Fall 2016, lecture by Gabriele Mastrigli.

Lecture by Gabriele Mastrigli.

Architect and critic Gabriele Mastrigli, professor of “Theory and Design” at University of Camerino, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday October 4, 2016 lecturing on “S,M,L,XL. Architecture of a Book”, as part of the “Theories of Architecture” course directed by Marco Brizzi.

Gabriele Mastrigli is an architect and critic based in Rome. He teaches “Theory and Design” at University of Camerino. He has also previously taught Architecture Theory and Studio at Cornell University and the Berlage Institute of Rotterdam. His articles and essays appeared many magazines including “Domus”, “Log” and “Lotus international”. He edited Junkspace, a critical anthology of Rem Koolhaas’ seminal writings (Quodlibet, 2006, Payot, 2011). He recently curated Superstudio 50, an extensive exhibition about the Florentine radical group, held at the Maxxi in Rome. In this occasion he published the volume Superstudio Opere (1966-1978), (Quodlibet, 2016).


Fall 2016, lecture by Alessandra Cianchetta.

Lecture by Alessandra Cianchetta.

Alessandra Cianchetta, founding partner at AWP with offices in Paris and in Basel, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday September 20, 2016 presenting recent works by her office. Paola Giaconia will introduce her lecture.

Alessandra Cianchetta is an architect and urban designer (RIBA) and a founding partner at AWP Paris and AWP-HHF-Basel. AWP Paris is an award-winning practice that works across scales and genres – from the 160 ha strategic masterplan for the Paris CBD to pavilions, landscapes, interiors, exhibitions and publications. Her work is regularly presented at venues worldwide such as MAXXI in Rome, Cité de l’Architecture in Paris and MoMA and the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. It has been featured in “The New York Times”, “Le Monde”, “Wallpaper” and “Architese”. Currently visiting critic and thesis advisor at The Berlage in Delft and formerly at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Alessandra gives equal weight to the substance of building and its intangible effects, addressing sensual and perceptual experiences at large urban scales. Current works include a 85,000 square-metre housing and mixed-use sector project in Lausanne, which will transform the landscape of the city, a 70,000 square-metre public space adjoining the Grande Arche de la Défense, including a unique series of new buildings, the masterplan of Paris’ CBD, and Poissy Galore, a sequence of public buildings and follies set in a park by the Seine.  Alessandra has also curated exhibitions for major cultural institutions,  written books and essays (Park Guell, Gustavo Gili, 2002; Alvaro Siza : Private Houses 1954–2004, Skira, 2004; and Nightscapes, nocturnal landscapes, Gustavo Gili, 2009), lectured, taught and exhibited her work at many architectural venues and universities worldwide.   Awarded the French Ministry of Culture Prize for  Best Young Architects in 2006 and the French Ministry of Ecology,  Sustainability, Transport and Housing PJU urban planning award 2010 Alessandra was trained as an architect at “La Sapienza” Rome, Etsa Madrid and Etsa Barcelona, and later attended advanced studies on criticism and landscape theory.

Spring 2016, lecture by Kamiel Klaasse.

Lecture by Kamiel Klaasse.

Kamiel Klaasse, principal at NL Architects based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday April 19, 2016 presenting recent works by his office. Marco Brizzi will introduce his lecture.

NL Architects is an Amsterdam based office. The initial four principals, Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Kamiel Klaasse and Mark Linnemann, officially opened practice in January 1997, but have shared workspace already since the early nineties.

“Architecture is the medium through which we hope to contribute to the understanding of contemporary culture -and to its development. We understand architecture as the speculative process of investigating, revealing and reconfiguring the wonderful complexities of the world we live in. Can we compress banality into beauty; squeeze the sublime out of the obvious? How can we transform, twist, bend, stack or stretch, enhance or reduce, or reassemble the components that constitute our environment into new and better configurations?”

Spring 2016, LOOK AT ME NOW! photography and video workshop.

LOOK AT ME NOW! 2016 workshops.

The week after midterm reviews (March 14 – 17, 2016), students enrolled in the Architecture and in the Interior Design programs at Kent State University in Florence attended the second edition of the LOOK AT ME NOW! workshops.

Instructors were two architects, photographers and video makers who are especially talented in portraying contemporary architecture in photography and in video and who have extensive experience running workshops.

