The final review of the semester design project for a fencing academy was held on Thursday, December 10.
Guest critics were John Hallock of Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Maria Elisa Marini, an accomplished fencer and teaching assistant with the Department of Architectural Sciences of the University of Genoa.
Eric Peterson presented a talk entitled "What is Fabrication? Tools and Technology for Architectural Exploration" to the architecture students and faculty of the UniGe Department of Architectural Sciences and to the Nautical Design students at the Polo universitario “G. Marconi” in La Spezia. Eric explained a variety of digital fabrication tools including 3D printing and CNC machines, and then presented the work of his students. The presentation culminated with a description of the fabrication of a 15' x 24' model of Miami to display the effects of sea level rise.
After his talk in the Genoa School of Architecture, Eric visited the fabrication facilities and discussed approaches and development with the faculty involved.
Prof.ssa Carmen Andriani, full professor and the vice-director of the Department of Architectural Sciences, presented her research, teaching and professional design work following the theme "Artificial Landscapes", exploring the concepts and methodologies that drive all of her work, and drawing from a variety of sources including the natural and manmade environment, as well as film and everyday objects and situations.
Prof. Christiano Lepratti, associate professor and in charge of DSA's internationalization, explained his teaching and research focus on "Responsible Design" and the role of the architect to address the overwhelming majority of the built environment that falls outside of the small portion that is "designed". He gives particular attention to energy and sustainability, but also to the social responsibility of the architect to be aware of the impact of the architectural intervention on all groups who may be involved with the life of the building in a shared, urban environment.
Fr. Alexis Bassoma is from Togo, and is a member of the Società Missioni Africane, SMA, the Society of African Missions, which is now the group of priests that occupy the convent of S. Maria di Castello after the departure of the Dominicans.
He spoke with the students about the conditions that cause migratory flows, and the ways that the groups are perceived by the receiving country. He called on the students to develop a sense of responsibility as citizens and as architects for a situation which will only become more critical in the near future.
CLIMATE DESIGN & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
Prof.ssa Renata Morbiducci spoke on the importance of developing knowledge to address climate and energy use through design. While most of her research and work is in the requalification of existing buildings, particularly important in Europe, she also addressed the increasing urbanization of the planet, and the need to develop approaches and solutions that treat not only the single building, but also larger areas to develop greater efficiencies.
Newly appointed Vice-Director of the Department for Architectural Sciences, Prof. Carmen Andriani invited our students to a review of a requalification project of the urban/industrial/port waterfront to the west of Genoa. Four sites were used, which the FIU students had visited with the UniGe students several weeks earlier.
The project combined the three studios of Profs. Andriani, Marco Casamonti, and Alberto Bologna.
This year's FIU-UniGe collaborative workshop is the design of a school in Ukunda, Kenya, as a component of a project organized by UniGe professor Christiano Lepratti in conjunction with the Technical University of Dresden.
The challenge for the students is to meet the practical needs of the school on a constricted site, addressing local materials but seeking to integrate high-tech production methods as introduced in the presentation by Eric Peterson on 3D printing and CNC machines.
Under the guidance of Wolfsoniana curator Gianni Franzone, the students toured the fantastic and eclectic structure of Castello Mackenzie, designed by Gino Coppedè, former home of Micky Wolfson, founder of the Wolfsonian (Miami) and Wolfsoniana (Genoa) collections, and now the seat of the Cambi Auction House.
Students visited the works of architect Franco Albini, who has some of his finest works in Genoa: the Museum of Sant'Agostino, the Treasury of the Duomo, the residential building on Via XII Ottobre, the City Office building behind Palazzo Tursi on Via Garibaldi, and the apartment of Caterina Marcenaro in Palazzo Rosso, also on Via Garibaldi.
Micky Wolfson, collector extraordinaire and founder of the Wolfsonian in Miami and the Wolfsoniana in Genoa, met with the students in the Wolfsoniana Centro Studi in Palazzo Ducale to discuss his approach to art and objects that reflect societal and cultural transformation. He also expanded on his love of Genoa and how much could be gained from living here.
For the 2015-16 Erasmus students (European Union exchange students), UniGe Prof. Christiano Lepratti and Erasmus tutor Joshua Pagano organized an orientation meeting with the participation of Eric Peterson and Matthew Rice. Afterward there was a social event for the students in the ruin of S. Maria in Passione, between the UniGe School of Architecture and our facilities in S. Maria di Castello.
The aim of the trip was to visit and study the range of iconic modern works and important contemporary projects within range of Genoa. Stops included the Lyon Confluence, a large scale requalification project with built works by Jakob + Macfarlane, MVRDV and Coop Himmelblau, the convent of La Tourette and chapel of Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp by Le Corbusier, the Vitra Design Museum and various Herzog & de Meuron projects including the Schaulager, in Basel, Switzerland, and the baths in Vals by Peter Zumthor.
On September 3 the students visited the seawalk and parks of Nervi, then had a tour of the Wolfsoniana Museum given by curator Matteo Fochessati.
Departing from Genoa's harbor allowed a good perspective of the city from the water, and a view of the wreck of the Costa Concordia.
The tour continued eastward along the Ligurian coast to gain an understanding of Liguria's particular topography and its relationship with the sea edge; towns visited included Camogli, San Fruttuoso, Portofino and Santa Margherita.