Fall 2019, lecture by Christina Seilern.

Lecture by Christina Seilern.

1024 684 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Christina Seilern (principal at Studio Seilern Architects in London) will lecture on Tuesday November 12 at 7 pm at Palazzo Vettori. Her lecture, titled “Light as a Building Material”, will be introduced by prof. Paola Giaconia, Kent State University Florence CAED coordinator.

Christina Seilern established London-based creative practice Studio Seilern Architects in 2006. Applying her unique style across a range of building typologies, geographies and scales she re-engages in an approach that carefully addresses each project from an in-depth consideration of the detail to the overall massing strategy. She tackles a range of projects from large-scale city masterplans, down to the more intricate scale of furniture and light fitting design, both in the emerging and developed markets.
Prior to establishing Studio Seilern Architects, Christina Seilern was the founding director of Rafael Viñoly Architects (RVA) and was responsible for key projects such as the 20 Fenchurch St. office tower in London, the Curve Performing Arts Centre in Leicester, Mahler 4 tower in Amsterdam or Wageningen University Plant Research Centre in the Netherlands.
SSA was established with the intent of continuing the strong design ethos developed during Christina’s time at RVA. Her diverse portfolio includes RIBA-award winning projects such as Gota House in Zimbabwe, Ansdell Street in Kensington, a world-class concert hall in the Swiss alpine village of Andermatt, award-winning Wellington College Performing Arts Centre in Berkshire, and Boksto 6 masterplan – a UNESCO heritage site in Vilnius, Lithuania
Christina is a frequent panellist and guest speaker both in the UK and abroad and is also a regular juror for the AR MIPIM Awards, World Architecture Festival, the RIBA EyeLine, LEAF Awards and PAD London.
Christina grew up in Switzerland and then moved to the States to study architecture at Columbia University in New York (GSAPP ’96). She is very much influenced in her work by her early years spent in the mountains, connected to nature of awe-inspiring scale. Studying and working in the States in her twenties gave her a new perspective to scale and a bold approach. She was very much touched by the buildings of Louis Kahn and Eero Saarinen who combined poetry, simplicity of details, and clarity of thought throughout the projects, something that she tries to emulate in her own work.

Fall 2019, lecture by Ila Bêka.

Lecture by Ila Bêka (Bêka & Lemoine).

768 1024 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Ila Bêka, founding partner at Beka & Lemoine, will lecture on Tuesday 22 October at 7 pm at Palazzo Vettori, His lecture, titled “The Experience of Space”, will be introduced by prof. Marco Brizzi.

Video-artists, producers and publishers, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine are two of the foremost architectural artists working today. They have been working together for the past 10 years mainly focusing their research on experimenting new narrative and cinematographic forms in relation to contemporary architecture and urban environment. Focusing their interest mainly on how the built environment shapes and influences our daily life, they have developed a very unique and personal approach which can be defined, in reference to French writer Georges Perec, as an anthropology of the ordinary.

Presented by The New-York Times as the “cult figures in the European architecture world”, Beka & Lemoine’s work has been widely acclaimed as “a new form of criticism” (Mark) which “has deeply changed the way of looking at architecture” (Domus). Selected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (the Met) as one of the “Most exciting and critical design project of the year 2016”, elected “Game Changers 2015” by Metropolis Magazine, selected as one of the “100 most talented personalities of 2017” by Icon Design, the complete work of Bêka & Lemoine has been acquired in 2016 by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York for its permanent collection.

Their films have been widely presented in major biennials and international cultural events such as The Venice Architecture Biennale (2008, 2010, 2014), The Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016, the Seoul Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, Performa 17 in New York, among many others. Their films are also frequently exhibited in some of the most prestigious museums and international cultural institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul, or the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montréal, Canada. Bêka & Lemoine’s films have also largely been selected and awarded by some major film festivals such as CPH:DOX (Copenhagen), DocAviv (Tel Aviv), Chicago International Film Festival (Chicago), Torino Film Festival (Turin), among many others.

