. They were all convinced they would return to “liberated Cuba” a few weeks later. Their motto was: it is impossible for Americans to accept the triumph of the rebel army. As is well known, the Cuban people did not rise up. The revolutionary process continued and had no more obstacles.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The fact that the bourgeois class and almost all the professionals had left Cuba put the country in a state of extreme weakness.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The sensation was of great transformation taking place, it was evident. In that “revolutionary” push there was nothing celebratory. All available energies were invested in the culture. There were extraordinary initiatives, from the literacy campaign to the founding of international schools of medicine and of cinema. In Cuba it was decided to close schools for a year and to entrust elementary school children with the task of travelling around the country and teaching illiterate adults. In the morning they worked in the fields and in the evening they taught the peasants to read and write. In order to try to block this project, the counter-revolutionaries killed two children in an attempt to scare the population and the families of the literate children. There was a wave of popular indignation and the programme continued.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. Ricardo Porro was commissioned to design the Art Schools. Roberto Gottardi recalls that: «the wife of the Minister of Public Works, Selma Diaz, asked Porro to build the national art schools. The architecture had to be completely new and the schools, in Fidel’s words, the most beautiful in the world. All accomplished in six months. Take it or leave it! </span><span class="s4">[...] </span><span class="s2">it was days of rage and enthusiasm in which all areas of public life was run by an agile and imaginative spirit of warfare»</span><span class="s4"><sup>2</sup></span><span class="s2">. You too remembered several times that: that architecture was born from a life experience, it incorporated enthusiasm for life and optimism for the future.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">The idea that generated them was to foster the cultural encounter between Africa, Asia and Latin America. A “place” for meeting and exchanging. A place where artists from all over the third world could interact freely. The realisation of the Schools was like receiving a “war assignment”. Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara selected the Country Club as the place to build a large training centre for all of Latin America. They understood that it was important to foster the Latin American union, a theme that Simón Bolivar had previously wanted to pursue. Il Ché and Fidel, returning from the Country Club, along the road leading to the centre of Havana, met Selma Diaz, architect and wife of Osmany Cienfuegos, the Cuban Construction Minister.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara entrusted Selma Diaz with the task of designing this centre. She replied: I had just graduated, how could I deal with it? Then she adds: Riccardo Porro returned to Cuba with two Italian architects. Just think, three young architects without much experience catapulted into an assignment of this size. The choice of the place where to build the schools was a happy intuition of Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. How did the confrontation develop?</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">We had total freedom, but we had to respond to a functional programme defined with the heads of the schools. Five directors were appointed, one for each school. We initially thought of a citadel. A proposal that did not find acceptance among the Directors, who suggest thinking of five autonomous schools. We therefore decide to place the schools on the edge of the large park and to reuse all the pre-existing buildings. We imagined schools as “stations” to cross. The aim was to promote integration with the environment in which they were “immersed”. Schools are not closed spaces. We established, for example, that there would be no doors: when “everything was ours” there could not be a public and a private space, only the living space existed.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. Ricardo Porro recalled: I organised our study in the chapel of the former residence of the Serrà family in Vadado. It was a wonderful place [...]. A series of young people from the school of architecture came to help us […]. Working in that atmosphere, all night and all day was a poetic </span><span class="s4">experience (Loomis , 1999).</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">We felt like Renaissance architects. We walked around the park and discussed where to locate the schools. Imagine three young people discussing with total, unthinkable freedom.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s5">We decided that each of us would deal with one or more schools, within a global vision that was born from the comparison. I chose the Ballet School. Ivan Espin had to design the music school but in the end I did it because Ivan had health problems. Porro decided to take care of the School of Plastic Arts to support his nature as a sculptor. Gottardi had problems with the actors and directors, who could not produce a shared functional programme, which with the dancers was quite simple to produce. The reasons that led us to choose the different project themes were very simple and uncomplicated, as were those for identifying the areas. I liked hidden lands, I was interested in developing a building “embedded” in the ground. Ricardo, on the other hand, chose a hill on which arrange the school of Modern Art. Each of us chose the site almost instinctively. For the Classical Dance School, the functional programme that was provided to me was very meagre: a library, a deanery, an infirmary, three ballet classrooms, theoretical classrooms and one of choreography.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">We went&nbsp;to see the dancers while they were training and dancing with Porro. The perception was immediate that we had to think of concave and convex spaces that would welcome their movements in space. For a more organic integration with the landscape and to accommodate the orography of the area, we also decided to place the buildings in a “peripheral” position with respect to the park, a choice that allowed us not to alter the nature of the park too much but also to limit the distances to be covered from schools to homes. Selma Diaz added others to the first indications: remember that we have no iron, we have little of everything, but we have many bricks. These were the indications that came to us from the Ministry of Construction. We were also asked to design some large spaces, such as gyms. Consequently, we found ourselves faced with the need to cover large spans without being able to resort to an extensive use of reinforced concrete or wood.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. How was the comparison between you designers?</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">The exchange of ideas was constant, the experiences flowed naturally from one work group to another, but each operated in total autonomy. Each design group had 5-6 students in it. In my case I was lucky enough to have Josè Mosquera among my collaborators, a brilliant modest student, a true revolutionary.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The offices where we worked on the project were organised in the Club, which became our “headquarters”. We worked all night and in the morning we went to the construction site.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">For the solution of logistical problems and the management of the building site of the Ballet School, I was entrusted with an extraordinary bricklayer, a Maestro de Obra named Bacallao. During one of the meetings that took place daily at the construction site, Bacallao told me that in Batista’s time the architects arrived in the morning at the workplace all dressed in white and, keeping away from the construction site to avoid getting dusty, they transferred orders on what to do. In this description by we marvelled at the fact that we were in the construction site together with him to face and discuss how to solve the different problems.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">In this construction site the carpenters did an extraordinary job, they had considerable experience. Bacallao was fantastic, he could read the drawings and he managed the construction site in an impeccable way. We faced and solved problems and needs that the yard inevitably posed on a daily basis. One morning, for example, arriving at the construction site, I realised the impact that the building would have as a result of its total mono-materiality. I was “scared” by this effect. My eye fell on an old bathtub, inside which there were pieces of 10x10 tiles, then I said to Bacallao: we will cover the wedges between the ribs of the bovedas covering the Ballet and Choreography Theatre classrooms with the tiles. The yard also lived on decisions made directly on site.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Also keep in mind that the mason teams assigned to each construction site were independent. However the experience between the groups of masons engaged in the different activities circulated, flowed. There was a constant confrontation. For the workers the involvement was total, they were building for their children. A worker who told me: I’m building the school where my son will come to study. Ricardo Porro was responsible for the whole project, he was a very cultured man.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">In the start-up phase of the project he took us to Trinidad, the old Spanish capital. He wanted to show us the roots of Cuban architectural culture. On this journey I was struck by the solution of fan windows, by the use of verandas, all passive devices which were entrusted with the control and optimisation of the comfort of the rooms.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Porro accompanied us to those places precisely because he wanted to put the value of tradition at the centre of the discussion, he immersed us in colonial culture.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. It is to that “mechanism” of self-generation of the project that you have referred to on several occasions?</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">Yes, just that. When I design, I certainly draw from that stratified “grammar of memory”, to quote Luciano Semerani, which lives within me. The project generates itself, is born and then begins to live a life of its own. A writer traces the profile and character of his characters, who gradually come to life with a life of their own. In the same way the creative process in architecture is self-generated.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. Some problems were solved directly on site, dialoguing with the workers.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">He went just like that. Many decisions were made on site as construction progressed. Design and construction proceeded contextually. The dialogue with the workers was fundamental.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The creative act was self-generated and lived a life of its own, we did nothing but “accompany” a process. The construction site had a speed of execution that required the same planning speed. In the evening we worked to solve problems that the construction site posed. The drawings “aged” rapidly with respect to the speed of decisions and the progress of the work. The incredible thing about this experience is that three architects with different backgrounds come to a “unitary” project. All this was possible because we used the same materials, the same construction technique, but even more so because there was a similar interpretation of the place and its possibilities.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. The project of the Music School also included the construction of 96 cubicles, individual study rooms, a theatre for symphonic music and one for chamber music and Italian opera. You “articulated” the 96 cubicles along a 360-metre-long path that unfolds in the landscape providing a “dynamic” view to those who cross it. A choice consistent with the vision of the School as an open place integrated with the environment.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">The “Gusano” is a volume that follows the orography of the terrain. It was a common sense choice. By following the level lines I avoided digging and of course I quickly realized what was needed by distributing the volumes horizontally.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Disarticulation allows the changing vision of the landscape, which changes continuously according to the movement of the user. The movements do not take place along an axis, they follow a sinuous route, a connecting path between trees and nature. The cubicles lined up along the Gusano are individual study rooms above which there are the collective test rooms. On the back of the Gusano, in the highest part of the land, I placed the theatre for symphonic music, the one for chamber music, the library, the conference rooms, the choir and administration.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. In 1962 the construction site stopped.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">In 1962 Cuba fell into a serious political and economic crisis, which is what caused the slowdown and then the abandonment of the school site. Cuba was at “war” and the country’s resources were directed towards other needs. In this affair, the architect Quintana, one of the most powerful officials in Cuba, who had always expressed his opposition to the project, contributed to the decision to suspend the construction of the schools.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Here is an extract from a writing by Sergio Baroni, which I consider clarifying: </span><span class="s3"><strong>«</strong></span><span class="s2">The denial of the Art Schools represented the consolidation of the new Cuban technocratic regime. The designers were accused of aristocracy and individualism and the rest of the technicians who collaborated on the project were transferred to other positions by the Ministry of Construction [...]. It was a serious mistake which one realises now, when it became evident that, with the Schools, a process of renewal of Cuban architecture was interrupted, which, with difficulty, had advanced from the years preceding the revolution and which they had extraordinarily accelerated and anchored to the new social project. On the other hand, and understandably, the adoption of easy pseudo-rationalist procedures prevailed to deal with the enormous demand for projects and constructions with the minimum of resources» (Baroni 1992).</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. You also experienced dramatic moments in Cuba. I’m referring in particular to the insane accusation of being a CIA spy and your arrest.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">I wasn’t the only one arrested. The first was Jean Pierre Garnier, who remained in prison for seven days on charges of espionage. This was not a crazy accusation but one of the CIA’s plans to scare foreign technicians into leaving Cuba. Six months after Garnier, it was Heberto Padilla’s turn, an intellectual, who remained in prison for 15 days. After 6 months, it was my turn. I was arrested while leaving the Ministry of Construction, inside the bag I had the plans of the port. I told Corrieri, Baroni and Wanda not to notify the Italian Embassy, everything would be cleared up.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">L.A. Dear Vittorio, I thank you for the willingness and generosity with which you shared your human and professional experience.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">I am sure that many young students will find your “story” of great interest.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s3">V.G. </span><span class="s2">At the end of our dialogue, I would like to remember my teacher: Ernesto Nathan Rogers. I’ll tell you an anecdote: in 1956 I was working on the graphics for the Castello Sforzesco Museum set up by the BBPR. Leaving the museum with Rogers, in the Rocchetta courtyard the master stopped and gives me a questioning look. Looking at the Filarete tower, he told me: we have the task of designing a skyscraper in the centre. Usually skyscrapers going up they shrink. Instead this tower has a protruding crown, maybe we too could finish our skyscraper so what do you think? I replied: beautiful! Later I thought that what Rogers evoked was a distinctive feature of our city. The characters of the cities and the masters who have consolidated them are to be respected. If there is no awareness of dialectical continuity, the city loses and gets lost. It is necessary to reconstruct the figure of the architect artist who has full awareness of his role in society.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The work of architecture cannot be the result of a pure stylistic and functional choice, it must be the result of a method that takes various and multiple factors into analysis. In Cuba, for example, the musical tradition, the painting of Wilfredo Lam, whose pictorial lines are recognisable in the floor plan of the Ballet School, the literature of Lezama Lima and Alejo Carpentier and above all the Cuban Revolution were fundamental. We theorised this “total” method together with Ricardo Porro, remembering the lecture by Ernesto Nathan Rogers.</span></p> 2021-05-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Luigi Alini Il nuovo animismo 2021-07-06T13:16:30+00:00 Emanuele Coccia <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The contemporary debate on ecology is largely influenced by the theses of the French anthropologist Philippe Descola, who in his masterpiece published in 2005 “Par-delà nature et culture” describes how different cultures relate to what the West calls nature<sup>1</sup>. Nature, in this framework, is itself a cultural element differently accessible according to the way it is thought and described. This is a very important contribution and not only for European anthropology. However, one of the theses of this book is particularly problematic: the one that leads Descola to recognize in Western culture a “naturalist” attitude, that is, objectifying the rest of non-human living beings. In the West, “nature” would be unified and defined by its very absence of soul or spirit, whereas other cultures recognize a form of subjectivity in everything that lives and for this very reason are forced to think in “nature” a “cultural” plurality that the West does not perceive. The problematic aspect of this thesis is the idea that animism, the attitude that recognizes the existence of a mind or self-consciousness even outside of humanity or a small number of animals, would be impossible or a minority in Western cultures. To this hypothesis, the one that Western culture devoid of any animist sensibility, was actually already opposed a few years before the publication of Descola’s masterpiece another great European anthropologist, Alfred Gell. At the end of the last century, Gell published a masterpiece entitled “Art and Agency. An Anthropological Theory”<sup>2</sup>, in which he described the cultural forms through which, even in Western culture, becomes possible to attribute agency to artifacts and objects and then practice a form of structural animism for our societies, even if irreflective and unconscious. First of all, there is a very common form of domestic and everyday animism, thanks to which we attribute personality to things: this is the case of children and their relationship with dolls and soft toys, but also of adults, every time they are surprised to talk to a car or a computer. It is, however, an ironic and metastable attitude: in this kind of behavior, often the dominant attitude is that of as if, of play, of fiction, which means that the human subject who, for example, talks to objects or places himself in front of them as if he were in front of another subject, can regularly enter and leave this kind of posture. The attribution of subjectivity is not an act that obliges us to some consequence and has no temporal continuity.