For my doctoral studies in October 2014 I had the opportunity to meet Bernard Tschumi in Paris to discuss some of the aspect inherent in my research and work. Following our meeting, inspired by his theoretical works, I thought to add some nuance to the advertisements for architecture realised by Tschumi in 1976-77.
I believe it is no longer time to advertise anything for architecture. Rather it is time to (h)acknowledge! So I realised a series of (h)acknowldegements for architecture.
This (h)Acknowledgement questions the architectural idea of discourse of narrative: the process of reasoning about connected events in space – understanding the possible ways in which a same space can be used by people. The same process that can be transferred to homeless people when encountered/excluded in space, as recounted in the previous project. This process admits an idea of space as a medium: It functions as a screen that is filled with the projection of one’s own fantasies, which however seem to determine hegemonic uses of space. By contrast, the image I made outlines how the etymology of the word discourse is “to run a part”, proposing a narrative of discourses instead: the process of connecting events that run apart. In this respect the “narrative of discourses” concept implies a type of architecture that can entail notions of social ecology, contingency and precarity.
this (h)acknowledgement for architecture aims to outline how the abandonment, the betrayal of architectural spaces by institutions, is descriptive of the form of precarity to which architecture is constantly subjected.
This concept is linked with the experience I have had with parkour practitioners in the periphery of rome and gaza strips. The institutional betrayal outlines precisely how architecture, in expressing its precarity publicly, is not excluded and abandoned by parkour practitioners. This should invite reflections on our relationship with architectural spaces regarded as threatening. Rather, for parkour practitioners this type of architectural space becomes a playful ground for exploration. It is included without belonging to the system that has plotted its betrayal.
When interviewing Fabio “Flow” Saraceni who leads a parkour school in tor bella monaca, a peripheral neighbourhood in rome he said:
the Spirit tends to express itself and it does not make any difference if the context is the one of a big city. Urban peripheral spaces, conceived to rationalise, schematise and channel ever bigger masses, once contained the creativity of those that could not feel part of these places. Now on the contrary, many of us, born and raised in these environments, cannot do anything but think of themselves as part of these places and to express themselves through what the slum has to offer.
This (h)acknowledgement for architecture reflects and invites to reflect upon the production of human and social waste by contemporary capitalistic drives. It is directly related to the experience and work I carried out with homeless people in Rome.
Moreover the concept was inspired by Pope Francis’ speech led during the opening of the 2015 Milan Expo and contained in his last encyclical Laudato Si: