marți, 15 iulie 2008


The Torino Chamber of Commerce supports Transmitting Architecture 2008

Transmitting Architecture 2008 represents an important moment in a year that sees Torino as World Design Capital. Acting in synergy, these two major and parallel initiatives will attract an international audience of top professionals to the city for a programme of artistic, cultural and design events of exceptional quality.
Transmitting Architecture 2008 sees the Torino Chamber of Commerce involved not only in support of the Congress and its programme of collateral events, but also by playing a direct role in the Coordination Council together with other public players from the region.
The world importance of the Congress offers a unique occasion to promote the tourist and cultural image of the city internationally, and to reinforce its role as an epicentre for creativity and innovation.
Over the past years Torino has successfully reinvented itself and, without neglecting its traditional vocation for cars and mechanics, its identity today also relies on urban regeneration, tourism, fine wine and gastronomy, and culture: a range of stimuli and ideas that make it one of Europe’s most interesting and lively cities at present. These aspects are illustrated in the guide Torino Tour 2008, promoted by the Chamber in collaboration with the Ordine degli Architetti in Torino, the city’s professional board of architects that compiled the booklet.
The guide, which will be available in late June, reveals a city dominated by architecture and design and it highlights aspects of this creativity: in Torino’s bars and restaurants, trendy nightclubs and general lifestyle. The guide offers an unusual slant on the city, bringing together over one hundred and fifty shops, galleries, clubs and hotels, selected in relation to the key features of their design.
Initiatives in the sector of art, design and architecture are becoming increasingly numerous and varied. Many are flanked by the Torino Chamber of Commerce thanks to the latter’s profound conviction that the promotion of the area also entails the organisation and support of cultural events.
Design, art and architecture attract a vast audience of professionals and visitors, and set in motion a chain of events and contacts that boost the city’s cultural and commercial vivacity, creating new economic outlets and spreading knowledge of the aesthetic quality designed, produced and promoted in the region throughout Italy and abroad. This knowledge will be further enhanced by another key initiative which opens on 20 June: the exhibition entitled Piemonte Torino Design.

Gma radio. The voice of architecture

A greatly effective tool that has accompanied the promotion of the Turin Congress - by informing people about its programme and contents - is gma radio: the first web radio entirely dedicated to architecture. You can listen to it on the website
It started to broadcast on January 7th 2008 and has already attracted an increasing interested audience. Its approach is simple yet articulated: plenty of space for many different kinds of music – pop, jazz, country, rock etc – which creates the background for a rich schedule made of interviews, reportage, debates, news and specialized daily programmes. These range from the university voice to that of those belonging to cultural environments close to architecture, from reviews of newly released books to a friendly cookery programme for architects. And ultimately, the heart of broadcasts: designers who communicate architecture daily as protagonists speak about their work. The radio offers a wide range of voices, not just Italian: in fact it has correspondents in the United States, in Spain and in France.
Gma radio speaks simply to architects, students and all those interested in hearing about what happens in the architectural world, both inside and outside Italy.
Its an easy to listen to radio, that uses plain everyday language and will become a reference point for information. Gma radio, indeed, will continue to broadcast even once the Turin Congress will be over and is bound to become part of the “soundtrack” of Italian architecture.

GMA radio at the Congress in TorinoFrom 30 June to 3 July the programmes will be dedicated almost exclusively to the XXIII UIA World Congress. A specially compiled schedule will host the events and main voices from the years key event in the world of architecture. In interviews, reportage and in-depth analysis, GMA radio will bring you all the voices at the Congress. The radio station will be based at the CNAPPC Stand in Hall 5.


