One of the main objectives of Little Italy is to describe the new cultural and professional conditions that characterize the generation of Italian architects who were born in the 1980s.
Such effort has been pursued, first of all, by analyzing the results of an in-depth survey launched in November 2017, which was addressed to the more than 120 between individuals, studios and collectives that form the network of Italian architects investigated by the project Little Italy. The survey contained more than 100 questions organized in thirteen thematic fields - Personal info; Studies; Professional practices; Cities; Work structure; Work method; Formation; Media; References; Publicity; Networks; Perspectives; and Imaginary - which were meant to bring to the fore, from a critical perspective, the main traits of the generation of Italian architects who were born in the 1980s.
A first selection of the results of the survey, which was answered by more than 140 members of the Little Italy network, has been synthesized in the present booklet, which is presented for the first time to the public in the occasion of the opening of the second edition of the Unfolding Pavilion. Gathering previously unpublished information, the following pages offer the possibility to understand, with unprecedented insight, the many and different traits that currently characterize the cultural landscape of Italian architects who are now between their late twenties and thirties. In order to be immediately accessible, the collected data have been visualized by means of infographics, with the unconcealed hope to transform them in the object of future confrontations.
Little Italy is a proactive research project curated by Davide Tommaso Ferrando and Sara Favargiotti, which aims at stimulating a public debate about the principal traits of the generation of Italian architects who were born in the 1980s. Such effort is pursued, first of all, by mapping and investigating the most interesting practices that are currently tackling architecture from a diversity of points of view - as designers, editors, curators, critics, researchers, photographers, artists, and so on - so to discover who they are, where they live, what they do, how they do it and why. Then, through the organization of different activities based on different formats, Little Italy aims at collecting and highlighting the specific references, themes, methodologies, networks, imaginaries, aims and concerns of an age group whose identity has been shaped by three fundamental transitions - a geographical (from Italy to Europe), a mediatic (from paper to the Internet) and an economic one (from growth to recession) - so to to better understand its contemporary condition, and therefore foresee its possible futures.
Much more than a simple pool of data to be extracted and interpreted, the participants to Little Italy are invited to be active members of an international and collaborative network of Italian architects, therefore, they are directly involved in its development in time. As a consequence, Little Italy has no definitive form or final scope, but is rather a continuously evolving platform for the construction of a critical mass of knowledge - by means of exhibitions, round tables, conferences, installations, parties and so on - on the specific issues that, during the existence of the project, will be seen as urgent, and therefore necessary to be tackled, by its members. The only thing that will remain as a constant of Little Italy, is its plurality: the project, in fact, is not meant to impose one specific view on what architecture is or should be, but on the contrary, it aims at bringing to the fore great diversity of approaches to both the profession and the discipline, that characterizes the members of the Little Italy network.
On May 25th, 2018, at 19:00 h., the ’Unfolding Pavilion’ opened its doors to the public. In its 2018 edition, the ‘Unfolding Pavilion’ entered Gino Valle’s Giudecca Social Housing from the 25th to the 29th of May 2018, on the occasion of the vernissage of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia. In order to do so, it refurbished one of its empty dwellings - the n.7, one of the triplex units that are accessible from the elevated walkway, with unique views over the lagoon and the historical center - so to convert it in a temporary gallery of works, and use the commons spaces of the complex as the poetic backdrop for a three days-long program of public events. After the ending of the exhibition, the temporary gallery will be converted once again in one of the available social housing units, after five years of being unoccupied, and finally returned to the citizens of Venice as such.
All the contributions to the ‘Unfolding Pavilion 2018’ were produced and/or organized by the members of the ’Little Italy’ project: a collaborative network of Italian architects who were born in the 1980s. The exhibition, public and free, hosted three different kinds of materials: first of all, visualizations of the results of the survey that has initiated the ‘Little Italy’ project; then, a selection of original works reinterpreting the Giudecca Social Housing complex, produced by the members of the ‘Little Italy’ network; and finally, a selection of the original drawings and the original model of the project, borrowed by the Gino Valle archive.
A selection of the members of the ‘Little Italy’ network have been invited to take part in the 2018 iteration of the Unfolding Pavilion. abacO; ANALOGIQUE; Arcipelago; Babau Bureau; Boano Prišmontas; Bunker; Campomarzio; Fabio CAPPELLO + Giuseppe RESTA; Fabio CAPPELLO + Rossella FERORELLI + Luigi MANDRACCIO + Gian Luca PORCILE; Michele D’ARIANO SIMIONATO & Caterina STEINER; Roberto DAMIANI ; ECÒL; ENTER; False Mirror Office, gosplan, LINEARAMA, pia, UNO8A; Davide Tommaso FERRANDO + Sara FAVARGIOTTI; Forestieri Pace Pezzani; Malapartecafé; oblò - officina di architettura + Figura/Sfondo; Giacomo PALA + Riccardo M. VILLA + Jörg STANZEL; Gabriele PITACCO; ROBOCOOP; Emilia ROSMINI & Emiliano ZANDRI; Giorgia SCOGNAMIGLIO & Lorenzo ZANDRI; STUDIO associates + atelier XYZ + Davide Tommaso FERRANDO; StudioERRANTE Architetture + Diego BEGNARDI + Giovanni BENEDETTI; Studiospazio; TCA THINK TANK + ZarCola Architetti; Davide TRABUCCO; WAR (Warehouse of Architecture and Research)