Michael Obrist [feld72] in conversation with Pippo Ciorra [MAXXI] about "The Perfect City"
The conversation will focus on three main fields of my recent architectural operations. Each "field of operation” corresponds to a specific phase of a personal and collective story. It will start from design concepts, since design was still an important part of my agency about thirty years ago, and even from one/two specific projects. It will then shift to pedagogical/research practice developed as a full time member of the faculty of a school located in a specific [post]urban/provincial context of my country, in Ascoli Piceno. The third part of the talk will focus on the possibility to consider how the curating practice (in my case at MAXXI and in other venues) can play a consistent role with the two earlier phases. The main themes to be traced all along the presentation are at least two. The first is how the architectural history of a country fits and intertwines and changes together with the larger political, social and anthropological context. The second is how architecture agency has changed and expanded in the last decades towards new media, art, activism, performance, without necessarily losing its focus and the consciousness of its role in the definition of social space.
Pippo Ciorra is the Senior Curator at MAXXI Architettura, Rome. Born in Formia in 1955, in 1982 he graduated from the faculty of architecture of Roma-La Sapienza University. In 1991, he completed a PhD at the IUAV of Venice. From 1982 to 1995 he taught at the faculties of Venice and Rome, and since 1987 he has been visiting professor at Ohio State University and other universities of North America. Since 1995 he has taught Architectural Composition at the faculty of architecture of Ascoli Piceno – university of Camerino. He is director and professor of a number of interuniversity master courses and coordinates the International PhD Villard d’Honnecour. He was a member of the Regional Commission for the Cultural Heritage of Le Marche. Besides being senior curator of the MAXXI Museum, he is also advisor for the Medaglia d’oro all’architettura italiana award of the Milan Triennial as well as for the Mies van der Rohe Award of the MVDR foundation. Since 1981, he has been working with general and specialist journals and magazines and for the National radio. He is a member of the Casabella editorial committee. He is the author of a number of essays and researches on contemporary cities, as well as of monographic studies.