Archipelago Italy. Projects for the Future of the Country’s Territories is the title of the project developed by Mario Cucinella, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia (26 May – 25 November 2018), presented at the MiBAC during the press conference attended by the Minister Dario Franceschini, the Director-General and Commissioner of the Pavilion Federica Galloni, the President of the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta and the curator.
The project concentrates its attention on the urban space running along the spine of Italy, from the Alps, along the Apennines as far as the Mediterranean. An itinerary with roughly one hundred points of interest suggested by small examples of quality architecture completed in recent years and the fruit of a call promoted by the curator, as part of a dialogue with historic examples on the relationship between architecture and landscape; a voyage toward the future that investigates the state-of-the-art and proposes reflections on current themes such as peripheries, post-earthquake reconstruction, brownfields, rail lands and mobility; five experimental projects in five areas of Italy.
The Italian Pavilion at the 2018 Architecture Biennale will be more than an exhibition of artworks, projects and best practices: it is intended as an opportunity for the entire country, an international reflection of use to the communities in these areas and, finally, a work of applied research for transforming analyses into concrete proposals.
The curator Mario Cucinella has involved an interdisciplinary group of architects, urban planners, experts in participatory planning, photographers, representatives of local universities and other consultants. Each was asked to work with five areas considered strategic to the relaunching of internal Italian territories, through the development of experimental projects able to become a tool of discussion and support for communities and local administrators. The objective is to contribute to defining opportunities for territories offered by architecture, providing examples of a possible methodological approach to a future vision for the country. The results of this process will be presented in the exhibition at the 2018 Italian Pavilion.The five strategic areas identified, the object in recent weeks of activities to involve citizens and stakeholders and specific initiatives, are: the Barbagia and its plan from the 1980s, in the central part of Sardinia, extending along the edges of the Gennargentu range; the Belice Valley with a focus on Gibellina, in the western Sicilian province of Trapani; Matera and its relations with the Basento Valley; the Crater and town of Camerino, in the area of Central Italy affected by the 2016 earthquake; the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.