The manuscript has been just recently found in an archive: it’s the original version of Metastaseis by the composer and architect Iannis Xenakis. A document which will become music to listen to, in world premiere, at the concert be held on July 2nd 2008 at 9 p.m., within Auditorium Rai Arturo Toscanini, which the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai dedicates to participants of the XXIII World Congress of UIA Architects during their gala evening.
The specific version of Metastaseis to be performed has been printed in Berlin by the publisher Berlin Boosey&Hawkes under the supervision of maestro Arturo Tamayo, who has taken part in drafting the orchestra parts for this Turin premiere and will also be conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai. The event will be even more unique given the presence, in the stalls, of Francoise Xenakis, widow of the composer, who died in Paris in 2001.
In exile from Greece, Xenakis lived in France and arrived in Paris during 1947, where he met Le Courbusier. He worked in his studio for ten years, collaborating to projects for the city of Chandigarh and the Sante-Marie de la Tourette convent. His architectural research was oriented at studying proportion and rhythm, he faced the challenge of managing complex volumes and glass panel surfaces. Xenakis fully succeeded in making architecture and music merge within the Philips Pavilion designed for the Brussels International Exhibition held in 1958: a structure he generated mathematically that is made up of curved surfaces and that hosted the Poème Électronique, a multimedia work including both the projection of images, chosen by Le Courbusier, and music composed by Edgar Varèse as well as by Xenakis himself. With the Philips Pavilion Xenakis’ ideal had been reached: architecture included time, and music was defined through space.
The programme prepared by the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai for the XXIII World Congress of architecture - which sees among its protagonists the soprano Carole Louis – includes not only the performance of Metastaseis but also that of Shaar for large string orchestra, also composed by Xenakis, and two pieces composed by Edgar Varése: Offrandes for soprano and chamber orchestra and Amériques for large orchestra.

The concert will be preceded by the awarding ceremony of Prizes the International architects Union (over 1.5 million members, in 126 Countries), assigns every three years, in the occasion of its World Congress, to emerging leaders in the fields of design and architectural culture.


Architecture is for everybody, it’s a tool that makes a diffuse urban democracy, fed by communication and the spreading of knowledge, grow. The strength of Transmitting Architecture arises from these concepts.
Indeed, one of major goals of the XXIII edition of the congress is to offer a different image of architecture, especially to the public at large, and to demonstrate that architecture is really everyone’s: it no longer is a static and technical science, belonging to few experts, but a fil rouge that accompanies all the important issues of today’s society. Therefore Transmitting Architecture, communicating architecture.

Architecture is the discipline that transforms what surrounds us in due time. It must come to terms with the major issues of this millennium: the reduction of natural resources, sustainable development, urbanization processes, integration, cohabitation and security. Further, it must communicate with all the other involved actors with the goal of affirming the right to life and environment quality.

Congress values

The Congress, bearing the title Transmitting Architecture – Communicating Architecture, in other words the ability to communicate the sense of its actions and not just the final result of its work, faces issues that go well beyond individual country borders through three important subjects: Culture, Democracy and Hope.

Architecture as Culture, meant as a new reading of the Past through architecture which tells and passes on traditions, transmitting over time the history and culture of populations. This implies a personal and professional responsibility of the architect in promoting the transmission of humanity’s culture through generations, the protection and restoration of the architectural heritage.

Architecture as Democracy, meant as synthesis of all the work and contributions of many especially in the Present. Thus the construction of the present, urban democracy, communication and mediation. An architecture that wants to escape from the excesses of individualism to face and solve concrete problems that interest and involve everybody.

Architecture as Hope, in other words the concrete and factual contribution towards a territorial development compatible with available resources and environmentally friendly. In practice, the green side of architecture that looks towards the Future. Sustainability and environmental safeguard as ethical duties of an architect for an inhabitable world in the near future.

Architecture’s CULTURE: places in the world

There are architectonic works that leave a mark, that remain stamped inside hearts and minds. Examples are the Chinese wall and the Hassuan dam in Egypt, the only two man made works visible from space.
Cultural values and traditions tied to local areas that are passed on through generations are transmitted also through architecture. The history of architecture is the history of every country’s culture, it marks the ages.
There are works that divide and works that unite. This has always been one of architecture’s great social and political characteristics, right from its birth.
An example is Hadrian’s Wall, in Great Britain, a defence line that for centuries has marked the border between the Roman world and the so-called barbarian one. Other examples are the Golden Bridge in San Francisco, the Pyramids in Egypt or the Panama Channel.