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Yet there is another form of animism, deeper and more deeply rooted, in which the recognition of the subjective character of objects is neither ironic nor unstable: this is art. In Western society there is a sphere in which we are all unconsciously but invariably animists: we actually call art that cultural space in which we relate to objects as if they were subjects. It is enough to think of what happens in a museum: a museum, after all, is a warehouse full of old objects for which we have a sort of special veneration. Every day, in the “western” world, millions of people enter these enormous storerooms and come across more or less finished portions of linen cloth covered with layers of pigment, or structures of steel, marble, wood: yet, instead of seeing only geometric shapes of extended matter (as the cultural attitude that Descola calls naturalism would presuppose) they see the presence of a subject or a soul, they read opinions, or a vision of the world of someone who existed hundreds or thousands of years before. When we deal with an artistic artifact (but we could also say when we are in front of a book or a written page), we accept the idea that it contains a psychological, emotional, mental intensity that is present regardless of the non-anatomical nature of the material in which it insists. That is to say, in front of artistic objects we are all animists.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">We don’t even need to go into museums to be one. We are animist even before we open our front door. The British anthropologist who founded material anthropology, Daniel Miller, published a very nice book a few years ago about the way we accumulate things at home, called “The Comfort of Things”<sup>3</sup>. He looked at some thirty apartments on one street in London and described the different ways people use objects to furnish their homes. Miller considers that this form of choices is a kind of small personal cosmology: deciding what to keep at home and what to throw away is not just an aesthetic or economic decision, it is a cosmological decision, because it involves trying to reconstruct the world differently. And vice versa, everything in the house seems to exude the personality of those who live there: things take on the same status as their subjects. From this point of view, houses are vernacular spaces of animism: places where matter is always imbued with soul and subjectivity. Home is that space in which we are used to relating to everything objective as if it were the presence of something subjective<sup>4</sup>. Once again, we are animists, without needing to be conscious of it.</span></p> <p class="p3">Art, design and architecture are, in this sense, immense archives and repositories of collective animism that educate us to see subjects where anyone else sees only objects; they accustom us to confer agentivity on any portion of matter, to relate to the world as if it were populated by souls different from our own. In the gaze of these three forms of knowledge, matter is endowed with a spiritual life that is the same as that which allows us to be conscious, sentient and self-reflective. This is why the ecological problem must be transformed into an aesthetic problem. A great Australian eco-feminist who lived in the last century, Val Plumwood, had identified the main reason for the ecological crisis with the absence of animism or “panpsychism” in Western culture: it is because we are unable to recognize the subjectivity of plants, animals and bacteria that we are guilty of genocide on a planetary scale<sup>5</sup>. The solution, according to Plumvood, would be to disperse the creativity and agentivity, that theology has attributed only to God and his copy – the human species – to all the inhabitants of the earth, allowing to consider evolution itself as «the proof of the existence of a mind present in nature, of the intelligence that implies the elaboration and differentiation of species». It would therefore be a matter of extending to nature the supplementary animism with which art, architecture and design require ourselves to relate to our own artifacts.</p> <p class="p3">Yet the analysis of these unconscious forms of animism or “european” panpsychism does not end here. In fact, in these cases we are dealing with positions that allow us to relate socially to matter as if it were endowed with agentivity and subjectivity, without constructing a real ontology. But there are other examples, more radical, in which, even if unconsciously, a form of ontological animism has been achieved. Bruno Latour had suggested some years ago that even science is an immense reservoir of unconscious animism. Applying to scientific laboratories the method that ethnography of the last century applied to non-European societies without writing, Latour realized that science, precisely where it keeps repeating that there is an ontological divide between subjects and objects, never stops transgressing this division. Scientists cannot help but relate to machines and matter as if they were subjects: they attribute to them the ability to act but also the ability to speak. We do the same every time we think that the thermometer “tells us” our temperature. Thus, Pasteur’s great revolution was more political than purely ontological: it was more a question of recognizing the political agentiveness of microbes than of discovering their mere existence. Science does not cease to <span class="s3">ontologically </span>constitute its objects into subjects, even if it claims exactly the opposite. More generally, if European modernity affirms a fundamental metaphysical division (a constitution in Latour’s words) between subjects and objects, it does not cease to confuse the two categories and make objects live in the manner of subjects. In some way we have always been animists<sup>6</sup>. That is, we should stop linking the animist attitude to a specific culture or era: it is a universal attitude that is proper to any living being.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Latour’s insight is however important for another reason. If science always does the opposite of what it says, that is, if, while claiming to relate to what it studies as objects, it actually treats them as if they were subjects, then we must read any scientific paper as if it were a huge exercise in ethnography of the non-human. Whether it be botany or zoology, virology or electronics, computer science or physics, everything we have grouped under the somewhat claudicant rubric of natural science is nothing but an investigation of the behavior of subjects who do not share our form. Often, exactly like the anthropologists of the last century, we have pretended to derive universal rules from their behavior; yet beyond the conclusions, we should grasp in this literature only an exercise of falsetto in which ethnography does its best not to appear as such, but a sort of ventriloquism of the non-human by interposed person.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">And it is through this point of observation that the world becomes animated: there is no need to penetrate further into the matter of this world, there is no need to add discoveries to what we know, there is no need, above all, to deny inanely a culture in order to invoke in a simplistic way the conversion to another culture. It is enough to observe differently the knowledge that surrounds us and grasp in them their own reality: the knowledge that surrounds us will also become deposits of animism that will allow us to recognize the presence of subjects where we used to see only objects.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> 2021-05-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Emanuele Coccia Edoardo Tresoldi and the heteronomy of architecture 2021-07-06T13:16:28+00:00 Edoardo Tresoldi <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The Heteronomy of architecture «is understood as the condition to be pursued if one sets one’s goal of producing buildings that belong to one’s own time, to the complex interweaving of values and needs that characterise it, to the place where they arise»<sup>1</sup>.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Heteronomy in architecture allows us to break the boundaries still linked to the concept of the now obsolete scientific sector. The breaking of these boundaries makes a trans-disciplinary contribution possible and consequently leads us to having a transversal vision. One of the people who recently successfully pursued the road of the Heteronomy of architecture and art through a borderline path is Edoardo Tresoldi, an Italian sculptor who «investigates the poetics of the dialogue between man and landscape using architectural language as an expressive tool and key to reading space». The artist plays with the transparency of the metal mesh to transcend the space-time dimension and narrate a dialogue between Art and World, a visual synthesis that reveals itself in the fading of the physical limits of his works<sup>2</sup>.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Five themes were taken into consideration to address the issue of the heteronomy of architecture with the Sculptor Tresoldi. The first one concerns the PLACE, because architecture, as materially utilitarian, is completely conditioned by the material and immaterial context of which it is part. Tresoldi’s works, in the sense of public art, are to be considered the expression of a heteronomous discipline. In fact, his work is strongly linked to this concept already in the initial choice of material and in the desire to express transparency by encountering paths, languages and transversal dialogues between the elements of the work and those of the landscape. «Inserting an element within a context builds relationships and intertwining dynamics that dialogue in a game of cross-references. The physical elements reconnect us to the archetypes we have built in our experiential journey and then become cultural. The moment we see a tree, for example, the relationship between us and the tree is the one we have built by coming into contact with trees in our lives. Automatically the tree, as well as a house, the sky or other basic elements is already an experience that determines a sort of automatism in relating to that or any other element already experienced. Then there are other elements that are part of our cultural heritage, which preserve and hold within themselves different languages».</span></p> <p class="p3">Working with archaeology, Tresoldi associated the sacredness of the classical language with the transparency and elements of the landscape, constructing images, languages and narratives of the surrounding space. For the sculptor, the Lombardy farmsteads have had an important relevance in the development of his sensitivity to the landscape. Places that at a young age escaped from his everyday life, the abandoned farmhouses are ruins full of poetry characterized by a dimension of transience today. They are the places that inspire the artist because it is here that anyone can go and allow themselves a moment of suspension with themselves and with the place.</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The second theme tackled is the PROJECT, understood as an action of prefiguration, of casting ahead, beyond cultural, social and historical influences. According to Tresoldi, an author can be compared to an organism that absorbs certain concepts, lives them and finally releases them through the creative act. When the artist finds himself creating a work, he prefers to go to the place to try to intercept the dynamics of the place in which he can find himself and express himself. When he connects with a place and sees the key to intercept certain elements, he lives this process in a partially selfish way, while in the phase of elaboration of the installation the artist expresses himself through recognizable languages common to all. From here the goal is to intercept and work with simple archetypes that make his works as direct as possible: «the process is similar to that of composing a love song that, most of the time, is written by the author in a specific moment lived with a specific person. In that case, the experience is extremely personal but the moment it is told, it becomes a choral experience».</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">A project is therefore nothing more than a work that can build, transcend, or transport from an intimate experience to a collective one. The sculptor also argues that as human beings we construct our knowledge based on personal experiences and we learn about hate, love or a range of feelings often through the same experiences. «Even just talking as human beings we possess a common alphabet that allows us to structure a series of collective experiences. All of this is the synthesis that allows us to connect deeply with what is around us».</span></p> <p class="p3">Beginning with “Opera”, Tresoldi’s latest installation consisting of a colonnade of forty-six wire mesh elements up to eight meters high, located in Reggio Calabria, the third theme can be introduced: TIME. Tresoldi’s forty-six columns, according to the architect Maria Pilar Vettori, recall the “Danteum” project by Giuseppe Terragni and Pietro Lingeri designed in 1939 (never built) and the fresco present in “Sala del Bacio” of Bertoja, realized between 1570 and 1573, in Parma (where Terragni did his military service). Between these three works there seems to be an interweaving, a kind of mechanism of trace, of memory, as if there is a kind continuity in the creative process influenced by the times and by innovation. On this proposal of continuity Tresoldi argues that when an artist no longer works for references, but for necessity of expression, it becomes fascinating to imagine that both he and Terragni, as well as Bertoja, felt the need to use the column element and transparency to tell their essential concept linked to their own time and perception. His choice to use columns in Reggio Calabria is linked to the idea of being able to mark that area with a transparent colonnade that was an open space of crossing and that created perspective corridors both towards the sea and towards the sky: this was for Tresoldi the best way to tell the dimension of the Strait of Messina. «The use of the column as an element refers to a classical archetype and as such is recognized as a pure element for the narrative of a place, of an architectural space».</p> <p class="p3">By working with transparency, the sculptor has tried to translate his idea into the language of contemporaneity. This pure relationship with the elements is also what allows us to understand how the meanings of certain archetypes (the column, transparency) have evolved over time. Time, in Tresoldi, has made his idea of transparency change, transforming it into the concept of Absent Matter. Starting from a concept, from an instinct towards a material, one can see how his work on absence has transformed over time. Although today many people associate his work with wireframe drawings, in reality Tresoldi’s work arises from a strongly real, material, analogue action. In fact, his work is based on “sewing” the net, an act that physically would have been conceivable even in the past. However, in ‘65, for example, nobody could have connected it to the wireframe. So, his work, compared to that of Terragni and Bertoja, has also been added to the idea of virtual space constructed in the last twenty years. In addition to this, Tresoldi said that he realized that most of the time he himself does not decide the themes of a work, but they are built by instinct, then translated into a story.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>For example, when at the beginning of his career he created human figures that lived in the landscape, while building a storytelling around them, these were often defined by the newspapers as “Tresoldi’s fanstasms”. Even if the work had a concept behind it, it was often summarized with this expression. In the image of transparency, the figure of the ghost and the discourse of absence are already intrinsic. This is due, in part, to the fact that it is a visual construction derived from the cinematic world, where a transparent image was used to render the idea of ghosts. Therefore, the evolution of the visual narrative of man has led to narrate the absence through transparency. All this implies that in the moment in which codes are used, images already narrate a value, a story that can vary in time.</p> <p class="p3">Another theme, already introduced by transparency, is the one related to MATTER and to Tresoldi’s relationship with materiality, with constructability, with the body, with gravity and with the technical part that approaches the artistic one. The use of the net as an instrument is due to the desire to represent transparency by working on the tensions of the structure. The first works, as stated by the sculptor, were all drawn by hand and built starting from the roll of wire mesh, as if it were a puzzle in which the individual elements were drawn, made, cut and assembled. Over time, however, one learns to know a material and therefore to know, without scientific calculations, where problems of static tightness may arise. In this way, experience has made Tresoldi learn real know-how. However, for large projects it is necessary to interface with engineers for a specific and scientific analysis of the works. It follows that behind each work there is a process in which the artist draws the idea that will subsequently be realized by the team and where the choral action often involves a contamination of languages; a path, an ancestral experience. In this way Tresoldi decides to remain in the artistic dimension linked to the sensibility and the poetics of meeting places rather than flowing into the architectural sphere. Therefore, the building site is no longer intended as a place of work but becomes a means by which to know the place itself, implying a social responsibility linked to the presence of a community that revolves around it. In fact, the sculptor’s artistic training, coming from the world of film set design, still influences his approach characterized by a dimension of collective work in which everyone is part of a process that will be carried out by the “community”. It is precisely from the concept of community and the sculptor’s desire to make a construction site such that his desire to give life, together with YAC - Young Architects Competitions, to TRAC - Tresoldi Academy, a school where, moving from the design phase to the execution phase, a construction is built within a construction site that is a fundamental element of the experience itself, was created. In this case, the construction site is not intended only as a place of construction but as an opportunity in which the complexity of a work is perceived by noting how much what has been imagined really corresponds to reality. Theory must therefore be accompanied by practice, since if a student is given responsibility, he or she becomes an integral part of what is being built and of the project. Designing something in a given place and then building it also allows for the consolidation of “points in the place” that are part of the training experience of designing, understanding and realizing. Training also, according to Tresoldi, should not stop at designers but should concern all stakeholders in the cultural sphere. «In artistic training, the practical approach to the works and experiencing their realization at 360° is also fundamental. For this reason, the goal of TRAC is also to make young people experience all the phases of the installation. The fact that they themselves realize a work from design to production also means letting them deal with all the related needs: from business trips to finding construction services». Another goal of TRAC - Tresoldi Academy is that of a return to the rituality of the past, to the secular sacredness of certain moments lived on site linked to the love of things that, even today, are considered a foundation of both making art and making architecture. According to Tresoldi, a perfect example of training in the field concerns festivals as events capable of creating temporary dimensions and, at the same time, of putting into action an experimentation of a futuristic project. In fact, before building a permanent work, the festival allows to have an effect on the temporary not only in terms of structure but also at the level of imaginable society: «When for a week several people inhabit a place, that place becomes a city. From this point of view, festivals are a very formative experience where practice manages to have – compared to theory – a gap that is the dirt of humanity».</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The last topic discussed is WHAT’S NEXT, Tresoldi’s future projects. As he himself announced, another project to which he is dedicating himself is STUDIO STUDIO STUDIO. His team is in fact formed, to this day, by different departments – from design to management to communication – that have been formed through the realization of his artistic projects. The idea is to enlarge this structure to the works of other authors so that they can develop and realize large-scale projects in order to enter the world of public works.