Sala Gian Ferrari
Curated by Margherita Guccione and Pippo Ciorra
Architect and designer Michele De Lucchi, who grew up next to the Florentine radicals and Sottsass, created an iconic object such as the Tolomeo lamp, designed Olivetti’s computers and re-humanised buildings all over the world, is the protagonist of the sixth edition of the cycle of monographic exhibitions NATURE, curated by Margherita Guccione, Director of MAXXI Architettura, and Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator of MAXXI Architettura.
This exhibition formula of MAXXI requires the hosted architect to design a site-specific installation summarising their own architectural research.
De Lucchi, who has rigorously and masterfully delved into the different scales of architecture (from design to cities) since the beginning of his activity, has chosen to represent himself with the installation L’anello mancante, a sculpture at the crossroads of object and building, an environmental installation loaded with meaning and references to his imagery and building practice, displayed in the spaces of the Gian Ferrari Gallery from 7th December 2018 to 3rd March 2019.
In the words of Margherita Guccione, Director of MAXXI Architettura and curator of the exhibition, “in its effort to give voice to contemporary architects, MAXXI, which has always been open to the evolution of the global architectural practice, also wants to showcase the specificity of its architectural culture as interpreted by architects such as De Lucchi, who are masters at combining “local” traditions and innovation, nurtured utopias when training while being able to convince industries of the need of a project, and appreciate the contemporary world by listening to nature, making use of technology and embracing the ancient knowledge of craftsmanship”.
L’anello mancante, the design of which will become part of the Collections of MAXXI Architettura, is an accessible circular space covered with elements in Solid Surface HI-MACS®, the shape of which is inspired by the wooden covers typical of houses; the wall of the structure, permeated by a play of light and shade, enhances the visitor experience, thereby creating an amazing, changing, evocative space. With this installation, De Lucchi suggests that visitors look at, go through and explore the structure, the very shape of which evokes the need to find the new concatenations that we more or less consciously lack in the fabric of our civil and productive relationships as well as our moral vision of society.
The NATURE exhibition project poses the challenge of interacting with Zaha Hadid’s space through one’s idea of architecture. It is a full-contact experience where to represent oneself, one’s design history and the most recent research without an actual commission: it is a small project for architects who are used to working on a large scale, but it is loaded with meaning and content in the space of a few metres. Therefore, after the likes of Francesco Venezia, Alberto Campo Baeza, West8, UN Studio and Álvaro Siza, De Lucchi will enable MAXXI to make a step forward by delving into the relationship that is shared (or should be shared) by nature and the urban fabric. In the words of Pippo Ciorra, curator of the exhibition, “the installation proposed for the exhibition is a design that would work on all scales, from bracelets to walled cities. It is a space, but also an open/closed conceptual topology, a wall enclosing a space but also an inhabitable and explorable space. It is a piece of nature, but also the result of the implementation of highly-sophisticated materials. It is a device aimed at preventing us from creating categories and rendering the borders between scales and disciplines inoffensive”.