Architecture for all– DEMOCRACY

The project’s discipline and the transformation of geographical areas today face important epochal challenges that increasingly take on a global connotation, at times even planetary. The great issues that concern millions of people in respect to their social collocation inevitably involve those who bear the responsibility of designing the spaces where these masses will be going to live in.
Consequently immigration, the request for social integration, the right to education and training, the needs of children, of the elderly and of the diversely able become all extremely important social aspects also because they require integrated solutions to which architects are committed, alongside administrators, sociologists and entrepreneurs. It’s necessary to ensure a dignified collocation to all social classes, which express needs that can in some way be led back to a common matrix but that are declined in thousands of versions at the different latitudes: from the consolidated European city to the boundless Asian megalopolis, from the profoundly devastating conurbations of South America to the tragedy of Africa, where often even access to the most elementary commodities is a mirage. And if architecture must be for all then it’s vital to work towards finding those cultural, disciplinary, social and economic resources that are required to give this slogan the opportunity to become real.
A World Congress, and especially one involving architects, is an ideal place in which to discuss subjects of this importance and the XXIII meeting organised by the UIA gives thousands of architects from all over the world the opportunity to meet and face those issues with which they’re confronted daily in their practices. An opportunity for many different styles to compare notes in an effort to identify solutions that can be successfully suggested. Architecture must always set itself the goal of finding solutions to the major problems of our times which are environmentally, culturally and economically compatible with the specific individual situations throughout the globe.

Eco-friendliness: new cities, new worlds – HOPE

What does eco-friendliness really mean? Can architecture play a role in safeguarding the environment surrounding us? Can architecture offer itself as a wise mediator of opposed interests, in order to pursue the goal of the common good?

Urban development proceeds alongside ecologic and environmental development.
Architecture’s contribution to the daily declination of environmental protection is decisive. In Turin, within the various sessions dedicated to this issue, the role and responsibility that architecture has - as promoter of social and urban space development that fully respects the environment – will be addressed.

The new cities are no longer just the physical place of existence for millions of people, in fact they are different interconnected realities. Each of them has to be based upon an environmental balance that must at least break even. In this perspective lie the new housing strategies, the large networks of logistic connections and transportation, the distribution of spaces and their consequent use.

Overall, a different perspective from the usual one adopted to collocate architecture. Not just a mathematical equation for weights and the resistance of materials, but an alchemy for increasingly complex cohabitations and social relations.

HOPE for the future: cohabitation, identity and values

Historically, humanity has faced and managed periods of epochal migration both towards spaces that had already been developed and inhabited and towards virgin lands. Today free spaces no longer exist and confrontation between different cultures is therefore compulsory. The concept of urban democracy is therefore essential for those who design, it’s a bet on the future.

Is it possible to imagine that in the future integration policies for culturally diverse populations will still be successful? The congress intends to address this issue and to indicate which contribution a modern interpretation of architecture can give in the identification and implementation of new spaces for multi-ethnic cohabitation.
No more segregation in ghettos (as has often happened in the past and, in some cases, still does), but rather a physical cohabitation that fully respects specific characteristics.

There is the need for a strong identification with one’s cultural origins, but also a due acceptance of the values and rule that characterise civil cohabitation.

Places, colours, spaces for meeting and for worship: these, in summary, are the levers that modern architecture needs to use to adapt the collective needs for space to the community’s demands.

The open issues: legislation, democracy and consensus

One of the thorniest issues for architecture in Italy is the lack of any legislation regulating and schematically defining the activity of an architect. It seems incredible that such an important science and art hasn’t yet been given a form of regulation. The consequences of this legal void are that there are no shared guidelines for setting up and developing projects.
This is an issue which will certainly be discussed in Turin, also considering the fact that Italy is the country of the thousand laws, yet it lacks one regulating the art that has made our country renowned world wide: architecture.

Another very topical subject, that has already occurred in the course of history, is the difficult relationship between democracy and architecture. One cannot but think about the middle east and the project, of course extremely controversial, to build a physical separation between Israel and the Palestinian State. A wall, a physical construction, that separates and cuts off relationships and possibilities for communication, but that at the same time also becomes a condition ensuring safety and reciprocal survival. How can architecture conjugate democratic needs that differ so much? It’s enough to remember the walls built in the past and later demolished: the Berlin wall first of all, the ones in Ulster earlier, the one in Padova today.

And finally, consensus. Today many architectonic works, regardless of their logistic, economic and social essentialness, profoundly mark territories and local social balances. For instance, power stations or refuse treatment plants.
How should works, however fantastic and essential in their design, be illustrated and accepted by local communities? These issues too, that so often appear on the news in Italy these days, will be discussed at the Turin congress by rereading some episodes and taking ideas from experiences all over the world.

UIA ( International Union of Architects)
Profile and numbers in brief

The UIA, International Union of Architects, was founded on June 28th 1948 in Lausanne to bring together architects from all over the world, without distinction of nationality, race, creed or architectonic doctrine, to federate their national organizations.
It’s both a non governmental organism and a professional network of architects that is unique in its kind. Duties and aims of the UIA are: to favour the creation of relations that are solidary, that encourage understanding and reciprocal respect among architects, consenting their confrontation and sharing of ideas and experiences, broadening knowledge and enriching from diversity in order to be able to increasingly better contribute to the improvement of human and environmental life conditions.
In order to perform all the duties assigned to it, the UIA has a hierarchical structure that consents keeping permanent contacts with professionals and their representatives, in order to manage their professional relations at international level democratically and collegially.
This structure is made up of: UIA sections (subdivided geographically), UIA General Assembly (supreme legislative organ), UIA Bureau, UIA Council. The Italian section of UIA has as president Riccardo Bedrone, who also presides Turin’s Architects Association.
Starting from the 27 delegations present at the Founding assembly, the UIA has grown today to include the major architects’ organizations of 116 countries and represents more than 1,300,000 architects in the world.
Since 1948, the UIA has organised World Congresses every three years in which, with an audience of professionals, students, representatives of the institutional, political and entrepreneurial world, topics related to the discipline and current issues are discussed. The last four editions were held in Barcelona (1996), Beijing (1999), Berlin (2002) and Istanbul (2005); the XXIV Congress will take place in Tokio (Japan) during 2011.

Debates, exhibitions, guided tours and festivals offer a unique platform for a very fruitful exchange of cultural contacts to professional colleagues and students.
The Congress always ends with the approval and publication of a document containing the summary of all the works carried out. Since 1949 there have been as many as 22 World Congresses.
Official Congress languages are: English, French, Russian and Spanish, plus the language of the hosting country. The Congress and various sessions take place over five consecutive days. They will be followed by the General Assembly during which the UIA outgoing bureau will illustrate a balance of its mandate and delegates will elect their new representatives and choose the host city for the Congress in six years’ time.
The Congress will include a prize-giving ceremony awarding the UIA Gold Medals and prizes to students who’ve won competitions reserved to them. .
Among the latest winners of the UIA Gold Medal we wish to cite Tadao Ando (2005), Renzo Piano (2002) and Ricardo Legoreta Vilchis (1999).



The XXIII UIA Congress with its central theme Transmitting architecture represents something more than a cultural event: indeed, it must be seen as a central opportunity for architecture’s coming future.

We’re in a time that is undergoing deep social, political and cultural transformation. Architecture’s major role will increasingly be that of learning to listen to reality to offer visions that can help the changes occurring.
It’s for this reason that the XXIII World Congress of Architecture has been constructed around a very rich series of meetings and discussions among protagonists coming from different disciplines and know-how.
The enrichment needed to translate desires into projects can come from an active confrontation; the idea for a project can emerge from dialogue as a pacific and aware form of positive transformation of the environment and of contemporary cities.
Actually, it’s for this reason that the three keywords of the Congress: culture, democracy and hope, indicate opening the fence within which the architecture world risks closing itself into, in order to be finally and definitely open to the world whilst maintaining the specificity and complexity of its know-how.

