The Erasmus Effect: Italian Architect’s Abroad
Through April 6, 2014
The architecture and urbanism of Italy has long been an inspiration to architects from other parts of the world. From the grand tours of Lord Burlington and Thomas Jefferson to the establishment of the American, French, and British Academies, Robert Venturi’s lessons learned from Rome, and the enormous influence of Manfredo Tafuri, Italy has been important to how we view architecture and livable cities. But now an exhibition, The Erasmus Effect: Italian Architect’s Abroad, opening today at Rome’s MAXXI Museum details how the world is enriched when Italian born and educated architects emigrate and find success abroad.
The exhibit, curated by Pippo Ciorra, the Maxxi’s thoughtful and prolific architecture curator (see his Energy: Oil and Post Oil Architecture Grids.) documents the ” journeys, experiences, and stories of the many Italian architects to have found success abroad.” This out-bound emigration by Italian architects is, of course, not new, and the exhibit documents the 20th century figures who left the country like Lina Bo Bardi, Paolo Soleri, Romaldo Giurgola, and Pietro Belluschi.
The title, Erasmus Effect, is taken from the 1987 European communities exchange program that allowed students on the content to travel to other countries to study. But the exhibit’s theme also documents the more troubling issue for the country: the inability of its young architects to have a career in the economically troubled nation. It also questions the problems of trying to actually create architecture in contemporary Italy, and what this means for the country’s “brain drain” and future.
Erasmus Effect includes projects by contemporary Italian expats: Architecture and Vision, Atelier Manferdini, Alessandra Cianchetta, Delugan Meissl, Djuric-Tardio Architectes, Durisch + Nolli Architetti, Barozzi / Veiga, ecoLogicStudio, Benedetta Tagliabue, gravalosdimontearquitectos, Vittorio Garatti, KUEHN MALVEZZI, LAN Architecture, Marpillero Pollak Architects, MORQ*, Paritzki Liani Architects, simone solinas, ssa | solinasserra architects, 3GATTI.
The Maxxi installation is brilliantly conceived by New York City–based Italian architectural firm LOT-EK, who’s signature shipping container architecture perfectly suits the “movement” theme underlying the show.
Erasmus Effect opened December 6 and continues through April 6, 2014.(Cecilia Florenza)