Savage Architecture exhibition and symposium.

150 150 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

On Tuesday November 29, 2016 the project Savage Architecture -an exhibition first hosted at Architectural Association in London and a book published by Black Square, both curated by Davide Sacconi- will be presented in a symposium at Kent State University in Florence. The project recounts the research at the intersection between architecture and anthropology developed in the last fifty years by Gian Piero Frassinelli (former member of Superstudio) and his recent collaboration with 2A+P/A (architectural practice based in Rome).

Gian Piero Frassinelli and 2A+P/A (Gianfranco Bombaci and Matteo Costanzo) will discuss the project together with Kyle Miller (Syracuse University in Florence), Gabriele Mastrigli (curator of the “Superstudio 50” exhibition at MAXXI), Marco Brizzi and Paola Giaconia (Kent State University in Florence); a unique opportunity to explore Frassinelli’s important role within the famous Florentine collective and to debate the long lasting influences and the operative potential of Superstudio’s work in the contemporary condition.

Savage Architecture presents a journey to the root of the relationship between architecture and man in four episodes. Departing from Frassinelli’s unpublished proposal for an Anthropology Research Center (1968), lingering on the dystopic and revealing scenarios of The Twelve Ideal Cities (1972), the trajectory culminates in the recent collaborative projects by Frassinelli and 2A+P/A for the Budapest Ethnographic Museum (2014) and the Central Archive of Human Cultures (2015). This fifty years-long journey among different experiments unveils the foundations of a project alternative to the current blind faith in the economic and technological reason. The anthropological gaze gives form to an architecture that is savage because it refuses to impose the power of reason over the symbolic, animal, vital and therefore political dimension of man.

Fall 2017, lecture by Ricardo Flores.

Lecture by Ricardo Flores.

1024 639 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Ricardo Flores, co-founder at Flores&Prats in Barcelona, Spain, will lecture on Thursday November 2 at Palazzo Vettori. Paola Giaconia will introduce him.

The studio of Flores & Prats Arquitectos is dedicated to confronting theory and academic practice with the design and construction activity. The office was established in 1998, after winning the competition for the masterplan of the historical neighborhood of Vilanova i la Geltrú. Eva Prats and Ricardo Flores designed and built several projects, such as the Nuevo Triunfo Hotel (Barcelona, 2001), the Mills Museum (Palma, 2002), the Yute’s Warehouse (Barcelona, 2005), or the Campus for the New Headquarters of Microsoft (Milan, 2011), the Building for 48 Dwellings (Guissona, 2005) or the Building 111 (Terrassa, 2010). They designed urban public spaces, such as the Fabra & Coats Gardens (Barcelona, 1999) or Pius XII Square (Barcelona, 2005); and site-specific installations for major cultural institutions and museums, including Tàpies Foundation, Miró Foundation and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. At the moment they are completing the construction of the Cultural Centre Palau Balaguer in Palma de Mallorca. They recently won the competition for the New Theater Sala Beckett-Obrador Internacional de Dramatúrgia in Barcelona.

Spring 2017, LOOK AT ME NOW! Photography Workshop With Anna Positano.

LOOK AT ME NOW! 2017 workshops.

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


The week after midterm reviews (March 20 – 23, 2017), students enrolled in the Architecture and in the Interior Design programs at Kent State University in Florence attended the third 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. He participated as a contributor in the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, 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.

A special contribution to this year’s workshop was offered by Leonardo Chiesi, professor of Sociology in the School of Architecture of the University of Florence, who will introduce students to some preliminary social research methods for architecture, urban design and planning. The tasks assigned to the students in the 4 days of the workshop will further emphasize the fact that sociology and design can be mutually engaged.

On Thursday March 23, 2017 the students made a final presentation of the works produced in the course of the workshop in the lecture hall at Palazzo Vettori. Some students from the University of Florence who were also able to participate in the workshop activities attended the presentations. Marco Brizzi, professor of the “Video, Media and Architecture” theory course, offered a critical commentary on the students’ 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 2017, lecture by Stefano Pujatti.

Lecture by Stefano Pujatti.

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

Stefano Pujatti, founder and principal at ElasticoSPA in Turin, Italy, will lecture on Tuesday April 11 at Palazzo Vettori. Marzo Brizzi  will introduce him.

For ElasticoSPA design is science-fiction rather than just a science.
It’s a balance between form and function, it’s innovation and realism, it means jumping forward keeping in mind what’s behind.
ElasticoSPA is precisely that, “Elastic” in its approach to design and architecture, and elastic in its approach to customers, manufacturers and end-users.
Elasticity means flexibility, and ensures that networking tensions are always kept to a minimum.
Elasticity means security: think of the net below the trapeze artist.
Elasticity means strength: think of David and Goliath.
We frequently see ourselves as trampoline artists. Our job is to keep our balance when everything around us is in a state of elasticity. To fly high you must keep calm, start and finish with your feet on the ground.
Design requires practical skills: it’s fine bouncing ideas around, ours stand up to the test of reality too.

Spring 2017, lecture by David Trottin.

Lecture by David Trottin.

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

David Trottin, founding partner at PÉRIPHÉRIQUES MARIN + TROTTIN ARCHITECTES, based in Paris, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday March 7, 2017 presenting recent works by his office. Marco Brizzi will introduce his lecture.

Inspired by the Dogma movement, PÉRIPHÉRIQUES ARCHITECTES structure was born in the mid 90’s from the fierce desire to go against the grain of established norms, to ask an innovative and offbeat look at their profession, focusing on the suburbs, on collective work and also on a different distribution of architecture and of architects’s works, through various publications. 