Bêka & Lemoine are regularly invited to lecture in some important universities: GSD / Harvard University (USA), GSAPP Columbia University (New-York, USA), AAP / Cornell University (USA), AA / Architectural Association School of Architecture (London, UK), Bartlett School of Architecture / UCL (London, UK). They have also been invited as guest professors at GSAPP Columbia University (New York) for the New York / Paris Program, l’Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (Switzerland), Domaine du Boisbuchet (France). In 2018 Bêka & Lemoine have been laureate of Villa Kujoyama, French residency program for artists in Japan, and Ila Bêka has been laureate Italian Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.

Fall 2019, lecture by Jeannette Kuo.

Lecture by Jeannette Kuo (Karamuk Kuo Architects).

881 1024 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Jeannette Kuo (co-founding partner of Zurich-based Karamuk Kuo Architects and Assistant Professor-in-Practice of Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design) will lecture on Tuesday October 1 at 7 pm at Palazzo Vettori. Her lecture, titled “Possible Futures”, will be introduced by prof. Paola Giaconia, Kent State University Florence CAED coordinator.

Jeannette Kuo’s research and work focus on the intersection of structures, space, and culture. From multi-unit housing to cultural infrastructures like the Augusta Raurica Archaeological Center, the work of the office spans across scales and typologies to address collective culture and public urban life. Each project finds spatial and conceptual opportunities within the constraints of everyday reality, working from the inside out to define new relationships between program, structure and space. Recent built works include the International Sports Sciences Institute in Lausanne and the Weiden Secondary School. Publications include the two-volume research on workspace typologies: A-Typical Plan (2013) and Space of Production (2015), as well as the recent El Croquis 161 monograph on Karamuk Kuo.

Fall 2019, lecture by Alberto Iacovoni.

Lecture by Alberto Iacovoni (ma0).

1024 683 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Alberto Iacovoni, founding partners at ma0 (, an inter-disciplinary design practice based in Rome, Italy, will lecture on Tuesday 24 September at 2:30 pm at Palazzo Vettori. His lecture, titled “Open Forms. Architectures for the Public Realm”, will be introduced by prof. Paola Giaconia, Kent State University Florence CAED coordinator.

Alberto Iacovoni, architect, is a founding member of the architecture firm  ma0/emmeazero (, which started in 1996. Between 1999 and 2004 he was a member of Stalker/Osservatorio Nomade ( With ma0, whose work ranges from interactive and multimedia installations to urban design, he received several awards in national and international competitions, participating in important exhibitions, such as the 10th, 11th and 12th Architecture Biennale in Venice. The work of the office has been published in the most prestigious magazines and publications of architecture. Korean publisher Damdi recently released a monograph, titled Borderlines, on the work of ma0. He has lectured at various universities and institutes, such as INARCH – National Institute of Architecture, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, NABA in Milan, and Cornell in Rome. Since 2000 he has taught at IED – Istituto Europeo di Design ( in Rome, where he was Director from 2009 to 2012, and later Scientific Director. Currently he is coordinator for the Master course in Exhibit Design at IED in Rome. He is a member of the Osservatorio della Creatività in the Province of Rome since its establishment in 2010. Among his publications are Game Zone. Playgrounds Between Virtual Scenarios and Reality (Birkhauser, 2003); Playscape (Libria, 2010); and Il libretto rosa di ma0. Teoria e pratica del realismo utopico / Ma0’s Little Pink Book. Theory and Practice of Utopian Realism (2016).

Spring 2019, lecture by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu.

Lecture by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu (Neri&Hu).

1024 683 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, founding partners at Neri&Hu (, an inter-disciplinary design practice based in Shanghai, China with an additional office in London, will lecture on Tuesday April 16 at 7 pm at Palazzo Vettori. Their lecture will be introduced by prof. Paola Giaconia.