</span></p> 2021-05-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Edoardo Tresoldi The art of composing: between autonomy and heteronomy 2021-07-06T13:16:32+00:00 Cristina Frosini <p class="p3"><span class="s2">«Music conveys different meanings to everyone, and sometimes, it can even communicate different things at different times to the same person», Daniel Barenboim once said. This is tantamount to saying that music is influenced by the context in which it is played, whilst at the same time influencing the context of those who are listening to it. As such, music exists within a system of relationships. From this, it follows that music can be interpreted as a public art – when it is performed in front of an audience – when it is played by one or more musicians in the presence of a listener or listeners who witness the performance. This premise sparks an initial reflection: music, the most ephemeral of all the arts, excepting the work of composers (the technicians who “create” music), is born, grows, develops and dies in the moment of the performance, in which its entire existential cycle resides. And the proof of its existence can only be found in that moment of contact between the artist and their audience. That is the moment in which music exists.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The period of history that we are currently living through – the social context of the pandemic, with theatres and concert halls shuttered – has relegated the existence of music to the medium that plays it. In this specific moment, music exists only if it is “recorded” on a medium – in other words, deprived of the vital force of the act of “live” public performance, which is the very proof of its existence. Although there have always been forms and genres of music that have evolved specifically for private settings (chamber music, for example), it is nonetheless a feature of our time to give even those forms and genres a public dimension; indeed, since the 19th century, chamber music has been performed in public settings – concert halls, auditoriums, theatres. That very same private dimension that defines chamber or home concerts instead takes on a public nature: as such, we find home concerts being played as part of major festivals (think of the “Piano City” model, which has now spread worldwide), bringing the public into private homes, giving the masses a taste of a type of musical creation designed for a reserved, elegant, unique setting; a type of musical creation that requires an attentive ear, but that is no longer the preserve of the few.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">From this starting point, it becomes clear how music, in its ephemerality, is nonetheless conditioned by the historical and social context of the time in which it is played, and not only the historical context in which it is created.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Here again is the theme of creation: it is at this level that the material factors – namely the writing techniques adopted by individual composers to create their music, the music of each specific moment in history, the music of each specific geographical place – become intertwined with the cultural factors. Since the time when music transitioned from the dimension of oral transmission, as it originated, to the dimension of written transmission, the techniques of writing music have undergone a process of constant evolution by which they have ultimately created a structure within a system that has long been recognised – at least to the ear of Western listeners – as the </span><span class="s3">koiné</span><span class="s2">, the only possible musical language: the tonal system. This includes the majority of what is commonly referred to as the “classical” repertoire – the body of work studied in music schools, according to general consensus, despite the fact that it is also very much a feature of the “pop” repertoire, which is somehow perceived as an element that exists in contrast with the former. So much so that the introduction of courses of study dedicated to pop music in conservatories has truly shocked and bewildered some, as if the existence of two concepts of making music – which have always been considered distant from one another – within the same educational system were entirely inconceivable.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Art music and pop music: two opposing faces that form a double-sided mirror reflecting the ways in which music is conceived today. And yet, there are forms and genres of what we now consider to be art music – forms and genres that have been incorporated into a “classical” musical repertoire, the preserve of specific audiences in specific venues – that were once the pop of yesteryear. Because pop is not merely the “song” genre (the </span><span class="s3">canzone</span><span class="s2">, the </span><span class="s3">lieder</span><span class="s2">, the </span><span class="s3">chanson</span><span class="s2">, etc.): pop is also – as we have been reminded on many occasions, even recently – opera, for example, not because “pop” is simply short for “popular”, and the word therefore comes with an implied meaning of “common” or “simple”, but because it forms an integral part of the cultural and social fabric, both in Italy and beyond.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The same language and the same writing technique can therefore be adapted to two incredibly different ways of making music (art music and pop music); the technique is the same, yet it is used in different ways, some being more complex, others somewhat simpler; what changes is the context in which the music is made – the cultural position that we intend to attribute to the music itself.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The idea of giving music a certain cultural position has had a clear influence on public consciousness and tastes: indeed, the very fact that our idea of “art” music is defined by its origins in a repertoire tradition, built up and stratified over time, within which there is actually hidden a “pop” dimension – as defined above, with reference to the example of opera – has resulted in that specific musical model being pigeonholed into a sector, contrasting it with a broader social dimension that recognises as music what we now conceive as commercial music, “pop” music in the pejorative sense of the term, divorced from its nobler roots.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The relationship between technical and cultural factors has always marked the history of music, with the various historical periods – each with their own social context – ultimately deciding whether it is the former or the latter that prevail in the relationship between the two. Moreover, the relationship between material factors (compositional and writing technique) and immaterial factors (the cultural context of those who make and listen to music) intersects with the products of another key relationship, namely that between creativity and technique, the unique combination of which gives rise to any given piece of music. Indeed, much as is the case for the relationship between technique and culture, the relationship between creativity and technique also shifts and transforms depending on the historical period. This even holds true within the same “musical type”: just think of the technique/creativity relationship as applied to the classical repertoire and the technique/creativity relationship as applied to art music, be it classical or contemporary. Although we are in the same cultural context – what is, as a gross oversimplification, commonly considered the context to which art or classical music belongs – but the balance of power between the two factors is entirely subverted. This leads us to the conclusion that the relationship between creativity and technique does not necessarily involve an equation.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Just think of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and, in particular, his instrumental chamber music (which, as previously mentioned, we have made into a public form by inserting it into contexts with a public audience) or his symphonic music. How many times have we heard it defined as simple, melodic, catchy, pleasant? This is the general consensus; it is the social dimension of Mozart’s music that makes it a largely accessible listening experience even to the “untrained ears” of those who do not have a musical background. What lies behind this way of thinking about and considering music – specifically Mozart’s music, in this case – is an enormous misconception: the idea that music that is easy to listen to and enjoy is music written easily, or in other words, that what underpins this ease of listening is technical simplicity. Mozart’s writing absorbs into itself all its technical complexities, which are rendered imperceptible to the listener, as if disguised by the final audible product, and yet present within it: in short, Mozart did not write “simple” music. He was wholly familiar with technique, particularly instrumental technique, and thus demanded the maximum possible performance from each individual instrument in terms of sonority, timbre, colour; he did this in a new way compared to his contemporaries, ultimately producing a catalogue whose longevity and usability over time is destined to last eternally.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Let us return to the intersection between our two relationships: technique/culture and technique/creativity. Mozart wrote differently from the other composers of his time: whilst nowadays, we listen to his music without any difficulty, his contemporaries struggled to understand him and his work. In terms of technique vs. creativity, when it comes to Mozart’s output, we could be forgiven for believing that it is the creative dimension that “wins”. And yet, Mozart’s music is anything but simple: it is not the result of a spur-of-the-moment burst of creativity, but rather the result of a creative act that is the culmination of his technical mastery and deeply intimate knowledge of instruments. Staying with the technique/creativity dichotomy for a moment, let us instead consider the effect that </span><span class="s3">The Rite of Spring </span><span class="s2">had on its listeners in Paris on 29 May 1913, but let us also consider how we feel today when we listen to a piece of contemporary art music. The relationship between that very same pair of qualities seems to be subverted: the creative act seems to be transformed into a show of pure technique. So what has changed? First of all, the </span><span class="s3">koiné</span><span class="s2">, as mentioned previously, has changed: from the Short Century onwards, composers started working and continue to work not only in an effort to create new forms of art, but also to create new forms of linguistic expression. This has served to distance art music from the listener (a distancing which has only further driven a wedge between the worlds of “classical” music and “pop” music, as touched upon previously) as a result of feeling betrayed, having lost their ability to understand. It is once again the immaterial factor, as represented by the cultural context, that conditions how the public receives the work of musical art and influences whether that same musical object will exist only in the moment of its creation and first performance or whether it will stand the test of time.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Music’s relationship with time – a factor that affects the technique/culture duality, if it is indeed true that the passage of time and historical eras, with all the resultant changes, see the former of the two material and immaterial factors prevail over the latter at times, and vice versa at others, making music a heteronomous art – develops in complex directions. Time is one of the essential components of music, together with pitch, intensity and timbre: time, understood as the duration of each individual sound, within the “musical discourse”, structured into periods and phrases, organised within a system of measurement that recognises in each beat, measure or bar the set of values (notes of a specific duration) encompassed between two vertical lines placed on the stave. Time is thus understood to be one of the fundamental components of musical structure. And amongst the arts, this particular definition of time is only found in music. In much the same vein, the temporal dimension that underpins the concept of performance is unique to music (and the non-plastic arts): indeed, music only exists as public art for as long as it is being performed by a performer. To add a further layer, each performer has their own internal sense of time, their own way of experiencing and conceiving of time, which in turn affects the timing of their performance. This is what makes each performance – even of the same piece – different from the others in terms of both its total duration and the duration of each individual musical gesture made by each individual performer. Then there is the need for music – though the same can be said of architecture as well as any other form of artistic expression – to last over time. A need which, in the case of music, is satisfied on the one hand by merely overcoming the hurdle of the very first performance, following which there is X number of subsequent performances, demonstrating the longevity of a specific piece over time, thanks to performative actions repeated by different performers; on the other, by the identification and use of media which allow for the reproduction of specific performative actions, making them available to listen to </span><span class="s3">ab aeterno</span><span class="s2">, albeit with the loss of the public dimension of the music. Played back, these performances become a source of inspiration and imitation for other performers: a piece of music that stands the test of time due to being performed and played back multiple times will become part of the repertoire. The definition we are referring to here is a collection of sheets, pieces, works that time does not tarnish, but rather cements and preserves, reviving the audience’s need to listen to them again, because the audience recognises themselves in them, feels comforted and satisfied, despite acknowledging that each performance has characteristics that differ from previous ones and that will differ from subsequent ones. This demonstrates how the figure of the performer becomes part of music itself, playing a rather significant role in the redefinition of the creative process: if the piece being played is the same (i.e. written by a specific composer or group of composers), what makes each rendition unique is the co-creative action of the performer or performers.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The performer(s)’ being involved in the creation of the work does not always necessarily presume the existence of a systemic or choral logic which establishes links between the creator of the work (i.e. the composer), the performer(s) and the audience. This type of three-way relationship is possible in a context in which the three participants in the system act “simultaneously”, so to speak. In other words, whilst this was possible in Mozart’s day, when the composer himself wrote specific sheets of music earmarked for specific performers – consider, for example, his </span><span class="s3">Clarinet Concerto in A major</span><span class="s2">, K. 622, the last sheet composed by Mozart and allocated to his friend and brother Mason, an extraordinary virtuoso of the instrument, Anton Stadler – it is obviously no longer possible to achieve this today, with the same </span><span class="s3">Concerto </span><span class="s2">entrusted to a performer who not only has no way of hearing Stadler’s original performance, but also has no way of establishing a dialogue or relationship with the composer. Not to mention the public dimension of the performance, with its contemporary rituality, so far removed from that of Mozart’s era. The “circuit” of the systemic logic laid out above therefore “breaks” when the “maker” of the work eventually dies, but this ultimately lends any connection added value as compared with the context of “simultaneous” creation: for the performers, this relationship with the composer is a plus. Being able to co-create a piece by playing it in the presence of the person who composed it not only allows the performer to fully capture the essence of the written music, but also gives the composer an opportunity to determine that when performed, their work does in fact correspond to what they committed to paper. Here, the duality of technique/creativity crops up once again: creativity, which forms the foundation of the act and process of composition, is finally faced with the technical capabilities of the instrument(s), whose repositories are the performers themselves, capable of playing their part in the simultaneous creation by offering the composer guidance in terms of technical and performance-related issues, even though this may impact upon the composer’s creative freedom.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Nevertheless, the systemic-choral logic can also be applied in music coloured by other nuances of meaning, in reference to specific musical genres, be it chamber music, symphonic music, choral music, etc. These are all genres which live and die on cooperation between groups of people, interaction between peers – such as the members of a quartet, for example – or complementary interaction between performers of different “ranks” in a hierarchy, where within individual groups (the sections of an orchestra being a prime model), certain specific instrumentalists are given a primary role as compared with others. In all these cases, the co-creative action which links together composer and performer is complemented by the co-creative action that consists of multiple performers coming together to play and, in doing so, collaboratively bring to life a specific musical object.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">As the result of the composer’s primal act of creation, subsequently co-created by the performer(s), every type of music ultimately “exists” only at the moment when it encounters the audience. This encounter, this meeting, takes the form of a ritual of sorts in performance venues, theatres, concert halls and auditoriums, but it is by no means limited to these places. Music aspires to escape from those environments, as if to invade society. In other words, music is not just a public art: it is also a social art, in that it establishes relationships between artists and audiences, as well as between members of these audiences themselves; the latter phenomenon occurs not only at the moment of shared listening, but also after the fact, at the moment of reflection on what they have heard. That it is a social art, in the sense of being able to bring together different components of society, does not necessarily mean that it is an art that engages with social issues. The subjective dimension of the primordial creative act may very well derive from a wholly pure and extremely personal creative urge, an impulse, a need, entirely divorced from any kind of socio-political involvement. Music is pure art par excellence, especially instrumental music. Hence even today, it is possible to choose to make “music for music’s sake”, according to an agenda that has echoes of Parnassianism: “</span><span class="s3">l’art pour l’art</span><span class="s2">”, as famously proclaimed by Théophile Gautier, has no social, moral, educational or utilitarian purpose - rather, it is an end in itself.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">On the contemporary music scene, however, it is nonetheless true that an increasing proportion of composers are drawing their creative drive from the world around them. Social engagement has entered the world of “pop” music - it can be found in sheets of contemporary art music. It was in the 1960s that Luigi Nono brought music into workrooms and factories. Indeed, his thoughts on the matter are well known: «For me personally, making music is about having an effect on contemporary life, on the contemporary situation, on the contemporary class struggle [...]». Nowadays, it is no longer a question of the class struggle, nor do we feel a pressing need to bring contemporary music to the masses – after all, that is the purpose of “pop”. Art music interprets the reality around it by placing an emphasis on issues of gender – the theme of equal opportunities being a mainstay of contemporary music – of integration – with contemporary Western music being played on ethnic instruments, instruments from the cultures of people who have immigrated to the West, or even contemporary art music interacting with styles from other musical cultures – of the needs of young people, both performers and composers, to whom specific projects, calls and competitions are dedicated.