Padiglione Italia – Biennale Architettura 2012

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Edition: 13. International Architecture Exhibition - Common Ground directed by David Chipperfield (29 August - 25 November 2012)
Titolo del Padiglione Italia: The Four Seasons. Architectures of Made in Italy from Adriano Olivetti to the Green Economy
Curator: Luca Zevi
Commissioner: Maddalena Ragni
Catalogue: Le quattro stagioni: architetture del made in Italy, da Adriano Olivetti alla green economy, 13. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura La Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione Italia, a cura di Luca Zevi, Electa, Milano 2012


The Italian Pavilion at the 13rd International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (29 August - 25 November 2012) was an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between the economic crisis, architecture and territory, a space in which to imagine a project for the growth of our country, the "common ground" of a concrete and visionary project, in which culture and economy write a new pact.


The curatorial project unfolds as the story of a possible encounter, of the rewriting of the 'pact' - shared place and possible space - in which the reasons for architecture, the territory and the environment dialogue with those of economic development. A 'common ground' between business and architecture as an essential necessity for recovery. The story describes the "four seasons" of Made in Italy architecture along a bumpy but fruitful path, aimed at finding a virtuous relationship between architecture, growth and innovation.


I season: Adriano Olivetti's nostalgia for the future
. The Pavilion opens with the story of Adriano Olivetti's experience in Italy after the Second World War as a paradigm of a development model in which industrial policy, social policy and cultural promotion are integrated in the proposal of an innovative way of planning the transformation of the territory. A unique experience in terms of time and context, whose topicality induces a positive 'nostalgia for the future'. Olivetti is an innovator in terms of his way of doing business, his vision of the world, his choices and principles.


II season: the assault on the territory
Since the 1980s, in the widespread entrepreneurial fervour following the disappearance of large industries from our country, there has been a sort of "assault" on the Italian territory through initiatives of great vitality in terms of production, but equally uninterested in any form of architectural expression or appropriate inclusion in the landscape: this is the phase of production "in the basement or in the shed, often topped by a Swiss chalet-style villa", the "degree zero" of Made in Italy architecture.


The third season: Made in Italy architecture
In the last fifteen years a number of Made in Italy companies have chosen to build their factories and management centres according to an architectural design of excellence. This has led to the creation of structures attentive to the poetics of places and objects, to people's lives and to environmental awareness, documented and "narrated" in the exhibition. The virtuous "doing business" even in the imagination of the places of production and marketing is helping to create new landscapes. It is in their actions that the sense of perspective lies: industry asks architecture to trace places, everyday life, its own identity.


IV season: reMade in Italy
The challenge of the 'fourth season' - the systemisation of Made in Italy enterprises in the direction of a Green Economy - is bound to meet the challenge of Expo 2015 'Feeding the Planet', which becomes an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the relationship between territory and environment, city and agricultural production, and the sense of the 'project' in the north and south of the world. Nutrition, which is at the heart of Expo 2015, prompts us to rethink the concept of sustainable community: the relationship between city and country, industrialisation and agricultural production.


The Italian Pavilion thus becomes a place where designers, entrepreneurs and politicians begin to seriously confront the issues of living, in anticipation of an era in which the obsession with the megalopolis must give way to new community-inspired rules, in which eating, moving and living become functions of the same equation.