Founded in 2004 by partners Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, Neri&Hu works internationally providing architecture, interior, master planning, graphic, and product design services. Currently working on projects in many countries, Neri&Hu is composed of multi-cultural staff who speak over 30 different languages. The diversity of the team reinforces a core vision for the practice: to respond to a global worldview incorporating overlapping design disciplines for a new paradigm in architecture.
Neri&Hu’s location is purposeful. With Shanghai considered a new global frontier, Neri&Hu is in the center of this contemporary chaos. The city’s cultural, urban, and historic contexts function as a point of departure for the architectural explorations involved in every project. Because new sets of contemporary problems relating to buildings now extend beyond traditional architecture, the practice challenges traditional boundaries of architecture to include other complementary disciplines.
Neri&Hu believes strongly in research as a design tool, as each project bears its unique set of contextual issues. A critical probing into the specificities of program, site, function, and history is essential to the creation of rigorous design work. Based on research, Neri&Hu desires to anchor its work on the dynamic interaction of experience, detail, material, form, and light rather than conforming to a formulaic style. The ultimate significance behind each project comes from how the built forms create meaning through their physical representations.
Neri&Hu has been featured widely by the press around the world and its designs have been recognized by a number of prestigious international design awards. Neri&Hu is named Maison&Objet Asia Designers of The Year 2015. UK Wallpaper* announced the founding partners Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu as 2014 Designers of The Year. They were inducted into U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2013.

Spring 2019, lecture by Bernard Khoury.

Lecture by Bernard Khoury.

1024 419 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design
Bernard Khoury of DW5 / Bernard Khoury, based in Beirut, Lebanon, will be at Palazzo Vettori presenting recent works by his office on Tuesday April 9 at 7 pm. His lecture, titled “Toxic Grounds”, will be introduced by prof. Marco Brizzi.
Bernard Khoury studied architecture at the Rhode Island school of Design (BFA 1990 / B.Arch 1991). He received a Master’s Degree in Architectural Studies from Harvard University (M.Arch 1993).
In 2001, he was awarded by the Municipality of Rome the honorable mention of the Borromini Prize given to architects under forty years of age. In 2004, he was awarded the Architecture+ Award.
He is the co-founder of the Arab Center for Architecture.
He was a visiting professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, L’École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris and the American University of Beirut. He has lectured and exhibited his work in over 120 prestigious academic institutions in Europe and the US including a solo show of his work given by the International Forum for Contemporary Architecture at the Aedes gallery in Berlin (2003) and numerous group shows including YOUprison at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (2008) and Spazio at the opening show of the MAXXI museum in Rome (2010).
He was the co-curator and architect of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national pavilion at the Venice Biennale’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014. His work has been extensively published by the professional press.
Khoury started an independent practice in 1993. Over the past twenty years, his office has developed an international reputation and a significant diverse portfolio of projects both locally and in over fifteen countries abroad.
Spring 2019, BETWEEN TOWER AND RIVER workshop with Università di Firenze.


1024 647 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

The workshop “Between Tower and River”, that will run from Monday 1 to Friday 5 April 2019, continues the long-time collaboration between Kent State University Florence, College of Architecture & Environmental Design and DIDA, Dipartimento di Architettura dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze.
Previous experiences have seen students engaged in architecture workshops and studios focused on the reconstruction of the urban fabric in small Tuscan historical centers: Bientina (2008), San Miniato (2011), and Magliano in Toscana (2017 and 2018).

The workshop will be led by professor Fabrizio Arrigoni from the Dipartimento di Architettura dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze and professors Filippo Caprioglio, Alberto Francini, Paola Giaconia and Andrea Ponsi, and will be tutored by Antonio Acocella and Milena Blagojevic.

47 Architecture students enrolled at KSUF CAED and 21 students enrolled at UniFi will work side by side to design a new community center next to the Torrino di Santa Rosa as well as the open spaces between the bank of the river Arno and the road.

Located between Ponte Vespucci and Ponte della Vittoria, the Torrino di Santa Rosa is a building that was part of the defensive system of the third and last circle of walls. It dates back to 1324. Coming from Lungarno Soderini you can recognize the nineteenth-century tabernacle built between the city gate and the tower; it contains a Pietà (with Saints John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene) probably painted in the early sixteenth century and generally attributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio. The work is what remains of the nearby oratory of Santa Rosa di Viterbo, demolished in the mid-eighteenth century. Today, in the garden surrounding the tower, a modest building houses the premises of a recreational club.

Spring 2019, LOOK AT ME NOW! workshop at Kent State University Florence CAED. (Photo: Anna Positano).

LOOK AT ME NOW! Spring 2019 workshops.

