1933, Giedion's attention on the relation between the Mediterranean myth and modernity

Conference participation |
Milan, November 2016

The conference "Photography for 20th century architecture in Italy. Construction of history, design, building sites" took place in the Palazzo Lombardia and the Pirelli tower on November 24-25, bringing together a stimulating array of interventions on the role of photography in informing architectural historiographies, histories and, at times, the production of architecture itself.

My participation centered on the impression the first trip to Greece during CIAM IV made on the art historian Sigfried Giedion, showing how he interpreted the relation between the myth of the Mediterranean and the principles of the Modern Movement, through his photographic and literary captures.

Conference website

• Image: Kalisperi school, Patroklos Karantinos, Acropoli, Athens 1931 | Photographer: Sigfried Giedion | Source: gta Institut, ETH Zürich

"Room at the top?"
Denise Scott Brown's recognition, from the 2016 Gold Medal in reverse

Article for Gizmo |
October 2016 (Online)

On October 3rd, Denise Scott Brown turned eighty-five. Her anniversary, as well as her recent AIA Gold Medal nomination, provided a good reason for underlining the need to re-evaluate her professional and biographical paths and to repeat the question ‘Room at the Top?’ – which she herself had posed in the homonymous 1989 article about sexism, the star system and architecture.

To the wider public, however, Denise became particularly known in 2013, the year when two students of the Harvard School of Architecture initiated a petition for her retrospective recognition at the 1991 Pritzker prize. My piece for Gizmo spans her professional and pedagogical biographies, from her years at the AA to the ones at Pennsylvania, shedding light on her captivating approach to the discipline.

Gizmo website

• Image: Denise Scott Brown at her office | Source: Venturi Scott Brown and Associates Inc., Philadelphia | Photographer: Jeremy Tenenbaum

Breathing wall skins.
Theorizing the building envelope as a membrane

Article for MD Journal |
Fall 2016 (Open-access)

Although the term 'membrane' principally derives from the field of anatomy, referring to the essential boundary of biological cells, it has gained entrance in the terrain of architectural discourse, so as to describe the spatial envelopment this time.

Going beyond the limits of its metaphorical use, my piece for the first issue of the Material Design Journal, edited by the homonymous research laboratory at the University of Ferrara, has identified key moments in the architectural historiography of the early 20th century, in which the membrane notion has marked a change in the performance of the building exterior and, most importantly, its relation to concepts of modernity.

MD Journal Website

• Image: Le Corbusier, Centrosoyus Center, Moscow 1928 | Source: Fondation Le Corbusier