Indeed, we continue to believe that architecture is "giving substance to things hoped for", in other words an art that is - at the same time - technique rooted in reality and a civil and ethical mission for the improvement of the environment we daily inhabit.

Thus architecture gets down to facing reality, its needs and profound desires, and it does so by accepting an open discussion with other cultures at Turin’s XXIII World Congress of Architecture.

The conclusion of the XXIII UIA World Congress of Architecture
Torino 2008
Closing ceremony – Torino steps down in favour of Tokyo

Today the conclusion of the XXIII World Congress of Architecture took place.
The event was brought to the end leaving the organizing committee in a state of complete satisfaction. The total attendance figure was equal to over 10,140 members, half of them foreigners, coming from all over the world, especially Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Nigeria, China and India.

“We are not here only as speakers but also and above all as listeners – Leopoldo Freyrie, general speaker of the UIA Congress Torino 2008 declared – Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace prize, in his lectio magistralis offered us a marvellous lesson: if we are not able to listen, we’ll only build up beautiful things but never useful ones”.
“This 5 day congress has been a really stimulating opportunity for the international community of architects providing a chance of meeting and comparing different ideas and positions – Freyrie concluded. The common target is to share responsibilities to better serve the society”.

“The architecture of the electronic age – Raffaele Sirica, president of the National Council of Italian Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Curators maintained – must contribute to neutralize the big urban areas’ diseases; going beyond the current involutional academic and experimental languages, which ignore the environmental and social crisis. This can happen only through the process of applying a urban quality oriented Democracy. Thus using people’s advice and interconnecting sustainable architecture and town planning, in order to carry out common based transformations”

“The most attended appointments - Riccardo Bedrone, president of the congress stated – were the meetings with some contemporary stars and some young promising elements of tomorrow’s architecture”. Both Palavela and the halls of Lingotto, were daily crowded with students, architects and journalists eager to listen to big personalities such as Massimiliano Fuksas, Paolo Soleri and Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, welcoming over 100 meetings and scheduled seminars.

The round table chaired by Bruno Vespa, with Mercedes Bresso, president of Regione Piemonte, Sergio Chiamparino, and other guests, was one of the fundamental moments of the closing ceremony. The other milestone was represented by the speech of Mikhail Saakashvili, President of the Republic of Georgia followed by Torino’s step down in favour of Tokyo, the next venue for the World Congress of Architecture in 2011.

“We want to build a world made up of colours – this was Mikhail Saakashvili’s message – up to some years ago everything was black and white. All architects are invited to come to Georgia to build and renew a country that can be extremely beautiful”.

The ceremony was concluded with the official hand over from Sergio Chiamparino, Mayor of Torino and the representative of the City of Tokio, Shikiro Fukushima.

Core moment of the closing day was the presentation of Torino Manifesto, the conclusive document of the congress where today’s issues about architecture are summarized along with tomorrow’s main challenges: “For a new model of development reconciling with nature and protecting it for a new alliance.
For a post consumer society focusing on the primary values of mankind.
To redefine the boundaries of modern times in order to re-establish the harmony with the cycles of nature.
For an architecture embodying nature, defending and enhancing biodiversity in every domain: beauty, values and politics.

This is the message contained in the appeal made by the Manifesto of the Congress collecting and briefly mentioning the debates developed throughout these three days of Congress.

Why do architects have to deal with these issues? Because this profession is deeply connected with the territorial transformation processes and because architects can play, along with other professionals, decisive roles in the complexity of knowledge and know-how to be used.
And nobody has to deny its own responsibilities. As Barry Commoner maintained, “If you have to make peace with the Planet, you’ll have to start”.

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