Ifdesign studio Milan
What does architecture mean to you and Ida Origgi today?
Today, like yesterday (but perhaps some of our colleagues have forgotten), we must be capable of convincing our clients to put all their needs, more than all their desires, on the table, convincing ourselves to not represent ourselves, but rather to formalize their expectations and then, as if by magic, simply disappear. We must understand that people do not need us, but rather need our work. The quality of architecture is not what one sees, but what is conveyed on a subliminal level. The best music continues to haunt us and touches our heart without us understanding why. The user of architecture bears a striking resemblance to the listener of music. The best architect is the one who makes the dweller of his creation the protagonist, but is capable of giving his soul to a space. Connote I believe is the right word.
Then certainly the capacity to work under current conditions. Italy possesses an enormous resource and doesn't even realise it. Our good architects have worked to obtain results that are amazing for their quality, effectiveness, and intellectual honesty in a context that is objectively impossible. A few days ago, a wonderful issue of the magazine Lotus came out (among the few truly cultural publications) offering a panorama of Italian architecture, theorizing that this capacity to work under difficult conditions is a model that can be exported during the globalized crisis. This is a fantastic provocation. I recommend that everyone read it.
Could you briefly outline the main points of the Centro Civico NoiVoiLoro project?
They are the ones outlined above. In order to self-finance the assistance activities of this non-profit organisation (support it at: www.noivoiloro.it) it produces and hosts events that make it the most important meeting place in the district. We were capable of transforming a weakness into a strength but, without even one euro of public financing, we had to imagine a building "in progress" on a shoestring budget (less than €300/m3), a sort of organism growing around two large open spaces. Each building is autonomous yet, all in all, fits in with the others. Then like a patchwork of different exteriors, a support of potential surfaces.
Each with its own attitude and even experimental in its own way.
What project are you working on now?
We have just finished an initial phase for a Cluster that will host 10 poor countries at Expo 2015, with Alessandro Rocca and the students of the Politecnico in Milan and two schools, one in Moscow and one in New York. It is a wonderful initiative that we hope will be concluded with the same spirit with which it was conceived by Expo, together with Luisa Collina of the Politecnico di Milano.
Then two one-family homes, a masterplan with mixed purposes and one start-up for a new chain of restaurants.