Rome Between Past and Future

SERIES: Architecture in drawings that visualise and construct the habitus residing in the architect’s mind - Under the aegis of Orazio Carpenzano, Head of the Faculty of Architecture, Università La Sapienza in Rome
SPEAKERS Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
DATEThursday 9 November, 6pm
PLACE: Palazzo Venezia, Sala del Refettorio

When we set to work and are involved in a new project, we always start from the observation of nature.
A great sunrise, the underwater world, moving clouds, erupting volcanoes or a stream merging into a desert of rocks with the blue of the sky changing depth with the light can also be effective. Some paintings give rise to a lot of work material. I say “painting”, which is very different from “drawing architecture”. Drawings follow the gesture, they are controlled proportionally by the eye. There is no delegation regarding the creative phase. It is essential to follow the whole process from the beginning to concretely transmit what you have in mind. To these signs is added model making. For instance, we might start from a parallelepiped. And in that case we start to split it, pierce it, to create a void in or around it, then we intervene again to study the relation between the volume left and the one taken away.
We invariably find ourselves taking away, rarely adding. For some time, a third phase has been added to these two. It belongs to the computer universe and exploits new technologies, namely digital design. The entry of virtual technology into the design of architecture was a revolution comparable to the discovery of perspective in painting. It enables one to have full control over the project and to imagine it more fully, before it is completed and takes on its final form. These three ‘pieces’ of the work must then be fully amalgamated with each other. Painting, modelling and virtual technology are all stimuli to attain architecture, they are all tools to increase the tension. Because one can never achieve emotion if the tension does not grow.

Fuksas, run by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, is an international architecture studio based in Rome, Paris and Shenzhen. It has over 600 projects to its credit, with numerous international awards and a staff of 170 professionals. 
Thanks to continuous research and a steadily innovative approach, the studio has created works around the world with an unfailing attention to sustainability and inclusiveness with architecture increasingly on a human scale.

Doriana Fuksas' briography

Doriana Fuksas was born in Rome, where she graduated in History of Modern and Contemporary Architecture at “Sapienza” Università di Roma, then graduated in Architecture at ESA -École Spéciale d’Architecture - in Paris, France.  She has taught at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Letters and the Department of Industrial Design ITACA of “Sapienza” Università di Roma. 
Since 1985 she has collaborated with Massimiliano Fuksas and since 1997 has been responsible for Fuksas Design. In 2000 for the “7th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice: Less Aesthetics, More Ethics”, she curated four Special Projects: Jean Prouvé, Jean Maneval, the Pavilion of Peace and Architecture and the section devoted to contemporary art.
In 2002 she was awarded the honour of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française. 
From 2014 to 2015, Doriana Fuksas edited the Design column of the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”. In 2020 she was awarded the honour of Chevalier de l’Ordre de La Légion d’honneur Française.

Massimiliano Fuksas's biography

Of Lithuanian descent, Massimiliano Fuksas was born in Rome in 1944. He graduated in Architecture from “Sapienza” Università di Roma in 1969 and since the 1980s he has been one of the leading figures on the contemporary architectural scene. From 1994 to 1997 he was a member of the Planning Commission of Berlin and Salzburg. 
From 1998 to 2000 he was Director of the “7th International Architecture Exhibition opf Venice: Less Aesthetics, More Ethics”. From 2000 to 2015 Massimiliano Fuksas was the author of the architecture column, founded by Bruno Zevi, in the Italian weekly “L’Espresso” and from 2014 to 2015, together with Doriana Fuksas, he edited the Design column of the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”. 
He has been visiting professor in various international universities including Columbia University in New York, the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna, the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart. In his work he has always paid particular attention to the analysis of urban problems and large metropolitan areas, with an eye invariably aimed at innovation.