Antonio Marras and Stefano Boeri are both deeply linked to Sardinia, and in Alghero they found themselves in dialogue on the occasion of ArtiJanus/ArtiJanas (AJU/AJA), the experimental cultural project born in agreement between Fondazione di Sardegna and Fondazione Triennale Milano to stimulate local production companies operating in the craft sectors.
Getting to the common creative root of Antonio Marras and Stefano Boeri is an exercise in logic that teaches you to dribble through the memories of the sequence shots of Luchino Visconti's films - one in particular, 'Family group in a interior', loved by the stylist - and by Nanni Moretti - Bianca, among the architect's favorites because of the soundtrack... - and the melancholy evoked by certain Italian songs: the indispensable insights into the lyrics of Iva Zanicchi and Caterina Caselli which have marked the short century.
Sacred and profane, in short: a short circuit that suddenly catapults fashion and urban planning into 'living'. Because habitus and habitat have the same origin: we inhabit habit as much as architecture. Better if in Sardinia.
The conversation between the two protagonist authors on the contemporary design scene starts from here to hybridize the imaginations. And feed the craft with possible and very fun contaminations.
Dresses as architecture or architecture as clothing. Let's talk about it
“In fashion as in architecture, when you design, you cannot help but imagine what stories will inhabit the space you are designing,” reflects Boeri. “Stories are the soul that transforms dimensions into places: if you don't think about it, you're wrong”, this is true if we put ourselves in the shoes of a new Baron in the Trees who sits down among the greenery of the Vertical Forest .
“Architecture is a dress tailored to a specific figure, which we cannot help but imagine. If you design in a generic way, thinking that the space is 'for everyone', it is always a disaster. Lacking points of reference, the plant stiffens and becomes less flexible", it also happens when you write: if you don't focus, the story doesn't arrive.
“The Milan Triennale is an example of a successful habitat because it was conceived in a precise way: designed one hundred years ago, it is still contemporary and has maintained its character over time”. An iconic building, which has never lost its 'living' charm, like certain sartorial garments that excite Marras.
“In the world of fashion there are three figures who have played with the dress/architecture combination in a unique way: Gianfranco Ferrè, Roberto Capucci and the unforgettable Cinzia Ruggero, who sewed haute couture garments as intimate refuges. His world revolved around the fabric which became one with the body of the silhouette to dialogue with those who looked at it.
This is how the simple gesture of wearing became a form of experience", as only the value of handmade can restore.
In the beginning there is order and chaos
Both protagonists of the meeting, conducted in Alghero on the occasion of ArtiJanus/ArtiJanas by the RaiCultura journalist Chiara Buratti , revealed how the lives of both are strongly rooted in the land of Sardinia. And how much their habitus and habitat arise from different and differently solitary thoughts.
We therefore ask ourselves, always on the notes of the above-mentioned songs, whether the creative process for Antonio Marras and Stefano Boeri is really a moment of torment, suffering and fracture or rather a happening of collective sharing that suddenly explodes to bring the idea to fruition.
Looking closely at the sketches and projects of both, the melancholic and bohemian image of the creative who draws in solitude crushed by the weight of his dreams seems more the result of a cliché than under the weight of collective-activism > loses its romanticism.
“Creativity is never an individual fact, even if I don't want to hide the fact that there is a dimension of creative solitude, which is always necessary”, states Boeri with an orderly attitude, “the way in which you decline your ability to create projects arises from the possibility you give yourself to enter into relationships with others.
The way you work, you choose the people who collaborate with you and you welcome ideas that are far from your beliefs: this contamination is another fundamental aspect of creativity. At least for me". The other possible reference is obsessions, "for me they are great resources: I see them, I accept them and I manage them, preventing them from regressing into manias". As if to say that the intimate dimension does not exclude the collective one.
“I am a second-hand dealer, a craftsman, a man of great lagoons,” Marras confides, smiling with us. He who lives outside of time to convey to us at every fashion show the emotion of his moments of solitude.
“I am a minimalist who gets dirty along the way”, who draws to give shape to the urge to do, to mess around, to fill spaces: everything starts with the accumulation of objects, rags, notes newspaper that I usually combine with fabrics that I really don't like.
And I let them talk to me, reveal their story to me", in a continuous flow of consciousness that only apparently complicates everything that is very simple.
Isolation as a guide to the creative process
Listen, translate and give back to others. “Living on an island means understanding that the sea is a road to trespass, to go elsewhere. And it means supporting the Ulysses within us: pushing ourselves, exploring and arriving 'on the continent'", and then returning. “Well, isolation is the desire to go while staying. And this should be a widespread and shared way not only here, in this seaside city which by its nature welcomes, but it should be a widespread model throughout the Mediterranean Sea, which instead is becoming a cemetery".
Becausethe sea today is a habitat of suffering, which no longer protects: it is there that hope is extinguished. And it is there that we will have to return to planning, keeping in mind that every era a new Ulysses sets sail.
Boeri's sardude sees the sea from the land to return it to us like an affectionate reconnaissance along the coasts. “When I designed the former arsenal of La Maddalena I wondered a lot about my connection with this land and perhaps I found the point of contact in the idea of 'archipelago architecture', and especially in the theme of military architecture.
It may seem strange, but the military one is present everywhere here: blockhouses, garrisons, trenches, walls are interesting constructions because they allow a view of the landscape, but at the same time they are camouflage.
They don't show themselves to allow those who experience them to see everything. And this was a suggestion on which I worked a lot and is perhaps the way in which I tried to interpret my relationship with this land". So be careful, because the habitus, as much as the habitat, 'does not make the monk'. And it couldn't have been closed any other way.