By now it’s a tradition: we start the new year with an issue in English, coordinated with the international trade events of January and February. The design world seems to be attempting to shake off the torpor of the last three years, as confidence returns in the ‘live’ presentation of projects packed with updated contents and values. First of all, the value of ethical living, driven by new forms of friendship between humankind and nature to combat the effects of climate change, as demonstrated by the works of architecture examined in this month’s issue.
Examples include Giovanni and Nicoletta Russo, who have decided to protect the landscape of Li Galli, a private island off the shore of Positano, in dialogue with site-specific artworks created with refuse and recycled materials. Arquitectonica and ACPV Architects Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, in a tandem project, have created a residential tower in Miami that combines sophisticated interior design made in Italy with architecture reflecting a green spirit. BIG Architects and CRA Carlo Ratti Associati, in Singapore, have imagined a biophilic skyscraper that reinvents the idea of the historical garden-city to incorporate an ‘urban farm.’ OMA-AMO experiments with the potential of a single natural material that formulates different spatial identities in three shop-in-shop facilities – in Paris and London – of the fashion house Jacquemus.
Finally comes Copenhagen, World Capital of Architecture 2023: for years this city has been a laboratory extremely sensitive to themes of all-around sustainability, focusing on modernist inspirations and artisanal processes, upcycling and reutilization of existing resources. The lively spirit of the Danish capital can also be seen in the field of design, with the studio Spacon & X, the duo GamFratesi, and the designer-entrepreneur Mikal Harrsen. We asked them, together with other designers from the Scandinavian area who work with Italian design brands, to tell us about the specificities, differences and meeting points between Nordic and Mediterranean thinking. The outcome is a variegated survey that leads us to one major certainty: when these two different attitudes are combined, what emerges is a positive cultural hybrid that permits both sides to transmit content and know-how.
In the opening photo, the environmental installation by the Greek artist Savvas Laz inside a grotto of the island of Li Galli, off the coast of Positano. Photo by Alessandro Moggi.