What is the first memory that comes to your mind related to the Faculty of Architecture of Pescara?
Lots of memories. One above all: Blue Banana, a 2003 seminar on the future forms of the city that we organized together with the students. Simply fantastic. We invited many young and little-known architects at the time: Helene Hölzl (landscape architect from Bolzano), Philippe Rahm (curator of the Swiss pavilion at the Biennale of, 2000) Philipp Oswalt (now director of the Bauhaus), Stefan Tisher (now professor at Versailles), Jean Philippe Vassal (Lacaton and Vassal), Bart Lootsma (SuperDutch), Christophe Girot (now prof at ETH Zurich), Martin Rein Cano (founder Topotek)) who were already working on the paradigms of the landscape and the ecological project in the moment of maximum splendor of the star international system. Now almost everyone is the protagonist of the international debate We had filled the hall of the faculty and first staircase with huge inflatable blue bananas hanging from the ceiling. The installation lasted an entire academic year. Blu Banana represented the Pescara school of those years, always ahead in time, always curious, always provocative, always propulsive in the national and international debate.
One of the phenomena that has affected the Faculty of Architecture of Pescara since its origins has been that of TREND. What is TREND? and what did it represent for you?
I arrived as a very young researcher in 1984. The Trend season in Pescara, as elsewhere, was at the end. Arduino Cantafora wrote that the Trend was was the dream of an architecture that involved us in terms of content and commitment. In this sense I have always been sympathetic to the movement. I have never been a part of them and their "style" did not belong to me. Although I worked a lot with Aldo Rossi and learned a lot from him about architecture and the city, I am convinced that there has always been a strong difference between Aldo's idea of architecture and that of the other protagonists of the trend. For Rossi it was the meaning that counted beyond the form. I'm not sure that for the others in the trend this was always the case.
What do you think you have left in this faculty?
I left my heart there. 20 years of training as a scholar and the entire academic career completed in life matter a lot. I have left a lot of affections, which fortunately I find unchanged every time I return. Instead, I brought with me the idea of the school as a collective enterprise, as a shared adventure between teachers and students. The Pescara School of the years between 90 and 2000 is still there. It spread throughout Italy. Infiltrated in other universities. Aldo Aymonino in Venice, Paolo Desideri in Rome3, Carmen Andriani and I in Genoa, Marco D'Annuntiis in Ascoli, Gianluigi Mondaini in Ancona, Ettore Vadini in Matera and among the youngest Stefania Staniscia and Chiara Rizzi in Trento ... and others in around the world. In short, in Pescara we left our teachers and the other initiators of the School. Alberto Clementi, Rosario Pavia, Pepe Barbieri, Adriana Carnemolla, Lucio Zazzara, to mention just a few ... but in reality we are all still in a tight network of initiatives
In his career he has faced different academic realities. Are there any distinctive features that can be recognized in the various universities? If yes, what are they?
Of course there are recognizable specificities but I believe that in most cases they are linked to times rather than places. Perhaps the only exception is Venice which manages to maintain a recognizable tradition of research over time. In Italy all the other schools have cycles that eventually run out. And the bets are two one for the teachers is to be able to keep the school alive or to open a new cycle, for the students instead the bet is to be able to enroll in a vital school that offers an innovative teaching project and a line of research to move with the times. Training matters a lot especially now that the world is changing and there is less and less work for architects. Think that with a 3d printer it will soon be possible to build a blender at home… and the Zanussi factory in Friuli is already closing. We can - and it is cheaper - have meetings on skype, buy on Amazon and become in the same taxis with uber… Think about the effects of these new practices on the physical space we live in. Many are already in place (retail trade disappears, factories and many shopping centers close, people live in old industrial lofts, etc.) Do you think that architecture and the city can remain the same in the face of these upheavals in the physical habitable space? So if I were a student today I wouldn't want to go and learn the architecture of the stars and the urban planning of zoning. Because I'm out of time. Because it is not the kind of job that we can offer to the world anymore… Here I am as a student I would look for a school that proposes new disciplinary paradigms and consolidated networks of training and research at national but above all international level.
If you were to return to teaching in Pescara, what experiences would you try to introduce into the reality of the Department of Architecture?
I do not know. I never thought about it. Pescara is a closed story. Even if in life ... never say never ...
Thanks for the interview, it is an honor for me to be sought again by the students of my school of origin.