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The musical language of contemporary society, in all its many and varied forms, allows the younger composers in particular to enjoy an expressive and creative freedom that simply has no equal in any other context or at any other time in history. Having dismantled the common </span><span class="s3">koiné</span><span class="s2">, contemporary art music – as a combinatorial art – opens up a world of multifaceted and incredibly diverse possibilities for the synthesis of technique and creativity. This does not mean leaving the composer free to create without a formal education; on the contrary, it means structuring the educational path of a student/composer in a way that allows them to discover how music can come into contact with other languages, mix with other artistic forms, go beyond its own boundaries to absorb and draw upon what contemporary culture and society can offer, in terms of inspiration, to the trained ear of the musician. In order to be a musician nowadays, it is no longer sufficient to simply have a knowledge of the more material factors, the techniques (of both composition and performance) referred to at the start of this text: the performer and the composer are at the heart of an “extended” educational system that offers them professional development that does not become apparent in the mere act of creation or performance, but instead nourishes their relationship with the world of the production, reproduction, distribution and marketing of music.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">And yet, all this is still not enough to guarantee a future for music. In order to spark a social transformation that would make music a part of people’s lives – and not simply for the pleasure of listening to it, as a soundtrack in the background of other activities, but as a discipline with the power to actually improve people’s lives, which music is, to all intents and purposes, in view of the studies demonstrating that a knowledge of it bolsters the intellectual faculties of the individual – it is necessary for music to grow in step with the individual, in the context of educational courses shared by all students, not just those who intend to enter the world of music professionally. A step in this direction has already been taken – albeit with a top-down approach, at the level of higher musical and university education – with the development of study programmes that establish links between music and the scientific disciplines (for example, the agreement between the Milan Conservatory and the Politecnico di Milano) as well as the humanities (for example, the agreement between the Milan Conservatory and the University of Milan). The future of music lies in its ability to resume its central position in the world of higher education. Indeed, this role had been attributed to it since the Middle Ages: a fundamental aspect of higher education, music took pride of place amongst the liberal arts, a part of the </span><span class="s3">Quadrivium </span><span class="s2">together with arithmetic, geometry and astronomy, and alongside grammar, rhetoric and dialectic in the </span><span class="s3">Trivium</span><span class="s2">.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Heteronomy is therefore a consubstantial characteristic of music from and throughout every age, and is now pushing it towards a more free, open and constant dialogue with other disciplines than some other arts manage, especially in its relationship with new technologies, ultimately with a view to creating brand-new professional profiles.</span></p> 2021-05-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Cristina Frosini Cinema as a form of composition 2021-07-06T13:16:31+00:00 Michele Guerra <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Technique and creativity</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Having been called upon to provide a contribution to a publication dedicated to “Techne”, I feel it is fitting to start from the theme of technique, given that for too many years now, we have fruitlessly attempted to understand the inner workings of cinema whilst disregarding the element of technique. And this has posed a significant problem in our field of study, as it would be impossible to gain a true understanding of what cinema is without immersing ourselves in the technical and industrial culture of the 19th century. It was within this culture that a desire was born: to mould the imaginary through the new techniques of reproduction and transfiguration of reality through images. Studying the development of the so-called “pre-cinema” – i.e. the period up to the conventional birth of cinema on 28 December 1895 with the presentation of the Cinématographe Lumière – we discover that the technical history of cinema is not only almost more enthralling than its artistic and cultural history, but that it contains all the great theoretical, philosophical and scientific insights that we need to help us understand the social, economic and cultural impact that cinema had on the culture of the 20th century. At the 1900 Paris Exposition, when cinema had already existed in some form for a few years, when the first few short films of narrative fiction also already existed, the cinematograph was placed in the Pavilion of Technical Discoveries, to emphasise the fact that the first wonder, this element of unparalleled novelty and modernity, was still there, in technique, in this marvel of innovation and creativity.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">I would like to express my idea through the words of Franco Moretti, who claims in one of his most recent works that it is only possible to understand form through the forces that pulsate through it and press on it from beneath, finally allowing the form itself to come to the surface and make itself visible and comprehensible to our senses. As such, the cinematic form – that which appears on the screen, that which is now so familiar to us, that which each of us has now internalised, that has even somehow become capable of configuring our way of thinking, imagining, dreaming – that form is underpinned by forces that allow it to eventually make its way onto the screen and become artistic and narrative substance. And those forces are the forces of technique, the forces of industry, the economic, political and social forces without which we could never hope to understand cinema. One of the issues that I always make a point of addressing in the first few lessons with my students is that if they think that the history of cinema is made up of films, directors, narrative plots to be understood, perhaps even retold in some way, then they are entirely on the wrong track; if, on the other hand, they understand that it is the story of an institution with economic, political and social drivers within it that can, in some way, allow us to come to the great creators, the great titles, but that without a firm grasp of those drivers, there is no point in even attempting to explore it, then they are on the right track.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">As I see it, cinema in the twentieth century was a great democratic, interclassist laboratory such as no other art has ever been, and this occurred thanks to the fact that what underpinned it was an industrial reasoning: it had to respond to the capital invested in it, it had to make money, and as such, it had to reach the largest possible number of people, immersing it into a wholly unprecedented relational situation. The aim was to be as inclusive as possible, ultimately giving rise to the idea that cinema could not be autonomous, as other forms of art could be, but that it must instead be able to negotiate all the various forces acting upon it, pushing it in every direction. This concept of negotiation is one which has been explored in great detail by one of the greatest film theorists of our modern age, Francesco Casetti. In a 2005 book entitled “Eye of the Century”, which I consider to be a very important work, Casetti actually argues that cinema has proven itself to be the art form most capable of adhering to the complexity and fast pace of the short century, and that it is for this very reason that its golden age (in the broadest sense) can be contained within the span of just a hundred years. The fact that cinema was the true epistemological driving force of 20th-century modernity – a position now usurped by the Internet – is not, in my opinion, something that diminishes the strength of cinema, but rather an element of even greater interest. Casetti posits that cinema was the great negotiator of new cultural needs, of the need to look at art in a different way, of the willingness to adapt to technique and technology: indeed, the form of cinema has always changed according to the techniques and technologies that it has brought to the table or established a dialogue with on a number of occasions. Barry Salt, whose background is in physics, wrote an important book – publishing it at his own expense, as a mark of how difficult it is to work in certain fields – entitled “Film Style and Technology”, in which he calls upon us stop writing the history of cinema starting from the creators, from the spirit of the time, from the great cultural and historical questions, and instead to start afresh by following the techniques available over the course of its development. Throughout the history of cinema, the creation of certain films has been the result of a particular set of technical conditions: having a certain type of film, a certain type of camera, only being able to move in a certain way, needing a certain level of lighting, having an entire arsenal of equipment that was very difficult to move and handle; and as the equipment, medium and techniques changed and evolved over the years, so too did the type of cinema that we were able to make. This means framing the history of cinema and film theory in terms of the techniques that were available, and starting from there: of course, whilst Barry Salt’s somewhat provocative suggestion by no means cancels out the entire cultural, artistic and aesthetic discourse in cinema – which remains fundamental – it nonetheless raises an interesting point, as if we fail to consider the methods and techniques of production, we will probably never truly grasp what cinema is.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">These considerations also help us to understand just how vast the “construction site” of cinema is – the sort of “factory” that lies behind the production of any given film. Erwin Panofsky wrote a single essay on cinema in the 1930s entitled “Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures” – a very intelligent piece, as one would expect from Panofsky – in which at a certain point, he compares the construction site of the cinema to those of Gothic cathedrals, which were also under an immense amount of pressure from different forces, namely religious ones, but also socio-political and economic forces which ultimately shaped – in the case of the Gothic cathedral and its development – an idea of the relationship between the earth and the otherworldly. The same could be said for cinema, because it also involves starting with something very earthly, very grounded, which is then capable of unleashing an idea of imaginary metamorphosis. Some scholars, such as Edgar Morin, will say that cinema is increasingly becoming the new supernatural, the world of contemporary gods, as religion gradually gives way to other forms of deification. Panofsky’s image is a very focused one: by making film production into a construction site, which to all intents and purposes it is, he leads us to understand that there are different forces at work, represented by a producer, a scriptwriter, a director, but also a workforce, the simple labourers, as is always the case in large construction sites, calling into question the idea of who the “creator” truly is. So much so that cinema, now more than ever before, is reconsidering the question of authorship, moving towards a “history of cinema without names” in an attempt to combat the “policy of the author” which, in the 1950s, especially in France, identified the director as the de facto author of the film. Today, we are still in that position, with the director still considered the author of the film, but that was not always so: back in the 1910s, in the United States, the author of the film was the scriptwriter, the person who wrote it (as is now the case for TV series, where they have once again taken pride of place as the showrunner, the creator, the true author of the series, and nobody remembers the names of the directors of the individual episodes); or at times, it can be the producer, as was the case for a long time when the Oscar for Best Picture, for example, was accepted by the producer in their capacity as the commissioner, as the “owner” of the work. As such, the theme of authorship is a very controversial one indeed, but one which helps us to understand the great meeting of minds that goes into the production of a film, starting with the technicians, of course, but also including the actors. Occasionally, a film is even attributed to the name of a star, almost as if to declare that that film is theirs, in that it is their body and their talent as an actor lending it a signature that provides far more of a draw to audiences than the name of the director does.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">In light of this, the theme of authorship, which Panofsky raised in the 1930s through the example of the Gothic cathedral, which ultimately does not have a single creator, is one which uses the image of the construction site to also help us to better understand what kind of development a film production can go through and to what extent this affects its critical and historical reception; as such, grouping films together based on their director means doing something that, whilst certainly not incorrect in itself, precludes other avenues of interpretation and analysis which could have favoured or could still favour a different reading of the “cinematographic construction site”.</span></p> <p class="p5">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Design and execution</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The great classic Hollywood film industry was a model that, although it no longer exists in the same form today, unquestionably made an indelible mark at a global level on the history not only of cinema, but more broadly, of the culture of the 20th century. The industry involved a very strong vertical system resembling an assembly line, revolving around producers, who had a high level of decision-making autonomy and a great deal of expertise, often inclined towards a certain genre of film and therefore capable of bringing together the exact kinds of skills and visions required to make that particular film. The history of classic American cinema is one that can also be reconstructed around the units that these producers would form. The “majors”, along with the so-called “minors”, were put together like football teams, with a chairman flanked by figures whom we would nowadays refer to as a sporting director and a managing director, who built the team based on specific ideas, “buying” directors, scriptwriters, scenographers, directors of photography, and even actors and actresses who generally worked almost exclusively for their major – although they could occasionally be “loaned out” to other studios. This system led to a very marked characterisation and allowed for the film to be designed in a highly consistent, recognisable way in an age when genres reigned supreme and there was the idea that in order to keep the audience coming back, it was important to provide certain reassurances about what they would see: anyone going to see a Western knew what sorts of characters and storylines to expect, with the same applying to a musical, a crime film, a comedy, a melodrama, and so on. The star system served to fuel this working method, with these major actors also representing both forces and materials in the hands of an approach to the filmmaking which had the ultimate objective of constructing the perfect film, in which everything had to function according to a rule rooted in both the aesthetic and the economic. Gore Vidal wrote that from 1939 onwards, Hollywood did not produce a single “wrong” film: indeed, whilst certainly hyperbolic, this claim confirms that that system produced films that were never wrong, never off-key, but instead always perfectly in tune with what the studios wished to achieve.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Whilst this long-entrenched system of yesteryear ultimately imploded due to certain historical phenomena that determined it to be outdated, the way of thinking about production has not changed all that much, with film design remaining tied to a professional approach that is still rooted within it. The overwhelming majority of productions still start from a system which analyses the market and the possible economic impact of the film, before even starting to tackle the various steps that lead up to the creation of the film itself.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Following production systems and the ways in which they have changed, in terms of both the technology and the cultural contexts, also involves taking stock of the still considerable differences that exist between approaches to filmmaking in different countries, or indeed the similarities linking highly disparate economic systems (consider, for example, India’s “Bollywood” or Nigeria’s “Nollywood”: two incredibly strong film industries that we are not generally familiar with as they lack global distribution, although they are built very solidly). In other words, any attempt to study Italian cinema and American cinema – to stay within this double field – with the same yardstick is unthinkable, precisely because the context of their production and design is completely different.</span></p> <p class="p5">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Composition and innovation</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Studying the publications on cinema in the United States in the early 1900s – which, from about 1911 to 1923, offers us a revealing insight into the attempts made to garner an in-depth understanding of how this new storytelling machine worked and the development of the first real cultural industry of the modern age – casts light on the centrality of the issues of design and composition. I remain convinced that without reading and understanding that debate, it is very difficult to understand why cinema is as we have come to be familiar with it today. Many educational works investigated the inner workings of cinema, and some, having understood them, suggested that they were capable of teaching others to do so. These publications have almost never been translated into Italian and remain seldom studied even in the US, and yet they are absolutely crucial for understanding how cinema established itself on an industrial and aesthetic level. There are two key words that crop up time and time again in these books, the first being “action”, one of the first words uttered when a film starts rolling: “lights, camera, action”. This collection of terms is interesting in that “</span><span class="s3">motore</span><span class="s2">” highlights the presence of a machine that has to be started up, followed by “action”, which expresses that something must happen at that moment in front of that machine, otherwise the film will not exist. As such, “action” – a term to which I have devoted some of my studies – is a fundamental word here in that it represents a sort of moment of birth of the film that is very clear – tangible, even. The other word is “composition”, and this is an even more interesting word with a history that deserves a closer look: the first professor of cinema in history, Victor Oscar Freeburg (I edited the Italian translation of his textbook “The Art of Photoplay Making”, published in 1918), took up his position at Columbia University in 1915 and, in doing so, took on the task of teaching the first ever university course in cinema. Whilst Freeburg was, for his time, a very well-educated and highly-qualified person, having studied at Yale and then obtained his doctorate in theatre at Columbia, cinema was not entirely his field of expertise. He was asked to teach a course entitled “Photoplay Writing”. At the time, a film was known as a “photoplay”, in that it was a photographed play of sorts, and the fact that the central topic of the course was photoplay writing makes it clear that back then, the scriptwriter was considered the main author of the work. From this point of view, it made sense to entrust the teaching of cinema to an expert in theatre, based on the idea that it was useful to first and foremost teach a sort of photographable dramaturgy. However, upon arriving at Columbia, Freeburg soon realised whilst preparing his course that “photoplay writing” risked misleading the students, as it is not enough to simply write a story in order to make a film; as such, he decided to change the title of his course to “photoplay composition”. This apparently minor alteration, from “writing” to “composition”, in fact marked a decisive conceptual shift in that it highlighted that it was no longer enough to merely write: one had to “compose”. So it was that the author of a film became, according to Freeburg, not the scriptwriter or director, but the “cinema composer” (a term of his own coinage), thus directing and broadening the concept of composition towards music, on the one hand, and architecture, on the other. We are often inclined to think that cinema has inherited expressive modules that come partly from literature, partly from theatre and partly from painting, but in actual fact, what Freeburg helps us to understand is that there are strong elements of music and architecture in a film, emphasising the lofty theme of the project. In his book, he explores at great length the relationship between static and dynamic forms in cinema, a topic that few have ever addressed in that way and that again, does not immediately spring to mind as applicable to a film. I believe that those initial intuitions were the result of a reflection unhindered by all the prejudices and preconceived notions that subsequently began to condition film studies as a discipline, and I feel that they are of great use to use today because they guide us, on the one hand, towards a symphonic idea of filmmaking, and on the other, towards an idea that preserves the fairly clear imprint of architecture.