The Photography workshop was run by Italian architect and photographer Anna Positano. Anna is a photographer and an artist, with a background in architecture. She graduated in Architecture at the University of Genoa, then obtained her MA in Photography at the London College of Communication. Her work encompasses the reciprocal influence between landscape and society and explores everyday places. Her projects have been exhibited internationally, in art galleries and public institutions, such as La Triennale in Milan, the Venice Architectural Biennale, at Cornell University in Ithaca NY, and Villa Croce Museum of Contemporary Art, Genoa. In addition to her art and research, she works on commission for architects and public institutions. She is regularly published in international architectural magazines.

The Video workshop was run by Italian architect and video author Davide Rapp. Davide holds a Ph.D. in Interior Design from the Politecnico di Milan.  He collaborated for 5 years, between 2008 and 2013, with architect Stefano Boeri on urban, architectural and interior design projects including – among others – “Sustainable Dystopias”: a research project that explores different ideas surrounding the reconciliation between cities and nature, exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008. He participated as a contributor in the last Venice Architecture Biennale of 2014, curated by Rem Koolhaas, with ‘Elements’, a movie montage of short architecture-related clips, conceived specifically for the introduction room of the main exhibition at the Biennale, titled ‘Elements of Architecture’. He was published on national and international architecture magazines such as Abitare, Icon Design and the Architectural Review.  He is co-author (with Alberto Iacovoni) of a graphic novel on architecture titled ‘Playscape’, published in 2009, exploring the public space as an exciting and promising testing ground of possibilities.

On Thursday March 17, 2016 the students made a final presentation of the works they produced in the course of the workshop in the lecture hall at Palazzo Vettori, in the presence of professors and students from the Università degli Studi di Firenze. Marco Brizzi offered a critical and theoretical commentary of the student’s works.

A selection of the photos made by the students under the guidance of Anna Positano can be seen here below:

Some of the videos made by the students under the guidance of Davide Rapp can be seen here below:

Spring 2016, lecture by Giuseppe Farris.

Lecture by Giuseppe Farris.

Giuseppe Farris, principal at Studio Farris Architects based in Antwerp, Belgium, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday April 5, 2016 presenting recent works by her office. Andrea Ponsi will introduce his lecture.

Studio Farris Architects is an architectural practice based in Antwerp, Belgium and founded by Italian architect Giuseppe Farris in 2008. The studio’s goal is to discover the intrinsic potential in every project, questioning the obvious, exploring the surroundings and cultural heritage. This always while looking for harmony between sustainability and innovationfunctionality and experienceratio and feeling. The building’s users play a fundamental role in the conception of the architecture. Not only as users, but as dynamic and playful elements that visually influence the architecture. Architecture, interior architecture, furniture design, lighting and graphic design are all part of the same overall concept and are designed as a coherent whole, with particular attention to detail.

Spring 2016, lecture by Helena Casanova.

Lecture by Helena Casanova.

Helena Casanova, co-founder with Jesus Hernandez of Casanova+Hernandezwith offices in Rotterdam, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday March 1, 2016 presenting recent works by her office. Paola Giaconia will introduce her lecture.

Casanova+Hernandez, founded in 2001 by Helena Casanova and Jesus Hernandez, is a design and research studio based in Rotterdam. It focuses on rethinking and designing our urban habitat in order to create vibrant cities while promoting environmental and social sustainability. Working with an interdisciplinary team and with experience developing projects in very different cultural contexts in Europe, South America and Asia, the office has expanded its capabilities and its international network through close and fruitful collaboration with experts in different continents.

Spring 2016, lecture by Sandy Attia.

Lecture by Sandy Attia.

Sandy Attia, co-founder with Matteo Scagnol of Modus Architects, with offices in Brixen, Italy, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday February 23, 2016 presenting recent works by her office. Marco Brizzi will introduce her lecture.

Sandy Attia and Matteo Scagnol partner as Modus Architects in the year 2000 after completing their graduate studies at Harvard University. The studio distinguishes itself for its heterogeneous approach to the field of architecture, combining the two different cultural and formative backgrounds into one platform for design ideas. Completed projects range in scale from infrastructure, to buildings, to objects within the buildings, and include public, institutional and private commissions. In recent years the practice has gone on to complete a number of critically acclaimed projects, including the Bressanone-Varna Ringroad, the Pre- School, Kindergarten and Family Center in Bolzano, and the Artist’s House and Atelier in Castelrotto—projects all located in the South Tyrol region of Italy. Subsequent to a series of national and international accolades, several new projects with a wider geographic reach are currently underway, marking a shift in their scope of work.