1024 683 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design
The week after midterm reviews (March 18 – 21, 2019), students enrolled in the Architecture and in the Interior Design programs at Kent State University in Florence attended the fifth edition of the LOOK AT ME NOW! workshop.
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: Anna Positano and Davide Rapp.
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 Architecture Biennale, Cornell University, and Villa Croce Museum of Contemporary Art in Genoa. She works on commission for architects and public institutions. Her work 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. participated in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Fundamentals (Biennale Venezia, 2014) with ‘Elements’, a movie montage of short architecture-related clips, conceived specifically for the introduction room of the exhibition ‘Elements of Architecture’, curated by Rem Koolhaas, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has been published in national and international architecture magazines such as Abitare, Icon Design, and The Architectural Review. He is co-author (with Alberto Iacovoni, Rome) of the graphic novel / architecture essay Playscape (Edizioni Libria, 2009), exploring the public space as an exciting and promising testing ground of possibilities.
On Thursday March 21, 2019 the students made a final presentation of the works produced in the course of the workshop in the lecture hall at Palazzo Vettori. Paola Giaconia, professor and Kent State University Florence CAED coordinator, and Marco Brizzi, professor of the Video, Media and Architecture course, offered a critical commentary on the students’ works.
Spring 2019, lecture by Casper Mork-Ulnes.

Lecture by Casper Mork-Ulnes (Mork-Ulnes Architects).

1024 683 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Casper Mork-Ulnes, principal at Mork-Ulnes Architects with offices in San Francisco and in Oslo, will lecture on Tuesday February 26 at Palazzo Vettori. His lecture, titled “Eight Houses in the Landscape”, will be introduced by prof. Andrea Ponsi.

With offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Mork-Ulnes Architects approaches projects with both Scandinavian practicality and Northern California’s ‘can-do’ spirit of innovation. 

Rigorous and concept-driven, the practice is based on built work characterized by both playfulness and restraint, and informed by economies of means and materials. Mork-Ulnes Architects have worked on projects ranging in scale  from masterplans to 100 square foot cabins, and have realized buildings on 3 continents. 

Mork-Ulnes Architects has been the recipient of numerous national and international honors, including Architectural Record’s 2015 worldwide Design Vanguard award. Mylla Cabin, a retreat they completed in the Norwegian forest, was nominated in November 2018 for The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

Norwegian born, Casper Mork-Ulnes was raised in Italy, Scotland and the United States, which has brought a broad perspective to his eponymous firm’s work. In 2015, Casper was named one of “California’s finest emerging talent” by the American Institute of Architects California Council. He was selected by the Norwegian National Museum as one of “the most noteworthy young architects in Norway” with the exhibit “Under 40. Young Norwegian Architecture 2013.” Casper holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from California College of the Arts.

Spring 2019, lecture by Clara Murado.

Lecture by Clara Murado (Murado & Elvira).

1024 683 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Clara Murado, founding partner at Murado & Elvira in Madrid, Spain, will lecture on Tuesday February 19 at Palazzo Vettori. Her lecture, titled “Reading Spaces”, will be introduced by prof. Andrea Ponsi.

Murado & Elvira is a Madrid-based multidisciplinary office founded by Juan Elvira and Clara Murado in 2003 dedicated to innovative architecture and interior design.

Their work has been awarded in many national and international competitions, and has been exhibited at prestigious venues such as the Biennale di Venezia and the Bienal de Arquitectura Española. They have been finalists at the Norwegian national architecture prize Staten Byggeskikkpris 2012 and selected at the Bienal Española de Arquitectura y Urbanismo 2013. In 2018 they were nominated for The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award for their Baiona Public Library project.

With a youthful team of professionals, their coming projects are covering different scales and scopes, from housing and renewals to public buildings. They design spaces to breathe. Relaxed, loose fit environments that allow for an immediate personal appropriation of the user. They propose a sustainable approach to design, where user participation, shared creativity and building techniques seek to benefit both society and nature.

Clara Murado studied architecture at ETSAM in Madrid and spent one year at the IUAV in Venezia (Italy). After completing her architecture degree, she took a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architecture Design at Columbia University. She is Associate Professor in Project Design at the Universidad de Arquitectura de Alcalá and visiting professor at national and international schools.