Since you were appointed director of the d'Am, what has been the biggest difficulty you have encountered?
The biggest difficulty is the management of the department assembly; teachers make decisions and then later question them again, if on the one hand this is a democratic attitude, on the other it becomes painful because we tend not to materialize, not to have a constant line of thought. Unless you choose paths that are deeply democratic, in fact, one criticism I have received is that of too much sharing, too much democracy.
How is your university organization evaluated and what are you proud of?
An attitude that I defend is the relationship that professors have with teaching and with students, it seems to me that it works a lot. In this sense, some signs of which I am particularly proud belong to students who have decided to do internships in Africa, students who will come to Brazil to work on the favelas. I don't say this because a student must always take risks, but I believe that this profession is judged above all by passion, and in these guys the passion is very strong.
How is architecture taught today?
It is perfectly correct to say 'nowadays', in the sense that I was trained in an era in which architecture was studied a lot by 'studying', many books, many lectures by Milanese professors from which we also came out quite shocked by deciding to study Lukács or Adorno ... it was another era. From there triple somersault. In recent years there has been a full design immersion in the laboratories, most of the time without any kind of theoretical approach. I believe that today you can use all the tools available, the important thing is to build a background that allows you to make choices motivating them, without relying too much on the imagination. In the meantime, I also realized that the architecture department, compared to the recent past, must make strong contributions to rejuvenate this school through art, cinema, photography, if possible even the theater. This is naturally very complex but we are trying it through an exhibition in which design, architecture and art will mix, through a film festival, coordinated by prof. Bucciarellli, who will link cinema to architecture.
What are the communication channels for these events?
They are quite disastrous. The department's site is under constant renovation; we have entrusted the construction of the site to a talented designer but it is still all a working in progress.
What do you think the level of our graduates is and on what basis do you rate it?
Thinking about my graduates before ours, they have always found a space that at the moment is increasingly shrinking; in general, our architecture graduates can hardly find spaces despite the fact that there is a density of degrees in architecture in a relatively small city. There is the problem of this large turnout of Apulian boys who decide to stay here as if Pescara were a small New Work, this creates an imbalance compared to employment in architecture.
How, as director, do you think you can make up for the lack of facilities in the department?
The big problem is the relationship that the department has with the university. The use of our facilities is conditioned by choices that come from Chieti and in this sense we are aiming to build a line that gives more importance to the Pescara pole. If architecture manages to have an important relationship with Ingeo it becomes a force to which one can no longer say no. I tried to open spaces for debate but this is not enough, it takes money, it takes adequate structures, one of the elements on which we are focusing very strongly is the creation of a library.
From the project of a few years ago, made by the ABDR group, of a new wing of the university parallel to the court, something significant is being tried to materialize. Compared to the library, it is essential to think of a media library, of a space that is not underground, but that has an architectural relevance; the money is there, we must avoid it being invested elsewhere. This dialectic between Pescara and Chieti, which is also a little provincial, must be fought.
Given the important names that have contributed to the growth of this faculty since its origins, which architects would you like to invite to your school today?
I would like to define a calendar of meetings with the professors who have taught here, your magazine can help us to give a progressive space. We tried to set up an event that wanted to retrace the history of the faculty starting with the years of the trend that have been quite removed here in Pescara. I would like to invite all the professors who have taught here by Aldo Monino, Cristina Bianchetti, Arturo Lansani, Paolo Desideri. It is important to be able to dialogue with the past in a non-nostalgic way .. before it was better now no .. it is not like that.
What relations currently exist between the Department of Architecture and foreign universities?
I believe that the chance that Pescara has consists precisely in these international relations, in particular with the United States, South America, something also towards the East. On the other hand, we have an important number of Erasmus in Europe but we receive little because we don't have a secretariat here, we don't have a place to house them, which we are trying to think about. The international relations we currently have are mainly relations between teachers and foreign universities. The challenge lies in trying to set up important research in which students and PhD students are then involved. An exchange does not result in a nice trip abroad, which is fine anyway, but it is very limiting for the university in the sense that it comes back very little.
Over the last ten years, 380,000 graduates have left Italy and 55,000 have arrived. Do you think it is possible to reverse this trend? If so, in what way?
I would like to point out that we have very few places for foreigners in the entrance tests and often these places go deserted, because nothing is done to fuel the arrival. Erasmus students are a form of enrichment, they are a way to get out of this provincial flatness. It is important to build an exchange, to hear other points of view and this is not true for Architecture, it is not true for the University and it is not true for Italy.
In conclusion he has the possibility to leave a message for his students.
But a message that I hope does not appear demagogic is that we must really work together, the teacher-student relationship must grow more and more without conflicts that are sometimes exhausting. One of the few intelligent inventions of the Gelmini Law is the parenthetical commission between student teachers. Now I will say something demagogic: the university is yours, it belongs to the students. We have the problem of commuting professors, it is concentrated all Wednesday, the students could also expect more, really make it clear that you pay taxes and want a service. I think that attending architecture, and I tell everyone this, is a beautiful thing, there is no comparison with other faculties. Group work certainly has negative drifts but it is very formative, where is group work done? Architects today cannot fail to work in a team, you have to get used to working in a team and everyone has to take their part… man grows up with others.