Spring 2015, lecture by Nanne de Ru.

Lecture by Nanne de Ru.

Nanne de Ru, co-founder with Charles Bessard of Powerhouse Company, with branches in Rotterdam, Copenhagen and Beijing (, will be at Palazzo Cerchi on Tuesday April 14, 2015 presenting recent works by his office. Andrea Ponsi will introduce his lecture.

Nanne de Ru is a co-founder of Powerhouse Company and the director of The Berlage Center of Advanced studies in Architecture and Urban Design. He studied Architectural Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science and received the Master of Excellence in Architecture in 2002 from the Berlage Institute, Postgraduate Laboratory of Architecture, in Rotterdam. From 2002 to 2004 Nanne de Ru worked at Rem Koolhaas’s AMO, the research branch of OMA, as lead researcher and designer. In 2005 Nanne de Ru co-founded Powerhouse Company, with branches in Rotterdam and Copenhagen. Nanne leads the Rotterdam team. Since beginning 2013 Nanne de Ru is Director of The Berlage. He has taught and lectured at schools across Europe, such as the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Image: Villa L by Powerhouse Company (photo: Christian van der Kooy).

The Kent State Forum on the City: MADRID.

The Kent State Forum on the City: MADRID.

After Milan, Rotterdam, Rome, Genoa, Turin, CittaEmilia, and Madrid, the eighth edition of the Forum is dedicated to MADRID.

Our attention derives not just from the fact that Madrid is one of Europe’s largest metropolitan regions, a socially magnetic and cosmopolitan city that is culturally and economically alive. There are, in fact, several reasons for our choice: one of the most important is that Madrid seems to have emerged from the past 20 years as a leading center in Europe for design excellence. What underlies this quality? What strategies has Madrid recognized that allow it to succesfully face the difficult times cities worldwide are experiencing? What distinctive elements exist here, in the architects’ works, that may inspire future generations of designers?

Edited by: Paola Giaconia, Eugenio Pandolfini.
Publisher: dpr-barcelona, Spain (2013).
With contributions by: Burgos & Garrido arquitectos, Andrés Cánovas Alcaraz, Domenico Di Siena, José María Ezquiaga Domínguez, Juan Manuel Fernández Alonso, Davide Tommaso Ferrando, Paola Giaconia, María Belén Hermida Rodríguez, Juan Herreros Guerra, Eugenio Pandolfini, Salvador Pérez Arroyo, Gemma Peribáñez Ayala, Porras – La Casta arquitectos, Rubio y Álvarez-Sala, Federico Soriano Peláez, José Luis Vallejo Mateo, Gianpiero Venturini, West 8.

The Kent State Forum on the City: BERLIN.

The Kent State Forum on the City: BERLIN.

After Milan, Rotterdam, Rome, Genoa, Turin, CittaEmilia, and Madrid, the eighth edition of the Forum is dedicated to BERLIN.

Berlin has had a truly unique urban history and has undergone incredibly fast development with continuous demographic changes which in less than 200 years have made it not only the capital of Germany but also one of the key cities at global level, an authentic hub of ideas, projects, expectations and lifestyles. The Forum pays tribute to this incredible transformational power that Berlin has managed to have.

The grad students, studying in Florence in the Fall 2013 semester, visited Berlin with Giovanni Damiani and Thilo Folkerts, co- curators of the Kent State Forum on the City: BERLIN. They developed a series of cartographies of the city they observed, and presented them to the audience attending the event in Florence.

The Fall 2013 Kent State Forum on the City received the patronage of: Municipality of Florence, Ordine degli Architetti di Firenze (Florence Institute of Architects) and Fondazione Architetti Firenze (Florence Architects’ Foundation).


Edited by: Giovanni Damiani, Thilo Folkerts, Paola Giaconia.
Publisher: dpr-barcelona, Spain (2015).

With contributions by: Giovanni Damiani, Véronique Faucheur, Thilo Folkerts, Paola GiaconiaJeanette Kunsmann, Christof Mayer, Marc Pouzol, Ali Saad, Luka Skansi.