Spring 2015, lecture by Filippo Romano.

Lecture by Filippo Romano.

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Filippo Romano, documentary and architecture photographer ( will be at Palazzo Cerchi presenting his recent works on Tuesday March 3, 2015. The lecture will be introduced by Guido Incerti.

Filippo Romano studied documentary photography attending the Full-time Program at the International Center of Photography (I.C.P.) in New York. His works mostly deal with cities and urban dwellers. He is currently collaborating with the architecture section of the art publisher Skira, and his photographs have been featured on several inter national magazines, like Abitare, Dwell, Domus, Io Donna and Courrier International. In 2007 he won the Grant “Pesaresi/Contrasto” with the project “OFFCHINA”. He is the author of “Soleri Town”, a book about Paolo Soleri’s conception of Utopian Architecture. In 2009 he was selected at the exhibition “Joy” during the International Photo Festival of Rome with “Waterfront”, a series from the collection “Trieste”. In 2010 his work “Route 106” was exhibited at the Biennale of Architecture in Venice. In 2011 he took part in “Sao Paulo Calling” exhibition, with the project “Slum Insider” on the Slum of Mathare in Nairobi, in collaboration with he NGO LiveInSlums. He is currently a member of the Agency Luzphoto.

Image: ExpoGate by Alessandro Scandurra in Milan, Italy (photo: Filippo Romano).

Spring 2015, lecture by Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi.

Lecture by Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi.

1024 698 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

The Spring 2015 public event series at Kent State University, Florence Program kicked off on Tuesday February 10, 2015 with a lecture by Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi, principals and founding partners at OBR, Milan / London ( The lecture was introduced by Marco Brizzi.

OBR Open Building Research was established by Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi in 2000 to investigate new ways of contemporary living, creating a design network between Genoa, Milan, London and New York, further extended to Mumbai and Accra. The founding partners Paolo and Tommaso worked together with Renzo Piano. OBR was awarded with the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture at the Milan Triennale in 2009 and received an honorable mention for Emerging Architecture at the RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects in London in 2007.

Image: Children’s Hospital by OBR Paolo Brescia and Tommaso Principi in Parma, Italy (photo: Mariela Apollonio).

Fall 2014, A Lightbox for Art workshop.

A Lightbox for Art workshop.

1024 391 Kent State University, Florence Program | College of Architecture & Environmental Design

In Fall 2014 a 4-day workshop was offered to the students at Kent State University, Florence Program, organized by Paola Giaconia (Kent State University) and Franco Pisani (ISI Florence). The collaborative design workshop challenged students to engage -though briefly- in the study of issues, ideas and practical problems in the field of lighting design for exhibition purposes.

Students from Lawrence Tech University and Miami University (attending Kent State University, Florence program), from Marywood University and University of Hartford (attending ISI Florence),
and from the Università di Firenze took part in an intensive design charrette. Their task was to pick an art piece – be it a painting or a sculpture – from the immense Uffizi Gallery’s collection and conceive the best possible way to exhibit it inside a small pavillion (3 meters by 4 meters by 5 meters), taking advantage of natural light. Each team was asked to root its design in the art piece it chose: they analyzed it, its meaning as well its aesthetic characteristics of materiality, geometry, composition. A series of drawing and modeling exercises culminated in their design strategy to best exhibit the art piece, taking advantage of natural lighitng conditions.

A series of lectures further supported the students in their investigations.

The students’ focused and sustained effort was celebrated in a public presentation of their proposals and in a small publication.

Spring 2014, lecture by Manuel Aires Mateus.

Lecture by Manuel Aires Mateus.

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Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus ( lectured at Kent State University, Florence Program on Monday April 7, 2014. His lecture was introduced by Paola Giaconia.

Manuel Aires Mateus was born in Lisbon in 1963 and graduated from “Faculdade de Arquitectura / U.T.L” in 1986. He started collaborating with the Arch. Gonçalo Byrne in 1983 and started developing projects with his brother Francisco in 1988. The office Aires Mateus was then established independently by the two brothers although it was housed in Gonçalo Byrne’s studio in the first years. The increasing scale of work made them establish a larger and autonomous space to fulfil the demands. Since then the scale and the amount of projects has been prolific, resulting in several national and international awards. The visibility of their work has made them being invited and accepting lecturing and teaching at several institutions. Among these are the Graduate School of Design in Harvard, The Accademia di Architetura in Mendrisio as well as several others in Portugal. The structure right now spans through two studios both based in Lisbon, having several partnerships with local studios for international works.

Image: House in Leiria, Portugal by Manuel Aires Mateus (photo: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG).


Spring 2014, 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 of ElasticoSPA in Turin, Italy (, lectured at Kent State University, Florence Program on April 1, 2014. His lecture was introduced by Marco Brizzi.

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.

Image: Slow Horse Hotel in Piancavallo, Italy by Stefano Pujatti / ElasticoSPA.

Spring 2014, lecture by Carlos Arroyo.

Lecture by Carlos Arroyo.

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Tuesday March 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm Spanish architect Carlos Arroyo lectured at Kent State University, Florence program. His lecture was introduced by Paola Giaconia.

Carlos Arroyo Arquitectos ( is a Madrid based architecture and planning office of international scope, with built work and projects in Spain, France, Belgium, Argentina, Colombia and Rwanda. Carlos Arroyo has developed protocols for innovation on all scales, from building technology to landscape management, developing new types of public building, or researching into new forms of housing. His work, described by critics as “sustainable exuberance”, claims to set the frame for a new architectural culture, language and aesthetics, through the ethics, technology and parameters of sustainability.

Image: Academy of Music, Word and Dance in Dilbeek, Belgium by Carlos Arroyo Arquitectos.

Spring 2014, lecture by Thom Faulders.

Lecture by Thom Faulders.

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On Tuesday February 11, 2014, Thom Faulders, founding partner of FAULDERS STUDIO, Oakland, CA ( will be at Palazzo Cerchi presenting recent works by his office. The lecture will be introduced by John Loomis.

FAULDERS STUDIO works at the intersection of commissioned architecture, permanent public art installations, international museum and gallery exhibitions, and speculative design research. Led by architect Thom Faulders and based in Oakland, CA, the multi-disciplinary practice believes that the built environment can function as an open condition: a responsive medium activated through an exchange with contextual phenomena and dynamic perceptual interactions. By transforming simple materials into vibrant spatial formations, the studio’s projects are embedded with unique strategies that sync stability with change. These works are informed through and defined by investigations into emergent and unpredictable behaviors often present in complex artificial and natural systems.

Spring 2014, lecture by Luis Urculo.

Lecture by Luis Urculo.

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

On Tuesday January 28, 2014 Luis Urculo, principal of Estudio Luis Urculo in Madrid, Spain ( lectured at Kent State University, Florence Program. His lecture was introduced by Marco Brizzi, professor of the “Architecture and Media” theory course.

Luis Urculo, architect and visual artist, studied architecture at the ETSAM Technical School of Architecture in Madrid and at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. In 2006 he established his own studio. Since then, Urculo’s videos have become well known and highly respected throughout the architecture industry. He develops a work of small and indefinite architecture in an opened format. “I no longer know what architecture is and what an architect should do”, says Urculo. “I am interested in the peripheral side to architecture, the processes, developments and approaches that can be manipulated, sampled and translated into other scales, adapting to the composition of the project, creating new scenes/ experiences / expectations not contemplated previously.”