</span></p> <p class="p5">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Space-Time</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">In cinema as in architecture, the relationship between space and time is a crucial theme: in every textbook, space and time are amongst the first chapters to be studied precisely because in cinema, they undergo a process of metamorphosis – as Edgar Morin would say – which is vital to constructing the intermediate world of film. Indeed, from both a temporal and a spatial point of view, cinema provides a kind of ubiquitous opportunity to overlap different temporalities and spatialities, to move freely from one space to another, but above all, to construct new systems of time. The rules of film editing – especially so-called “invisible editing”, i.e. classical editing that conceals its own presence – are rules built upon specific and precise connections that hold together different spaces – even distant ones – whilst nonetheless giving the impression of unity, of contiguity, of everything that cinema never is in reality, because cinema is constantly fragmented and interrupted, even though we very often perceive it in continuity. As such, from both a spatial and a temporal perspective, there are technical studies that explain the rules of how to edit so as to give the idea of spatial continuity, as well as theoretical studies that explain how cinema has transformed our sense of space and time.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">To mark the beginning of Parma’s run as Italy’s Capital of Culture, an exhibition was organised entitled “Time Machine. Seeing and Experiencing Time”, curated by Antonio Somaini, with the challenge of demonstrating how cinema, from its earliest experiments to the digital age, has managed to manipulate and transform time, profoundly affecting our way of engaging with it.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The themes of time and space are vital to understanding cinema, including from a philosophical point of view: in two of Gilles Deleuze’s seminal volumes, “The Movement Image” and “The Time Image”, the issues of space and time become the two great paradigms not only for explaining cinema, but also – as Deleuze himself says – for explaining a certain 20th-century philosophy. Deleuze succeeds in a truly impressive endeavour, namely linking cinema to philosophical reflection – indeed, making cinema into an instrument of philosophical thought; this heteronomy of filmmaking is then also transferred to its ability to become an instrument that goes beyond its own existence to become a reflection on the century that saw it as a protagonist of sorts. Don Ihde argues that every era has a technical discovery that somehow becomes what he calls an “epistemological engine”: a tool that opens up a system of thought that would never have been possible without that discovery. One of the many examples of this over the centuries is the camera obscura, but we could also name cinema as the defining discovery for 20th-century thought: indeed, cinema is indispensable for understanding the 20th century, just as the Internet is for understanding our way of thinking in the 21st century.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p5">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Real-virtual</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Nowadays, the film industry is facing the crisis of cinema closures, ultimately caused by ever-spreading media platforms and the power of the economic competition that they are exerting by aggressively entering the field of production and distribution, albeit with a different angle on the age-old desire to garner audiences. Just a few days ago, Martin Scorsese was lamenting the fact that on these platforms, the artistic project is in danger of foundering, as excellent projects are placed in a catalogue alongside a series of products of varying quality, thus confusing the viewer.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">A few years ago, during the opening ceremony of the academic year at the University of Southern California, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas expressed the same concept about the future of cinema in a different way. Lucas argued that cinemas would soon have to become incredibly high-tech places where people can have an experience that is impossible to reproduce elsewhere, with a ticket price that takes into account the expanded and increased experiential value on offer thanks to the new technologies used. Spielberg, meanwhile, observed that cinemas will manage to survive if they manage to transform the cinemagoer from a simple viewer into a player, an actor of sorts.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">The history of cinema has always been marked by continuous adaptation to technological evolutions. I do not believe that cinema will ever end. Jean-Luc Godard, one of the great masters of the Nouvelle Vague, once said in an interview: «I am very sorry not to have witnessed the birth of cinema, but I am sure that I will witness its death». Godard, who was born in 1930, is still alive. Since its origins, cinema has always transformed rather than dying.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">Raymond Bellour says that cinema is an art that never finishes finishing, a phrase that encapsulates the beauty and the secret of cinema: an art that never quite finishes finishing is an art that is always on the very edge of the precipice but never falls off, although it leans farther and farther over that edge. This is undoubtedly down to cinema’s ability to continually keep up with technique and technology, and in doing so to move – even to a different medium – to relocate, as contemporary theorists say, even finally moving out of cinemas themselves to shift onto platforms and tablets, yet all without ever ceasing to be cinema.</span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s2">That said, we should give everything we’ve got to ensure that cinemas survive.</span></p> 2021-05-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Michele Guerra Polytechnic culture: ideas, values and opportunities 2021-07-06T13:16:26+00:00 Ferruccio Resta <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Complexity is the central theme of our contemporary age, and what technical culture needs today is to know how to manage it. Knowing how to deal with situations that are anything but straightforward – situations that require flexible thinking, the ability to establish a dialogue between fields of knowledge, and the intermingling of points of view that are, by their very nature, heterogeneous. If this is the direction that needs to be taken in order to tackle the major challenges of the future – from energy to the environment, healthcare to data management, and so on – then it naturally follows that the old monodisciplinary paradigm that we have grown accustomed to as a result of tradition, divided up and compartmentalised, is now outdated.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">In order to face the great trials of our time, of which architecture is an interpreter, we need a broader vision. Indeed, the growing speed of technological evolution, its pervasiveness and the impact that this is capable of having on the community and our future increasingly point towards the validity of a multifaceted approach that reflects and anticipates the dynamics of social development.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">If complexity is in fact the theme of the future, then, we cannot avoid engaging in a careful reflection on the dualism between specialisation and a systemic vision; on the relationship between a solid specialist culture, required to understand problems in depth, and a broader cultural perspective, crucial to understanding the direction that the world is moving in.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Here is a very simple example: we cannot begin to think about creating new spaces and new functions for living and dwelling if we do not first consider some of the major issues dominating our era. One of the many, and one that I hold particularly dear, is mobility: a new concept of mobility – sustainable, intelligent, shared – redefines everything that revolves around it, starting with our behaviours. And in order to analyse these behaviours, we must first understand the potential and impact of the new technologies underpinning them. It goes without saying that the architect, the engineer, the sociologist and the visionary start-up must all be able to interface within a common framework, a shared perspective, a circular approach.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">As such, the task that the university is faced with is arming its students, as well as the professionals of today and tomorrow, with skills that, whilst based on solid disciplinary foundations, are not isolated in monothematic contexts, but instead benefit from complementary paths and interaction. Points of comparison and dialogue between different fields of knowledge, different experiences, different practices.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">At the heart of what we refer to as “polytechnic culture” is the value of design, which everyone contributes to with methods and tools that are different, yet all equally useful: some apply the laws of dynamics, others the laws of physics or electronics; some use an experimental method, others are more firmly rooted in tradition. Designing becomes synonymous with sharing and hybridising, in that it means forming a complex response to a need expressed by the community.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">It is then worth reflecting upon how, in a civilisation in which everything is contemporary – in which a unitary and evolutionary conception of time has disappeared entirely – we are forced to design in a condition of great discontinuity. Whilst on the one hand, the relentless forward march of technology has got us used to fast dynamics, on the other, space is notoriously subject to slow transformations. Indeed, an architectural project takes months to design and years to actually construct. It also has an intrinsic characteristic, namely surviving the passage of time, of preserving memory and seeing the end of its lifecycle only decades down the line.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Whereas once upon a time, historical developments were slow and predictable – as it was easy enough to imagine what would happen over the course of the next twenty years – nowadays, this sort of long-term vision is impossible because society evolves not only rapidly, but also in radical leaps and bounds. Hence the adjective “disruptive” which so often recurs in our conversations: the unexpected, changing our paradigms.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Unexpected, just like COVID-19: a catalyst which accelerated some of the major technological changes that were underway, first and foremost digital technology, the true potential of which emerged clearly as we sought to tackle the health crisis. From distance learning to remote working, digital technology allowed us to carry on with our lives, but at the same time, it emptied out schools and universities, offices and skyscrapers; it reassigned new functions to our living spaces; it redefined interpersonal relationships; it depopulated entire urban areas and brought international mobility to a standstill.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">That said, despite the fact that technology managed to soften the blow of a sudden and dramatic situation almost overnight, I struggle to believe that the pandemic and social distancing will empty out the cities in any definitive way. On the contrary, I believe that after this not-so-brief interlude, the large urban centres will once again become lively, dynamic hubs of activity. They will continue to offer that unique and eclectic collection of ideas, values and opportunities that smaller settlements struggle to ever develop.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">Architecture will then be faced with the challenge of responding to this distancing and emptying by designing a different understanding of what “being there” means, and in order to do so, it will have to interface with a variety of contexts. Architecture will have the task of redefining a new living experience, of developing a complex conception of planning that lies on the borderline between the opportunities offered by remote learning and working and our needs in terms of socialising; between the needs of the economy and those of protecting the nation’s health; between an immediate response dictated by an emergency and a need for long-term sustainability.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p3">In the case of our universities, it will mean completely overhauling our idea of campus life. Whereas some of the most prestigious universities in the world, starting with Cambridge, are offering entirely online courses, riding the long wave of COVID and using the tools offered by digital technology, I believe that, on the contrary, it is absolutely essential to restore a sense of physicality and experience. I believe that the time is right to once again start talking about physical spaces in response to virtual classrooms. I consider it necessary to do everything we can to ensure that our universities continue to draw in talented young people who choose to engage in a first-hand experience of the academic spaces and cities playing host to them – the cities that reflect these people.</p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">It is therefore not enough to welcome new students with open arms: we must instead offer them a unique experience of life, from campus life to the services that the wider area can offer. The university needs a modern, welcoming city in order to be attractive, and vice versa: a double bond, a two-way street.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>An experience that will take tangible form within the university itself – with interactive classrooms, spaces dedicated to hospitality, sports, social interaction, study, workshops – as well as intangible form in the values that we will be able to convey in places that increasingly represent points of engagement and personal growth. Places which can wholeheartedly embody the approach to complexity mentioned earlier.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s2">The lesson to draw from this pandemic is that in order to respond to complex challenges, we must turn to knowledge as our starting point. And so, after dedicating years to minor jobs and maintenance work, the university is once again positioning itself as an active force engaging in society and change. This is the best guarantee for the future: ensuring that the classrooms and lecture halls of universities everywhere can once again become “construction sites for knowledge”. And these sites – as our alumnus and master Renzo Piano has taught us – are wellsprings of hope, even and above all in times of uncertainty such as we are currently living through.</span></p> 2021-05-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ferruccio Resta A campus called city 2021-07-06T13:17:28+00:00 Marco Introini <p class="p1">«New meeting places for neighborhood communities and for the growing student community, inhabited spaces where thoughts are elaborated, the consciences and reflections of young minds in training are solicited. A dialogue and a single system constituted by the city and from the areas of education that establishes the role that the University incorporates as a lighthouse of significant social and urban changes that involve the urban realities affected by this essential and increasingly important public social function. Their reciprocal relationship favors the possibility of establishing themselves within the city as a real teaching and research system, no longer only at the local level but pertaining to a global system of other places of university education and research institutes. A planetary infrastructure consisting of a network of public spaces integrated with cities, characterized by their individual histories. The campus personifies, in its hybridizations and contaminations, the mutation in progress in the conception of spaces for study and research, representing one of the most important strategic nodes of the territory, through which the city can open and expand its borders to protect and favor of dissemination of the cultural variable. The presence of the university within urban contexts encourages the establishment of a creative sphere as a primary factor for the growth of cultural value in a specific context, favoring the anticipation of the intellectual needs on which to invest, also through a proactive synergy with reference territorial entrepreneurial presences. Furthermore, universities play an undeniable role in the fundamental action of conservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of places. It is undeniable: a city that incorporates an academic reality is consequently equipped with a consistent pool of skills in multiple disciplines, as well as enjoying the solid presence of qualified young people. The university and its campuses, therefore, as a system in evolution and transformation that can boast as its main protagonists’ young people, coming from all parts of the globe who, precisely in the university spaces, identify the opportunity to find the access doors to world of work and life».</p> <p class="p1">Taken from: Faroldi, E. (2021), “UniverCity: A campus called a city”, in Bucci, F. and Faroldi, E. (Eds.), <em>Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. University and city</em>, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo (MI).</p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Marco Introini’s photographic eye narrates this physical and cultural transformation along the design and construction process, as moments in a story that increasingly sees the university space as the generating matrix of a positive model of the city. Marco Introini, has accompanied our magazine over the past six years, translating the themes through the image: for this, with esteem and friendship, I thank him.</p> <p class="p1">Photography as a tool for making architecture.</p> <p class="p1">Thanks, Marco, for your wonderful “art photography”.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Emilio Faroldi</em></p> 2021-03-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Marco Introini The alliance between ecology and cybernetics for a new design science 2021-07-06T13:17:00+00:00 Massimo Perriccioli <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The essay aims to find elements and characteristics of a new design science based on theories, methods and inter and trans-disciplinary research processes, and on holistic and generative approaches that develop in the convergence of natural and artificial sciences. It particularly focuses on ecology, as the science of systemic and generative relations between agents and the environment, and cybernetics, as the science of information and self-regulating systems.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Massimo Perriccioli From autonomy to heteronomy of design. Evolutionary contributions of technological design 2021-07-06T13:17:04+00:00 Mario Losasso Enza Tersigni <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The position of the project between autonomy and heteronomy is constantly echoed both in current prevalent thought and in the transformations of the ontology of the project. Contemporary pluralism and multiculturalism foster a shift in the interest of design debate towards a convergence of knowledge and expertise with different points of view. Technological culture of design provides its own contribution interpreting the project as a moment of coordination between diversified and complex inputs within the building process at a time when the development in the field of collaborative digital systems opens up to new directions for research in architecture and renewed conditions of heteronomy in the project. <span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Mario Losasso, Enza Tersigni A radical bioecological paradigm for design technologies with a transdisciplinary approach 2021-07-06T13:16:44+00:00 Consuelo Nava Alessandro Melis <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This essay attempts to critically examine the proposed topic of “promotion of the architectural project as an interdisciplinary synthesis tool”, entrusting its possible cognitive trajectories to design experiments, based on transdisciplinary frontier research. Hoping to overcome a literature already referred to on the themes of the design of architecture and cities, a more radical discussion opens up concerning its “organic” forms and “ecological” structures. This debate draws on the themes of evolutionary biology in a key of eco-technological innovation, as a contribution to transformative resilience and circularity of resources, defining “a creative project” for architectures and the city, which are enabled to know the future.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Consuelo Nava, Alessandro Melis Biomimetic design. Heteronomy and autopoiesis in the integration between technology and biology 2021-07-06T13:16:48+00:00 Carlo Caldera Valentino Manni Luca Saverio Valzano <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Applying systemic thinking to the resolution of complexity in biomimetic design allows technological integration between biological and man-made systems, thereby creating an autopoietic building organism. Emulating Nature in projects requires know-how cross-fertilization and hybridization. Mechanical solutions and those associated with the properties of materials are by no means the only options adaptive architecture can resort to in reproducing natural processes. This paper illustrates experiences that adopt adaptive autopoietic strategies at both urban and architectural product level. These strategies are typical of the natural world and involve the integration of technology and biology. The described experiences aim at highlighting the link between biomimetic design and the heteronomy of disciplines.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Luca Saverio Valzano, Valentino Manni, Carlo Caldera Design and technologies, between sciences and new humanism. Innovation in the education and role of designers 2021-07-06T13:16:43+00:00 Spartaco Paris <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Starting from a critical interpretation of some authors involved in the debate raised by the call, this paper hypothesizes practicable conditions for a circular, non-pyramidal integration of technological disciplines into design processes, presenting some experimental investigations in support of these concepts. The paper aims to investigate, in particular, how the role of digital technologies, the key players in a full-blown transformation of thought, impacts the designer’s education models and has a tendency to redefine both the boundaries between disciplines and the very role of the designer. Some significant international experiences in the field of the education of designers show that a humanistic approach to controlling technologies and to “ubiquitous” cooperation among strains of knowledge presents a possible scenario of profound rethinking of the role of the technological designer within a framework of shared fragility of the planet’s economic models.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Spartaco Paris From the heteronomy of the technological project to the evolutionary hybridization of the experimental research 2021-07-06T13:17:08+00:00 Marta Calzolari Pietromaria Davoli Luisa Dias Pereira <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The growing complexity of the construction process, pressured by challenges related to safety, climate change and the reduction of energy consumption, requires the ability to manage more and more skills previously allocated exclusively to other specialists. It is therefore necessary to establish a dialogue based on advanced collaborative designs, which lead to an increase in the adequacy of the design response. The HeLLo MSCA IF Horizon2020 research exemplifies how technological leadership controlled the objectives and final outcomes of a highly interdisciplinary experimental study. Concerning the EU priorities, the research has created hybridization between environmental design, conservation and physical-technical aspects including the dissemination of the project results.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Marta Calzolari, Pietromaria Davoli, Luisa Dias Pereira The heteronomy of building technologies in the construction industry in Italy. Notes for a to-do list 2021-07-06T13:17:02+00:00 Laura Daglio Elisabetta Ginelli <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A pervasive self-referential technique has characterized architecture for some decades, affecting a minor part of architectural production. Celebrated by specialist publications, it has marginally impacted current and ordinary constructions that actually transform the landscape. Addressing the latter production, the essay attempts to define and argue the heteronomous nature of technological change in the national context as a prerequisite for orienting research and design towards the pursuit of a social role of technology, considered a response to the broadest and most widespread demand. This thesis is also underpinned by the discussion of emblematic cases in the history of the Italian construction sector during the post-war period. Finally, starting from a brief outline of the structural factors of change, we intend to provide some operational reflections to rethink the relationship between design and construction.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Laura Daglio, Elisabetta Ginelli Urban Metabolism, interdisciplinary models and design at micro-urban scale 2021-07-06T13:16:58+00:00 Riccardo Pollo Matteo Trane Matteo Giovanardi <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The architecture and the micro-urban scale design are elected to disciplines capable of materializing society’s perennial and rapid evolution demands. The design quality derives from its characteristic of opening up to external contamination, making work on the frontiers of knowledge and the hybridization of knowledge crucial. The contribution reflects on the Urban Metabolism’s (UM) role as a boundary metaphor, within which interaction among the scientific community, stakeholders, policymakers, and designers is possible. This metaphor could then be understood as a potential investigation and design tool for the Urban Ecosystem. UM’s possible relationship with architecture and environmental design is investigated, starting from models and approaches typical of other disciplinary fields.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Riccardo Pollo, Matteo Trane, Matteo Giovanardi Experiencing a new modernity between theory and practice: Steven Holl in comparison 2021-07-06T13:17:27+00:00 Francesca Bonfante <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The essay explores the “contamination” of knowledge, through the figure of Steven Holl, by interweaving theoretical reflection and architectural design with the definition of appropriate and innovative disciplinary tools. The new syntax of the relationship between composition and function, tested by Holl, free from codified and prescriptive archetypes, allowed a reflection on the possibility of encouraging new ways of use and multiple functional contamination. By analysing some works, we identify possible “generalizable” themes in the relationship between the project and the </span><span class="s2">τέχνη</span><span class="s1"> of “know-how”, even compared to Cedric Price. Critical texts by Luciano Anceschi and Walter Benjamin concur to verify the real essence of some recurrent terms in the contemporary debate.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Francesca Bonfante Between humanization and digitalization of care spaces: case studies and design strategies 2021-07-06T13:17:10+00:00 Cristiana Cellucci <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If the progressive process of humanization of the hospital and of the socio-health structures has led to the transition from the biomedical approach to the bio-psycho-social one, shifting the attention from the disease to the individual as a whole, technological advances (IoT, AI, robotics) are leading to a further reorganization of hospital structures and the birth of new highly original and relevant forms of interaction aimed at the “medicalization of life”. The paper addresses one of the main challenges that all of us – technicians, health professionals, scholars – are called to face which is to combine the dualism between “Technical Progress” and “Humanization” through a dialogue/comparison between patient-centered vision and vision centered on the bio-technology of care spaces.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Cristiana Cellucci The architect as a “semantic agent” in the dialogue between new practices and digital technologies 2021-07-06T13:16:46+00:00 Giuliano Galluccio <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The paper aims to offer insights into the new conditions the designer is called upon to face in the wake of the technical, cultural and cognitive transformations the spread of ICT is triggering in the construction industry. Digitization, in particular, might place architects in a position of intermediation between new forms of intelligence and new professional skills, defining a design ecosystem in which the effectiveness of decision-making increasingly depends on the way information is managed. In such a scenario, the designer is asked to perform tasks of coordination and “meaning control” of complex and automated processes, which require a deep understanding of the digital phenomenon.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Giuliano Galluccio “Variations on jazz” 2021-07-06T13:17:06+00:00 Francesca Belloni Francesco Bruno <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The five sections of this essay explore the way some of the old world’s leading architects, especially from Northern Europe, develop their architectural design by creating an intrinsic and natural blend of disciplines. The scope is to achieve a unity of content and form, signifier and signified, whose process cannot be fragmented into phases, mansions and specialism for procedural terms only, whereas we maintain it must inevitably be progressively carried out as a project-based unity in any case.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Francesca Belloni, Francesco Bruno Heteronomy of architecture and design: the teaching of Gio Ponti 2021-07-06T13:16:40+00:00 Vincenzo Paolo Bagnato Antonio Labalestra <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The celebration of the fortieth anniversary of Gio Ponti’s death offers the opportunity for in-depth study of his figure, and for renewed reflection on the whole Italian and international architectural culture. In this context, visions and ideas about modernity by the Milan architect appear emblematic and topical in relationship with the ever-changing socio-cultural conditions of our time. The new paradigm of design culture, with special reference to technology and industrial design, rediscover in Ponti’s figure important lessons concerning the even more heteronymous and hybrid condition of architecture, as long as they show a still possible synthesis between urban, architectural and design scale.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Vincenzo Paolo Bagnato, Antonio Labalestra The fields of analogy. Rethinking heteronomous processes in architectural research 2021-07-17T09:51:06+00:00 Fabrizia Berlingieri <p class="p1"><span class="s1">From an epistemological point of view, research in Architecture still suffers a difficult position between applied sciences and humanities. The emergent area of&nbsp;Research by Design&nbsp;opens up new perspectives on design as a form of scientific knowledge and on methods and techniques for generative thinking. Among these,&nbsp;the analogical process plays a central role. By first delimiting the topic of analogy and its heteronomous character, the contribution focuses on its interpretation within the design discipline, particularly by placing the positions of Aldo Rossi, Oswald Mathias Ungers and John Hejduk vis-à-vis, and by reflecting on its relevance within contemporary architectural research.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Fabrizia Berlingieri Art and architecture between autonomy and heteronomy. A theoretical perspective 2021-07-06T13:16:36+00:00 Raffaella Neri <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The essay revisits the debate about the autonomy or heteronomy of art in a theoretical perspective. The departure point is the famous controversy between Togliatti and Vittorini about the role of intellectuals and the purpose of art in relation with the positions of Italian architects involved in post-war reconstruction – namely, Ernesto Rogers – their ethical and moral concerns, their civil commitment. Such debate affects architecture in a particular way, given how this art is more directly connected than others with society and reality, with the transformations of the means of production and of technology. After so many years, this debate provides an opportunity for meditation around some key issues for architectural design, such as its civil role and purposes, and the relationships among the disciplines, and between art and technology.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Raffaella Neri Designing schools in innovation scenarios 2021-07-06T13:16:38+00:00 Maria Fianchini <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Architects are being asked nowadays to interpret the expectation of school innovation. Ample room for research and further knowledge and skills is possible, starting from the evidence of the many errors made in the past in the oversight of building performance and referring to a large number of recent projects at an international level. All this, however, is not enough unless it is accompanied by openness to dialogue with the educational scholars and, above all, with the “inhabitants” of schools. This article presents a scenario on the transdisciplinary and participatory approach in the research and design of new learning environments and questions the potential and limits of innovation in school design.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Fianchini Social openBIM strategies for public housing authorities 2021-07-06T13:17:16+00:00 Marina Block Monica Rossi-Schwarzenbeck <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This research, based on a framework agreement between the Federico II University of Naples and HTWK Leipzig, commences with a theoretical reflection on public housing in Bipolar Europe during the Cold War. The aim is to set up innovative redevelopment and management processes, in which the potential offered by digitization can support the work of managing authorities and improve energy-environmental, space-functional and technological-constructive quality standards of the districts in question. The research involved experimenting with a Social openBIM workflow on a Leipzig case study owned by the LWB, a company interested in innovating its current asset management process.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Marina Block, Monica Rossi-Schwarzenbeck Hybrid processes: technological integration as an actant of the design project 2021-07-06T13:17:14+00:00 Francesca Ciampa <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This paper on the Urban Technology framework focuses on the many ways in which technological development interacts and engages with evolving urban systems. The study, carried out during a PhD visiting research agreement at the GSAPP of Columbia University (2018-19), aims to highlight the need for contamination between various fields of knowledge during all phases of the design process through the methodological approach of the Actor-Network Theory. The experiment conducted in the Lower East Side of Manhattan reveals, through participatory tools, the prefiguration of hybrid spaces resulting from the network of links established by technology as a hybrid and integrated actor within relationships between subjects of the design process.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Francesca Ciampa Knowledge contamination in the preservation of Modern glazed enclosures 2021-07-06T13:17:24+00:00 Sara Di Resta Jacopo Gaspari <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The technological advances of recent decades and the integration of disciplines, such as architectural technology and restoration, are progressively improving design culture in the conservation of modern and contemporary heritage. The results of the study focus on the effects produced by a relatively short time interval (50-100 years) on a large number of buildings, encouraging a discussion on the role of technology in the conservation of exemplary cases of Modern heritage, and on the potential impact of this phenomenon on the so-called minor heritage, thus offering tools to support a widespread improvement campaign, one of the most demanding challenges of future decades.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Jacopo Gaspari, Sara Di Resta Inclusive methodologies for carrying out complex scientific-industrial research 2021-07-06T13:17:19+00:00 Giuseppe Mincolelli Michele Marchi <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Contemporary society is changing by reason of technical, technological and social processes that are evolving faster than ever before. Thinking and designing with a Human Centered Design (HCD) approach means expanding the catchment area of the possible users of our product or service without losing specificity and relevance in terms of performance. It is necessary to conceive spaces, services and products that are able to adapt to the variable characteristics of the context, and which can dynamically respond to needs that vary in time for the same user base. The HC project assumes that an organized multidisciplinary approach has to be applied to identify a suitable, effective and articulated response for this scenario. The paper investigates application tools that can be useful to pursue the objectives of complex interdisciplinary projects. Some national and international researches carried out by the project team, supporting and using a HCD methodology will be specifically described.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Giuseppe Mincolelli, Michele Marchi Learning from the past to build the future: multidisciplinary design process 2021-07-06T13:16:56+00:00 Ornella Iuorio <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Multidisciplinary skills and knowledges were common in historical constructions. The necessity to rethink the way we design and realize our built environment in response to the climate change is requiring the re-convergence of knowledge. The development of multidisciplinary practices and digital communication platforms are enabling the new transition. The design and fabrication of shell is one the field, where the cross-over of knowledge is most evident. Digital technologies are facilitating experimentations of complex shell geometries, a wise use of materials, and the development of new construction processes. This paper explores the transformation of shell designs, and the importance of multiple actors, through the analysis of a shell prototype developed for an international context.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ornella Iuorio Between process and form: hybridisation of knowledge in the coworking project 2021-07-06T13:16:52+00:00 Alessandra Migliore Irene Manzini Ceinar Chiara Tagliaro <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The article reflects on the contamination of professionalisms and disciplines in the architectural project. It proposes a first exploration of the concept of hybridisation of knowledge in the design of coworking spaces. The experiences of designers and managers of coworking spaces, collected through interviews, bring out multiple facets of hybridisation: (a) hybridisation of different professions and disciplines in the complex process of management and design; (b) hybridisation of the formal, morphological and typological outcome, in a space that is flexible in form, function and process. The areas of design first and then management overlap towards a transdisciplinary approach.