A view on unfinished architecture in the countryside with mountains on the horizon



workshop+lecture series

May 6–10 | May 27–28, 2021
June 3, 2021 (online)

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Curated by Lina Malfona, with Lucia Giorgetti, Benedetta Marradi
Polit(t)ico Research Lab_Special Projects for Didactics

Some artists have the wisdom or the talent to dissolve the fixity of the finished product, to let instead the image production script appear. The poetics of open work, indeterminacy and semantic ambiguity escape the canons of traditional iconography and discursiveness, however they open up the most fruitful reflections on artistic methodology and critical interpretation.

Today, more open ways of thinking the work of art—which take up the Michelangelo's most significant legacy, the non finito—deny or try to dematerialize the accomplished and immutable essence of buildings, which for centuries has characterized Western culture, in the direction of greater flexibility, adaptability and resilience, intended both on a physical and theoretical perspective. But if Michelangelo considered the unfinished as the highest expression of artistic wisdom, today this practice denounces a general situation of abandonment and neglect.

The Italian territory is dotted with buildings that have remained unfinished for various reasons, ranging from lack of funds to errors of assessment. Structures awaiting completion cross the peninsula from North to South, from the ruins of industrial buildings to the tall residential skeletons in reinforced concrete. Recently, a series of publications and events have raised public awareness of these issues. Among them, the exhibition "Unfinished" in the Spanish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by Iñaqui Carnicero, and the PRIN research "Recycle Italy", coordinated by IUAV presented our territory as a continuous fabric, open to the intertwining of new narratives, which involve abandoned or ruined structures, infrastructures and pieces of landscape to be recovered. In addition, the recent book "Unfinished" by Fosbury—an architecture collective who theorizes the unfinished as a style—aligns with an artistic trend that has made its way in recent years.

In light of these premises and by looking into the issue of indeterminacy, the design workshop "Unfinished" aims to stimulate new architectural formulations for what could be defined as the contemporary non-finito. The workshop does not wish so much to resolve this ‘problem’, going in the direction of its completion, but it rather wishes to welcome new theoretical proposals for the unfinished, looking for possible futures for these abandoned structures.

This workshop has been sponsored by University of Pisa, under the program “Progetti Speciali per la Didattica 2020-21”

Participation is open and free of charge by April 15, 2021. For registration please contact lina.malfona@unipi.it and lucia.giorgetti@ing.unipi.it.

lecture series

Friday, April 16th 2021: 3pm
Pippo Ciorra | SAD UNICAM
> join the lecture on Teams

Friday, April 23rd 2021: 3pm
Cherubino Gambardella | UniCampania

Thursday, May 6th 2021: 3pm
Luben Dimcheff | Cornell University

Friday, May 7th 2021: 3pm
Elisa Dainese | Georgia Tech

Monday, May 10th 2021: 3pm
Luca Ponsi | Syracuse University

Friday, May 21st 2021: 3pm
Stefano Chiodi | UniRoma2

Friday, May 28th 2021: 3pm
Sara Marini | IUAV



May 6th–10th 2021: 9am

May 27th 2021: 9am

May 28th 2021: 3pm

Final review
June 3rd 2021: 9am

Fabrizia Berlingieri | Politecnico of Milan

Luben Dimcheff | Cornell AAP

Luca Lanini | University of Pisa

Michelangelo Pivetta | University of Florence

Luca Ponsi | Syracuse University

Gianfranco Tuzzolino | University of Palermo

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Polit(t)ico Research Lab is a versatile research platform sponsored by the University of Pisa, focusing on architectural theory, epistemology, and the arts.

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