For more than 20 years, Emmanuelle Marin and David Trottin have been inscribing the practice of their profession in a collective register and a willingness to invite and share with other architects for specific collaborations or more durable ones on common projects. A trademark, an attitude: the “anti-ego”.

Spring 2017, lecture by Fuensanta Nieto.

Lecture by Fuensanta Nieto.

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

Fuensanta Nieto, principal at Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos in Madrid, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday April 4, 2017 presenting recent works by her office. Paola Giaconia will introduce her lecture.

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos was founded in 1985 by Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano and has offices in Madrid and Berlin. Along with being widely published in international magazines and books, the firm’s work has been exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia (in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2012), at MoMA in New York in 2006, at the Kunsthaus in Graz in 2008 and at the MAST Foundation in Bologna in 2014. They are the recipients of the 2007 National Prize for Restoration from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2010), the Piranesi Prix de Rome (2011), the European Museum of the Year Award (2012), AIA Honorary Fellowship (2015) and the Alvar Aalto Medal in 2015.

Their major works include the Madinat al-Zahra Museum, the Moritzburg Museum, the San Telmo Museum, the Zaragoza Congress Centre, the Joanneum extension in Graz, and the Contemporary Art Centre in Córdoba. Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos currently have projects in Germany, Spain, Austria, Estonia, Morocco, China, United Kingdom and France. Two monographs have been recently published about their work: “Nieto Sobejano. Memory and Invention” (2013) and “Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano. Architetture” (2014).

Spring 2017, lecture by Dan Dorell.

Lecture by Dan Dorell.

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Dan Dorell, principal at DORELL.GHOTMEH.TANE in Paris, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday February 7, 2017 presenting recent works by his office. Paola Giaconia will introduce his lecture.

Dan Dorell is one of the three founding partners of DORELL.GHOTMEH.TANE. Dan Dorell, Lina Ghotmeh and Tsuyoshi Tane opened their office in 2006 after winning the international competition for the Estonian National Museum, a 355-meter-long sloping glass building that rises from the runway of a former Soviet airbase near the city of Tartu that recently opened to the public. They practice Architecture, Urbanism and Space Design, collaborating with a multicultural team of 14 architects and professionals of interdisciplinary fields.

The team believes that the richness of Architecture comes from the fact that it is contingent upon other disciplines. For many of their projects, they seek to collaborate with professionals from different backgrounds: innovative engineers, artists, designers, scientists or sociologists. As such, DGT is working with photographer Fouad ElKhoury, designer Johnny Farah, conductor Seiji Ozawa, choreographer Jo Kanamori, fashion designers Yasuhiro Mihara and Akira Minagawa.

The practice’s creative process involves an archaeology of the physical, historical and social traces layered in the project’s place and time. This archaeological process, conducted in the form of in-depth research on the context, on the client’s vision and on the users of the projects, represents an important design tool and becomes an ‘integral’ part of the project that generates the ‘global specificity’ of it.

The partnership gained an international reputation through its design of the Estonian National Museum and through a series of cutting edge yet phenomenally sensitive projects. DGT is today one of the leading practices of the new generation of architects. It was awarded the NAJAP award by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008 and was nominated for the Ian Chernikhov prize in 2010.

Fall 2016, lecture by Léa-Catherine Szacka.

Lecture by Léa-Catherine Szacka.

1024 674 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Architectural historian Léa-Catherine Szacka, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Form, Theory and History, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday November 8, 2016 lecturing on “Exhibiting The Postmodern: The 1980 Venice Architecture Biennal”, as part of the “Theories of Architecture” course directed by Marco Brizzi.

Szacka holds a PhD in History and theory of architecture from the Bartlett, University College London. Her thesis “Exhibiting the Postmodern” (forthcoming, Marsilio, 2016) looked at the presentation and representation of architecture in exhibitions, the post-1968 institutionalisation of architecture, as well as the postmodern debate in Europe and America.

Szacka has lectured and published widely on postmodern architecture and has acted as editor, with Charles Jencks and Eva Branscome, for the 2011 re-edition of The Post-modern Reader. Alongside postmodern architecture, Szacka’s work focuses on architecture exhibitions. She has contributed to two journal’s special issues on the question (Log20, 2010 and OASE88, 2013), a book (Exhibiting Architecture, Lars Müller, 2014) and has organized a major symposium at the Centre Georges Pompidou in early 2014 (in the aftermath of which she is co-editing a special issue of the Cahiers du Musée national d’art moderne, fall 2014).

In 2014, Szacka presented Effimero: Or the Postmodern Italian Condition, a contribution to Monditalia exhibition at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. More recently, she acted as project manager for the After Belonging Academy, an educational forum organized by AHO as part of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale’s core program.


Fall 2016, lecture by Manuel Orazi.

Lecture by Manuel Orazi.

1024 641 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Architect and critic Manuel Orazi, professor of “History of Architecture and the City” at University in Cesena and in Ferrara, will be at Palazzo Vettori on Tuesday October 18, 2016 lecturing on “Yona Friedman. The Dilution of Architecture”, as part of the “Theories of Architecture” course directed by Marco Brizzi.

Born in Macerata, Manuel Orazi studied at IUAV University in Venice. He works for Quodlibet publishing house, where he is in charge of books on architecture and the press office. He also teaches History of Architecture and the City at the University in Cesena and in Ferrara. Every so often he writes  for Italian newspapers and for selected architecture magazines such as “Log”. He recently published Yona Friedman. The Dilution of Architecture, edited by Nader Seraj (Park Books, Zurich 2015)



Fall 2016, lecture by Gabriele Mastrigli.

Lecture by Gabriele Mastrigli.

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

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).