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Alessandra Migliore, Irene Manzini Ceinar, Chiara Tagliaro Recover the ordinary. Multidisciplinary experimentation for the Casa Italia prototype in Sora 2021-07-06T13:16:54+00:00 Alfonso Giancotti Michele Conteduca <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The paper reports the results of an experimental and multidisciplinary design research for the upcycling of a public residential building in the city of Sora to guarantee its architectural and environmental redevelopment, seismic improvement and energy efficiency. The project, drawn up on the basis of indications provided by a working group coordinated by Architect Renzo Piano, who promoted the initiative as senator for life, is supported by the Casa Italia Department of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The institution plans on considering this project a model based on which guidelines can be defined to outline effective design and process strategies in terms of costs and social and environmental repercussions for similar interventions throughout the national territory.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Michele Conteduca, Alfonso Giancotti Generative design process: multi-criteria evaluation and multidisciplinary approach 2021-07-06T13:17:21+00:00 Adolfo Francesco Lucio Baratta Fabrizio Finucci Antonio Magarò <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The paper shows the results of an applied research carried out at the Department of Architecture, Roma Tre University, to integrate a multi-criteria method in the generative design process of envelope refitting with the aim of implementing a holistic evaluation of sustainability. The resulting Decision Support System is created for the decision-maker who has to assess the multiple performance aspects of a complex system by considering alternative options. It is a procedure that promotes multi-disciplinarity in the generative design process via horizontal integration of the skills of subjects involved in the process, besides vertical integration in relation to the inclusion of further specialisms.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Antonio Magarò, Adolfo Francesco Lucio Baratta, Fabrizio Finucci Beyond sustainability. Regenerative technologies for a restorative indoor environment 2021-07-06T13:16:50+00:00 Rosa Romano Thaleia Konstantinou Francesco Fiorito <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Starting from the results of the COST RESTORE research, the paper promotes the adoption of a new methodological approach to sustainable design capable of ensuring the energy efficiency of a building and the psychological well-being and health of its users by re-establishing harmony with nature. More specifically, it presents some of the most innovative technological envelope and system solutions used to create restorative environments, identifying existing connections between the design and implementation of regenerative building systems. The aim is to define a project idea that increasingly features typological and morphological contaminations of the environment.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Rosa Romano, Francesco Fiorito, Thaleia Konstantinou Activate places of culture to promote socially responsible research and innovation 2021-07-06T13:16:41+00:00 Daniele Fanzini Cristiana Achille Cinzia Tommasi <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The research addresses the theme of the enhancement of two devotional cultural sites according to the principles of Responsible Research Innovation (RRI). The methodology provides for the involvement of various designers and local stakeholders, and is supported by digital technologies, both to speed up communication between those within the design process and to facilitate envisioning possible solutions by non-professional individuals. The aim is to enable new educational uses of the cultural heritage of the two historical-devotional sites, which are the focus of enhancement in a circular cognitive process based on collective construction of opportunities.</span></p> 2021-03-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Daniele Fanzini, Cristiana Achille, Cinzia Tommasi Heteronomy of architecture 2021-07-06T13:16:35+00:00 Maria Pilar Vettori <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I’m not calling today about the competition we are holding for Reinventing Cities here in Lambrate - I am calling to ask you if you would like it if we had a dialogue together on the Heteronomy of Architecture.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">Benedetta Tagliabue:</span><span class="s1"> Hello Matteo! Don’t even talk about it, everything is so sad. You know just how important it is for me to travel and meet people all the time... in person.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Dialogue? Absolutely! But... what is this “heteronomy”? You don’t mean it’s something that excludes someone? You know I don’t like it...</span></p> <p class="p3">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">M.R.</span> <span class="s1">Come on, we’ve known each other for years! Look, it’s exactly the opposite. A very interesting concept which Giancarlo De Carlo summed up well in a sentence I am going to read to you. </span><span class="s3">«</span><span class="s1">As you can tell as you listen, one cannot help but think of your way of knowing, investigating and reading the places and cities in which you design. It is also impossible not to think of how you live together with others, and how this has always been the way you live architecture on a daily basis, and how you know how to transmit it and build it together with all the people you meet: collaborators, citizens, users, clients, politicians, artists, producers of materials, craftsmen, friends, etc. [...]</span><span class="s3">»</span><span class="s1">.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s2">B.T.</span><span class="s1"> Oh well... I was actually joking a bit, you know it amuses me. I remembered this idea of Giancarlo’s from when I was studying at the Faculty of Architecture in Venice, and I was struck by his strength and energy in knowing how to interpret it at its best and translate it into splendid practice on many occasions.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Thank you also for your kind words, it was so kind of you to have thought of me. It certainly is an interesting theme to delve into in a monographic issue of a magazine, and I would like to congratulate those who thought of it.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">So... Yes, I like it: let’s dialogue!</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">You already know that we’ll have to talk again a few times.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">M.R.</span> <span class="s1">Of course I know... it’s always a great pleasure!</span></p> 2021-04-27T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Pilar Vettori Reviews 2021-07-06T13:17:40+00:00 Francesca Giglio <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Heteronomy of Architecture. Between hybridization and contamination of knowledge</span><span class="s2">. A complex and inexhaustible theme, stratified over time through theories and practices favouring the necessity of an Architecture dependent and correlated with other disciplines and external factors, as opposed to the Autonomy of Architecture idea. It finds the reasons for its being and manifesting itself in its disciplinary specificity and uniqueness<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2">E. Morin<sup>1</sup>, in “I sette saperi necessary all’educazione del future”&nbsp;(I ed. 2001) denounces the need for a new form of knowledge, proposing seven conditions or categories to reorganize in a transdisciplinary way the thought and education of every society and culture, able to lay the foundations for the education of the future.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2">The need for knowledge, training and complex critical consciousness, shows itself in Architecture in all its contradiction, in a society that develops figures more and more dangerously specialized and decontextualized concerning the opportunity – taking up the thought of Morin’s text (2001) – that education should «promote a “general intelligence” capable of referring to the complex, to the context in a multidimensional way and to the global».<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2">In this context, the Reviews section highlights three texts that, to the Topic Heteronomy of Architecture, over the last few years and according to a method common to the previous issues, represent three specific aspects. The first deals with the subject in a disciplinary context, proposing reflections on the role of the architect as an educator, together with his responsibility to transfer and acquire knowledge; the second, of a general nature but referable to the Architecture Area, also proposes a reflection on the task of the architect, but in this case in his role of intellectual and critic for contemporary society; the third is a critical essay on the Topic that questions the function, more generally, of Architecture for our present and our future.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2">The first text – “Insegnare l’Architettura, Due scuole a confront” (also published in English and Spanish) by E. Faroldi and M.P. Vettori (2020), Letteraventidue is reviewed – by O. E. Bellini<sup>2</sup>. The text explores the complexity and meaning of teaching design, looking at Architecture as a complex discipline. In which, knowledge is hybridised, comparing, through fifteen author’s dialogues, the polytechnic matrices of the School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering (AUIC) of Politecnico di Milano and the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM) of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, as experiential places of training and learning to face the challenges of the complexity of our age. O.E. Bellini interprets and transfers the authors’ intention to highlight the intellectual dimension, the emotional transport and the personal identity of being a teacher, recounting through references and quotations the role of </span><span class="s1">in-signare</span><span class="s2"> as the act of impressing a </span><span class="s1">signum</span><span class="s2">, a mark, an imprint on the learner, generating cognitive and two-way processes that lead to the transmission of knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2">The debate on the architect’s role and the responsibility of acquiring and transferring knowledge at all levels in society extends to the second text – “L’architetto come intellettuale” by M. Biraghi (2019) Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, Bologna – reviewed by M.F. Ottone<sup>3</sup>. The text, recounting the crisis of the architect’s role in the contemporary context, analyses the figure of the architect as “intellectual” throughout history, reporting references that support the thesis, comparing it with the almost ancillary role of recent decades, due to a parcelling out of knowledge that has weakened its social and political contribution.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>M.F. Ottone reviews the text analytically, focusing on the history of the architecture discipline, highlighting key figures and quotations that describe a context characterised by “complexities and contradictions” that emerged at the beginning of the century. In particular, there is the double figure of the architect-producer, capable of taking a leading position in design processes, as a mere executor of products within an economic dynamic, the </span><span class="s1">supplier</span><span class="s2">’s figure is devoted to satisfying essentially ordinary needs. A text, therefore, that poses many unresolved questions at a time of crisis in architecture and its relationship with its time, with the current era, similar to the third text – “Habitat 5.0. L’architettura nel Lungo Presente” by M. Ricci (2020) Skira, Milan – reviewed by A. De Capua<sup>4</sup>.The essay, accompanied by the writings of A. Branzi, N. Pugno and C. Ratti, recounts the crisis of an era through the inertia of change in the forms of living in the long present, about the digital revolution and 5.0 technology, drawing attention to the need for the uniqueness of a profession that is all too articulated in specialisms. A. De Capua describes the text with great emphasis, as a journey that starts from the three fundamental questions for the author’s architecture: time, space and meaning, questioning the new concept of time and the need for a new path towards </span><span class="s1">quality</span><span class="s2">, </span><span class="s1">culture</span><span class="s2"> and </span><span class="s1">beauty</span><span class="s2">. The need for a new architect figure, less imbued with disciplinary and academic logic and more attentive to the re-education of beauty, concludes the review through quotations and comments highlighting the author’s profound transdisciplinary vision and his vision of the future.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s2">In their revaluation of the hybridisation of knowledge at a global level, the three texts raise critical, technical and social questions about our time’s specificity and the difficulty of a cultural and architectural identity that is recognisable and congruent with the dynamics of the context. The needs for </span><span class="s1">education and training for the future</span><span class="s2">, to paraphrase Morin, are the pivotal points around which the three texts revolve, and they have found sap and opportunity to contribute to a debate that will continue to manifest its uncertainties, dichotomies and visions towards new models of knowledge and knowledge transfer in the future.</span></p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Francesca Giglio Emilio Faroldi, Maria Pilar Vettori. Insegnare l’Architettura. Due Scuole a confronto 2021-07-06T13:17:38+00:00 Oscar Eugenio Bellini <p class="p1"><span class="s1">«Vagliami ‘l lungo studio e ‘l grande amore […]».</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Dante Alighieri</span><span class="s2">, Divine Comedy. Inferno</span><span class="s1">, Book I, p. 83.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">A well-known aphorism of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner, father of Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy, states that «teaching is not only a distantflow of information, but a warm relationship between two human beings, in which one is thirsty for knowledge and the other one is devoted to transmitting all his human and intellectualexperience». This statement summarizes the essence of “in-signare” as an act of imprinting a “signum” – a brand – on the learner. This process shall not be considered as a one-way practice, pushing learners to a passive attitude, but as a complex and articulated connection, requiring specific methodologies for leading to a new understanding of the reality. “In-signare” (teaching) means acquiringskills, experiences, habits, rules in relation to a trade, a profession, a job. At the same time, it implies a deep relation among human beings, generating a maieutic involvement of learners, improving their potentialities and developing a dual and empathic connection with teachers.</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">One of the most universally recognized, poetic and allegorical images of Italian literature – traced by Dante in the Divine Comedy, meeting “l’onore e lume de li altripoeti”, Virgil – clearly expresses this dimension. From the first moment, the Latin poet reassures Dante’s tormented soul, not only by showing him a viable path, but also by accompanying him on the journey, setting in motion with him: «Allor simosse ed io li tenni dietro». For the learner, meeting those who know “in-signare” means opening up new horizons. That is the source of the motivation that initiate to knowledge.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This is the basis for the University experience – as a community committed to stimulating thoughts and reasoning and as a place where to meet teachers able to lead others’ experience. John Henry Newman wrote: «an academic system without the personal influence of teachers on disciples is an Arctic winter» (Newman, 1872). Pietro Calamandrei, for his part, acknowledges that teaching requires «an exceptional temper of master», who knows how to «warm deaf matter with his fire, in the gray classrooms where professors teach» (Calamandrei, 1923). The master does not just convey knowledge, but intervenes with his personality, starting an existential and relational process with his disciples.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The expression «heating with its fire the deaf matter» is an ideal starting point to reflect on the book edited by Emilio Faroldi and Maria Pilar Vettori: not a tedious anthology, but a collection of authorial essays by “magisters” of architecture. The volume includes the contribution of fifteen authors, who have been able to leave “signs” to those who approach the art of Vitruvius. They propose an active and constructive dialogue on methods and tools for teaching architecture – not only in theoretical, but also experiential and professional perspective.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The articulated and rich reflection is presented in three different languages – Italian, English, Spanish – reflecting the cognitive process that leads the transmission of knowledge: hybridized and contaminated, revealing cultural assonances and divergences among the authors. The essays express the fundamentals of training paths, the topicality of teaching models and learning tools, starting from two contexts of excellence: the School of Urban Architecture Construction Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano and the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. This allows an all-round comparison, free from sectarian and self-referential scientific-disciplinary visions, led through the continuous verification in practice of teaching techniques and tools: a critical view on different cultural and educational approaches – not always in unison – joining the desire to improve the debate from an international perspective.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Milan and Madrid represent two schools, different in some respects, aiming at creating privileged placesfor training: architects, men and citizens. The contamination between culture and research, science and knowledgereflects the purpose of providing not only qualified tools to future professionals, but also cultural, social and relational values to future individuals. Behind this approach, there is the common consideration of the architectas a professional with a strong social and ethical responsibility, requiringanindependent, rational, and responsibleperson. In this perspective, the teaching activities develop in between the individual and the society –in between conscience and discipline, in between common goods and individual needs, in between what is useful and what is superfluous. We are not dealing with an easy task, indeed, requiring commitment, patience, research, experimentation, passion, as well as the ability to watch over «</span><span class="s2">‘l lungo studio e ‘l grande amore</span><span class="s1">» of learner towards architecture.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Those who truly teach architecture canmake their knowledge and experience available to the students, giving precious advice and – precisely – leaving their “</span><span class="s2">signum</span><span class="s1">”. As Alberto Campo Baeza recalls, in the prologue of this book, «teaching is a fortune. Teaching is a gift because you learn more than you teach». Teaching defines a two-way, exchangeable, osmotic relationship, which Don Milani clearly expressed: «friends often ask me how I do school and how I get it full. They insist that I write a methodfor them, that I define programs, subjects, techniques. They miss the question, they should not worry about what to do to do school, but how to be to do school» (Milani Comparetti, 1967).</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In conclusion, the book by Faroldi and Vettori represents an important contribution&nbsp;for fostering and putting together the intellectual, emotional and personal identity of the teacher, defining a new perspective in the fascinating and difficult mission of “Teaching architecture”.</span></p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Oscar Eugenio Bellini Marco Biraghi. L’architetto come intellettuale 2021-07-06T13:17:35+00:00 Maria Federica Ottone <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A red thread intertwines the narration of the characters who marked the history of architecture in the last century. On the one hand this thread leads to considering the architect as the victim of a “cynical and cheating” world to which he seems inevitably subjected; on the other hand, to reconsidering the role of some important architects who gave architecture a “political” meaning, that went beyond the object of his own production.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In demonstrating this thesis, the author of the book resurrects slogans such as «architecture as goods at the service of the capital» or as “supplying” architects (Benjamin) or those who «conform to habit, who wearily repeat the already known», in a sort of servile compliance with laws of capitalism and economics.