More than 60 architects from the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia met on Thursday 20/10/16 at the Ceramiche Coem Temporary Workspace in Fiorano Modenese to listen to the architect Michele Zini of Studio ZPZ Partners in Modena, who agreed to share his experience as a well-known design engineer in Italy and abroad with the audience present.
What followed was a highly intense afternoon of listening and dialogue, in a room packed full with an attentive audience, gathered there to talk about the present and future of the profession of architect in a new situation no longer only about the spatial management and creation of places, but also about planning living areas in which people are born, live, move, learn, acquire culture, learning and an upbringing, communicate and meet; about planning levels of use in generic places – the non-places of Marc Augé. In no case, however, is it possible to do without other elements, such as the new digital and communication technologies, energy supply processes, emotional and sensory relational dynamics, which belong to non-spatial dimensions.
This is why it is important for design engineers to know how to use all the resources at their disposal, including the intelligent, conscious management of those “soft qualities” (light, colours, materials, micro-climate, infosphere) that are no longer almost merely decorative elements, but have become founding elements of a new architecture. Knowing where to start out from the right colour palette or an olfactory sensation can make all the difference (and win a competition).
Michele Zini believes Italian architects are particularly able at managing “soft qualities”, perhaps because of a holistic approach to planning and because of the particularly Italian tendency towards the artisan dimension, which is sometimes seen as a flaw, but does offer a kind of dynamic flexibility that is often helpful for managing projects that are increasingly a work-in-progress and require a mix of skills.
The encounter was sponsored by the Order of Architects of Modena and of Reggio Emilia.