LUCA GALOFARO (IaN+) – This is not a manifesto

Tonight we had the pleasure of hosting the Winter Lecture Series 2014 with Luca Galofaro representing IaN+.

IaN+ was recently invited to talk in a Conference in Italy by the name of Rebel Matters, Radical Patterns, which opened an interesting debate in the interests and research lines that the studio undertakes, and forcing them to pose questions which Luca discussed during his presentation:

Today there is much talk on the need to be radical, to do a cutting-edge architecture, to chase those image techniques that have been invading the real and virtual space. Architects like Luca and IaN+, who continue to deal with the project in the same way as always, find it difficult to place themselves within these circumstances. They really feel confused, and confusion is necessary to understand and to understand each other. So they started to make a list of things they consider important in their work and to reflect on their need to use the project as a research tool; wanting to write a manifesto that could represent their approach, without the need to publish it. But the more talking and writing went on, the more they started realizing this is not a manifesto but a list of all those things they do not want to realise through their projects.

In the Sixties Hans Hollein breaks with the idyllic image of architecture, replacing it with everyday objects by declaring that everything is architecture; he does not think anymore in terms of style, in terms of conventional architectural works, but he considers architecture, in the same way of art, as an expression of the human spirit. Architecture and territory dissolve when an aircraft carrier turns into a structure creating a man-made landscape, where no element dominates the other. Today Hollein’s words take on even a deeper meaning, in the exact moment when everything really has become architecture. But if everything is architecture, it is always more difficult to understand the kind of spaces defining it and which practice to follow.

We strongly believe in the practice of architecture as a thought and project discipline, going beyond the mere production of shapes and objects. We declared it with a project that was starting exactly from Hollein’s statement, even if with Microutopiewe tried to do the opposite, to bring an aircraft carrier isolated in the desert back to its natural environment: the sea; through this action architecture regains its value, returning to be project. The aircraft carrier is no longer an object turning into architecture, but an objective reality, an architectural event which structures the territory through its program.

It is important that an architectural project responds to the demands of the market and makes good buildings, but it is equally important to make sure the project continues to be a thinking tool to interpret reality. Architecture should not only anticipate the future, but should create its conditions giving shape to the reality of the present; in order to accomplish it we need a cultural attitude that claims new theoretical and linguistic formulations, not reduced to the current condition of constant antagonism between different positions, where we continue to reproduce reality or we keep advocating a Radical or Avant-garde architecture because it uses particular tools and can produce in a continuous stream always new Utopias.

1. No Utopia (Reality VS Utopia)

2. No Visions (Imagination VS Image)

3. No Radical Projects (Structural VS Radical)

4. No Icons (Weak Projects VS Icons)

5. No New Paradigms (Architecture VS Paradigm)

Text by Luca Galofaro

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