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The text of Biraghi thus tells the story of a discipline, namely that of architecture, through those characters who most represented a way of operating strongly inspired by ideology and criticism of the real world, to find desecrating or clearly utopian forms, despite everything, of reading phenomena and proposing alternative exits. The list of quotes and characters (known and less well known) who represented this nonconformist attitude is very long and this short text would not be enough to underline how thorough the research carried out by the author has been.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Contextually the body of the bibliographic apparatus should be pointed out, which attests the importance, within the editorial panorama, of a current of thought linked to the principle of disciplinary “autonomy”, and which makes us understand how much the detachment from reality and its development dynamics has been deliberately planned and achieved. In particular, the figure of Pier Vittorio Aureli is highlighted, and rightly so, as emblematic of a provocative attitude taken to the extreme.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The reading of this story is then accompanied into the background by the figure of Manfredo Tafuri, whose quotations always appear very lucid, but a lucidity that sometimes reveals a slight cynicism; as if, having understood the turn that the intellectual architect was taking, he would sit in a corner waiting to watch him die. Death which Tafuri himself clearly announces and which, unfortunately, took place: «the death of architecture as a system of practices, as a profession that traditionally holds at its core the idea of designing and organizing space».</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Nevertheless, it was not death, but a radical change that has yet to be completed. The awareness arises that the intellectual architect can no longer be allowed to perpetuate his function as a critical observer, without participating by right, and by virtue of his training opened to confrontation and strongly generalist (the schools of architecture have opted for a so-called “fan” training), to the dynamics of reconstruction of his own country.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Of course, it is obvious to say that the figure of the architect is inextricably linked to his “political” role, but it is worth reiterating it even in the event that it is posed with a spirit of service. A quote from Giancarlo De Carlo reveals the reasons why architecture hardly interests anyone, clients and much less as “goods”: «it doesn’t interest ordinary people because it doesn’t offer anything that interests their expectations».</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Therefore, according to a more current orientation and corresponding to the pro-European logic, the “necessity”<sup>1</sup> as a “political” category should be re-evaluated today: the need to build and rebuild, the need to change housing models, the need to design open spaces, the need to work socially to sharing our ideas, the need to appropriate new technologies in order to take the role that belongs to us, the need to confront ourselves with current issues: two of which, environment and health.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In the final part of the book, the author begins to play in this new reality, trying to extricate himself from the “complexities and contradictions” that emerged at the beginning of the century: division of labor and specialisms, processes, technologies, loss of authorship. What emerges as an interpretation is the split between the figure of the architect-</span><span class="s2">producer</span><span class="s1"> and the architect-</span><span class="s2">supplier</span><span class="s1">, the first capable of having a leading position within the design processes, the other as a mere executor of products (goods) within an economic dynamic aimed at satisfying substantially ordinary needs.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">After all, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia in an interview that traces the years of his militancy as an intellectual architect, disenchantedly affirms that «mass intellectual production is a real thing, in a certain sense utopia has come true»<sup>2</sup>. What is certain is that the history of architecture had been written through this double register, and looking at the </span><span class="s2">producers</span><span class="s1"> alone, we would have missed many architectural works made by </span><span class="s2">supplying</span><span class="s1"> architects, without giving up anything of their quality or professional ethicsas their primary objective to respond to people’s expectations, despite the market conditions to which they were subjected.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We refer to figures such as Luigi Moretti, Giuseppe Vaccaro, Marcello Piacentini, Mario Fiorentino, Roberto Gabetti and Aimaro Isola, and others who have worked with awareness within a productive logic without giving up shares of quality and professional ethic. A question arises: could the excess of introspective and self-referential analysis have contributed to the loss of interest in architecture?</span></p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Federica Ottone Mosè Ricci. Habitat 5.0. L’Architettura del lungo presente 2021-07-06T13:17:33+00:00 Alberto De Capua <p class="p1"><span class="s1">«For more than fifty years, fashion, music and architecture have always seemed to express the same aspirations, the same expectations. Is it possible that they have remained so indifferent to the great environmental, economic and social changes of the last half century?». Mosè Ricci, with great style and awareness of the changes that our society is determining, questions the fact that architecture, in the years of the «deepest technological renewal in history» struggles to adapt, often proposing the «same aspirations and expectations». But what is happening to the disciplines of the project? The author, through the three fundamental questions for architecture, time, space and sense, brings back the unicity of a profession, today, too much articulated in specialisms, inviting us to question ourselves in order to better understand the world and the society in which we live, walking towards «quality, culture, beauty and happiness with the project». Ricci’s architect is not steeped in disciplinary logics: we find him wandering through the city and technology, among people and in the landscape; he is projected into the future and winking at the past, he fully lives his present role of educator to beauty.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We read the text as a trip, accompanied by the writings of Andrea Branzi, Nicola Pugno, Carlo Ratti, which induces us to reflect on the end of modernity and the consequences «of the digital revolution on the spaces of architecture and the city at the time of the long present» and to know how to look at narrative architecture as Giancarlo De Carlo defines it, capable of listening, welcoming, annexing what are the tensions between the city and its inhabitants. Narrative as a sense of the existing, new eyes through which to look at what is already there.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A journey towards beauty marked by stages on difficult issues but which are dealt with great simplicity with rich artistic, cinematic and musical references almost as if to imagine that in this pilgrimage to the architecture you can meet the people mentioned, as well as their invitation to project ourselves into the future by overcoming their own innovative insights</span><span class="s2"> «eternal absent is the future. </span><span class="s1">But also, the present. We live in a Neo-Prehistory, where what will happen and what is happening is unknown to us». Because it is unfortunately in front of everyone’s eyes «that architecture, more than other creative disciplines, struggles to understand this new conception of time» to the point of asking ourselves if it is still possible to propose innovation in design.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">«How will the forms of living change in the era of shared information?».</span> <span class="s1">It is clear that it is not only the understanding of the passing of time that should worry us, and here Ricci with disarming simplicity puts us in front of an inevitable reality:</span> <span class="s1">«the second consequence of the computer revolution for the disciplines of design is that the built space is aleatory»</span> <span class="s1">introducing a theme that is much debated today «there may or may not be and, perhaps, there is no need for the new. This is a condition determined by the excess of volumes built in recent years that offers reuse, regeneration and recycling incredible opportunities for intervention, by the awareness of the environmental emergency that imposes the objective of reducing the ecological footprint of the cities»,</span> <span class="s1">offering us a possible solution on which to investigate «the interaction between virtual and material reality manages to describe and make us inhabit virtual spaces up to now unknown and unpredictable of the real world»</span> <span class="s1">and prefigures another theme on which to invest research in architecture in the immediate present, but above all leaves much ground for design that «is set to become a new profession of the masses»,</span> <span class="s1">where social creativity flows its energy and its disruptive innovative power.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Inside a hyper-saturated market and a rigidly constructed world, design according to Branzi is the tension, the endless energy that changes its form and, penetrating into the «interstitial spaces of the world», breaks up even the immutable dynamics of the long present, always raising new questions. On the other hand, the practice of design is nothing other than the “mass profession”, a form assumed by the Marxian craftsmanship, an instrument of self-expression, realization and fulfillment of the human soul: Mosè Ricci, recognizing in the digital revolution the greatest change of the last centuries, even «more pervasive and incisive than that of the internal combustion engine», describes the Architecture of the Long Present as a new era, in which virtual reality and physical reality coexist without having yet found a balance, in which Gestalt and Zeitgeist are as distant as ever, in which we live in different ways and times.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In order to make sense of what we are doing, we ask if it is possible to think about a new statute for architecture because while everything is revolving, houses and cities remain essentially what they were. And yet «society has always been interested in the quality of the forms of living, but this is increasingly identified with the environmental, economic and social sustainability of interventions». Aesthetic values, though fundamental, are changing. Attention is placed on the affirmation of three main quality objectives: performance, social sharing and narrative. And also, in this passage the author shows his extraordinary transdisciplinary vision of architecture, recognizing to the performance project «the technological paradigm declined as a conceptual principle of operational aesthetics [...]. The architecture of performance versus the architecture that follows the function, means to put at the center of the idea of project not the use but the innovative result appreciable in terms mainly ecological but not only»; this means that the principle of performance projects architecture into the contemporary world, making it become the terminal or interface of a system of environmental, physical or immaterial relations that give substance to its existence.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The book, which is easy to read, invites you to search page after page for an indication, a reasoning on how to consciously deal with the most current issues in architecture; a text that I recommended to my students of design (first year, not surprisingly) that have devoured stealing every concept possible to have a vision “of the long present” for the project but especially to accompany us to a wonderful job, a journey that begins from outside but ends within us «for architecture that tends to interpret it in the built spaces and in those of nature, beauty is in the mind of those who seek it or in the eyes of those who recognize it» and that has the only fault of being discussed and investigated through the disciplinary plot of the academy.</span></p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Alberto De Capua Energy transition. The role of smart grids and digital technologies 2021-07-06T13:17:30+00:00 Alessandro Claudi de Saint Mihiel <p class="p2"><span class="s1">The gradual transition from fossil fuels to a carbon neutral economy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The European Union has undertaken numerous initiatives aimed at what is called the energy – and at the same time digital – transition, in order to create growth, jobs, to improve the quality of life of citizens, and to fight climate change. The EU renewed its climate commitment by launching a regulatory process that led in 2019 to the final approval of a package of directives known as the “Clean Energy for all Europeans Package”<sup>1</sup> aimed at ensuring a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels, a 32% increase in the use of renewable sources for final energy consumption, a 32,5% reduction in primary energy consumption compared to the trend scenario, an increase of 15% of cross-border electricity interconnection capacity on installed electricity generation capacity. In Italy, the Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate 2021-2030, drawn up by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, identifies objectives, trajectories and measures that represent our country’s commitment to achieving the European targets by 2030.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">In this reference framework, the energy transition, that is the transformation of the electricity system, implies a series of challenges to be faced while maintaining the current high levels of service quality and avoiding an excessive increase in costs for the community.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Among the enabling factors of this transformation we can identify on the one hand the new digital technologies, which allow to collect information at low cost (IoT, smart meter), to transfer large data streams with reliable connectivity solutions (optical fiber, 5G) and to store and analyze data effectively (advanced analytics), on the other hand investments in innovation projects that bring together new digital solutions allowing to face the challenges of the energy context through a transition based on the integration of renewable sources, strengthening of transmission capacity, resilience of infrastructures. «We are witnessing a rethinking of the methods of managing networks, especially distribution networks, which must pass from passive to active. This direction of evolution is identified, at an international level, with the term Smart Grid<sup>2</sup>, implying highly innovative structures and operating methods that are also able to cope with the numerous problems related to the management of Diffused Generation, the promotion of energy efficiency and greater involvement of end users […]. Now it is no longer enough just to satisfy the growing demand for electricity, but we must respond to new needs that can only be solved thanks to the use of ICT» (Delfanti, 2011; Silvestri, 2011).</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">The current centralized and top-down distribution of energy will become more and more obsolete and will eventually disappear. In the new era, companies, administrations, homeowners will be able to become producers as much as consumers of their own energy (prosumers), the so-called “distributed generation”, by aggregating and collecting renewable energy generated locally and distributing it through smart grids (Mazzari, 2011).</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Smart grids use wireless sensors, software and utility computing that allow to observe and control how much energy is consumed, to increase the generation and storage capacity of RES energy, to improve the quality and operational safety of the entire electricity distribution system, to allow the active participation of users in the market through the integration of all users connected to the grid.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">In this regard, analyst Jesse Berst affirmed that smart meters can be considered as an invention equal to the telephone system, the transcontinental railway, the internet (Palma, 2011).</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">These preliminary considerations are useful for understanding the role played by COGEPA Telecommunication </span><span class="s2">S.p.A.</span><span class="s1">, an engineering, design, construction and maintenance company of telecommunications networks, technological systems, networking and low, medium and high voltage energy transport systems. The number of the Address Book has identified the Company as a qualified interlocutor whose reference market is represented by telephone operators, large infrastructures and Public Administrations.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">In the following pages, through a dialogue with Eng. Luca Palermo, Commercial Director of COGEPA Telecommunication </span><span class="s2">S.p.A.</span><span class="s1">, we will develop some reasoning on Smart Grids and the role of digital technologies, and on how the company’s know-how has allowed to anticipate the opportunities offered by technological innovations while respecting the environment in an energy saving and efficiency optics.</span></p> <p>In questo quadro di riferimento la transizione energetica, nella fattispecie la trasformazione del sistema elettrico, implica una serie di sfide da affrontare mantenendo gli attuali elevati livelli di qualità del servizio ed evitando un aumento eccessivo dei costi per la collettività.</p> <p>Tra i fattori abilitanti di questa trasformazione si possono individuare da un lato le nuove tecnologie digitali, che consentono di raccogliere informazioni a basso costo (IoT, <em>smart meter</em>), di trasferire grandi flussi di dati con soluzioni affidabili di connettività (fibra ottica, 5G) e di stoccare e analizzare i dati in maniera efficace (<em>advanced analytics</em>), dall’altro gli investimenti in progetti di innovazione che mettono insieme le nuove soluzioni digitali permettendo di affrontare le sfide del contesto energetico attraverso una transizione basata sull’integrazione delle fonti rinnovabili, il rafforzamento della capacità di trasmissione, la resilienza delle infrastrutture. «Si assiste a un ripensamento delle modalità di gestione delle reti, soprattutto di distribuzione, che devono passare da passive ad attive. Questa direzione di evoluzione è identificata, a livello internazionale, con il termine smart grid<sup>2</sup>, sottintendendo strutture e modalità operative fortemente innovative che siano anche in grado di far fronte ai numerosi problemi legati alla gestione della Generazione Diffusa, alla promozione della efficienza energetica e a un maggiore coinvolgimento degli utenti finali […]. Adesso non basta più solo soddisfare la crescente domanda di energia elettrica ma bisogna rispondere a nuove esigenze risolvibili solo grazie al ricorso alle ICT» (Delfanti, 2011; Silvestri, 2011).</p> <p>L’attuale distribuzione centralizzata e dall’alto verso il basso di energia, diverrà sempre più obsoleta fino a scomparire. Nella nuova era le aziende, le Amministrazioni, i proprietari di casa potranno diventare produttori tanto quanto consumatori della loro stessa energia, la cosiddetta “generazione distribuita”, aggregando e raccogliendo l’energia rinnovabile generata localmente e distribuendola per mezzo delle smart grid (Mazzari, 2011).</p> <p>Le reti intelligenti utilizzano sensori wireless, software e <em>utility computing</em> che permettono di osservare e controllare quanta energia viene consumata, di aumentare la capacità di generazione e stoccaggio dell’energia da FER, di migliorare la qualità e la sicurezza di funzionamento dell’intero sistema di distribuzione di energia elettrica, di consentire la partecipazione attiva dell’utenza nel mercato attraverso l’integrazione di tutti gli attori connessi alla rete.</p> <p>A tal proposito l’analista Jesse Berst ha affermato, riguardo ai contatori intelligenti, che possono essere considerati come un’invenzione pari al sistema telefonico, alla ferrovia transcontinentale, ad internet (Palma, 2011).</p> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Alessandro Claudi de Saint Mihiel