A portrait of Fosbury Architecture, the collective curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Biennale, and an excursus on the theme and the activities that will animate it (starting from February)

Spatial: everyone belongs to everyone else. This is the theme chosen by the collective Fosbury Architecture (with an Anglo-Saxon but very Italian name) for the Pavilion Italy at the Architecture Biennale 2023.

But who are Fosbury Architecture? And what does Spatial mean?

Fosbury Architecture: the curators of the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Biennale

Made up of five architects animated by as many personal interests and aspirations, Fosbury Architecture makes proceeding in reverse its way of working. With a more attentive approach to processes than to form

Born between 1987 and 1989, Giacomo Ardesio, Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri, Veronica Caprino and Claudia Mainardi, founded the Fosbury Architecture "design and research collective" in Milan - still students - in 2013.

The name they have chosen is already the program of their modus operandi: inspired by the high jump champion Dick Fosbury with his new way (today we would define it disruptive) of overcoming the back bar, question the traditional methods of design.

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: information, calendar and updates

From short films to restoration, from fanzines to curating books and installations, they are more interested in processes than form, they tend to value contents and experiences rather than products and entertainment.

For Fosbury Architecture, Architecture is a 'research practice' that goes beyond the construction of artifacts, just as Design is always the result of work collective and collaborative, which goes beyond the idea of the architect-author (and archistar). In their vision, space is both a physical and symbolic place, a geographical area and an abstract dimension, a system of known references and a territory of possibilities.

Their way of 'overcoming the obstacle from behind' is questioning the habits and automatisms of the discipline by tackling projects starting from the mix of experiences that distinguishes them. At the Fosburys, the definition of architects is narrow: they are designers, curators, researchers, project incubators, problem solvers.

Space: what the Italian Pavilion is about at the 2023 Architecture Biennale

The Italian Pavilion promotes, in the words of the curators, "pioneering actions relating to a time horizon that goes beyond the duration of the 2023 Architecture Biennale".

The project of the Italian Pavilion expands its temporal permanence to be divided into two moments (and in different spaces), the first preparatory to the second.

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: who is the curator Lesley Lokko

First phase. “Spaziale presents”, from January to April 2023

In the four months leading up to the opening of the 2023 Architecture Biennale, 9 site-specific interventions will be activated in as many selected locations throughout Italy.

The intention is to offer, explains Onofrio Cutaia, general director of Contemporary Creativity of the MiC and commissioner of the Italian Pavilion, "a cross-section of the architectural culture of the generations young and experimental, who aim to enhance the interdisciplinary component and to review the figure of the architect as one who knows how to relate in an innovative and original way with communities and territories".

A process, "as complex as it is lyrical" in which the curators take on the role of mediators "between different constellations of local and non-local agents, actors in a collective project".

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: The Laboratory of the Future

Second phase: the formal synthesis. “Spatial: Everyone belongs to everyone else”

The result of the processes triggered in the 9 territories in the previous months will be exhibited in the Italian Pavilion from 20 May to 26 November 2023. A different and original image of Italian architecture in the international context is to be expected.

During the month of January 2023, the website https://spaziale2023.it/and the Instagram account @spaziale.presenta, will talk about <em's work in progress >Spaziale presents and the activation of the 9 interventions.

  • 1/9: Post Disaster Rooftops EP04 è il titolo della prima delle nove attivazioni site-specific di Spaziale presenta. 

La prima delle nove attivazioni del Padiglione Italia curato da Fosbury Architecture avverrà nella città di Taranto, in Puglia, e coinvolgerà come progettisti il collettivo Post Disaster (fondato da Gabriele Leo, Gabriella Mastrangelo, Grazia Mappa, Peppe Frisino) e come advisor le performer, attiviste e ricercatrici Silvia Calderoni e Ilenia Caleo.

Chi è Post Disaster (ovvero la metafora del disastro per comprendere le tensioni globali)

Post Disaster è un collettivo interdisciplinare la cui pratica interseca azioni spaziali, performative ed editoriali. La loro ricerca utilizza la metafora del disastro inteso come una lente territoriale per la comprensione di dinamiche e tensioni globali. Il collettivo è affiancato da Silvia Calderoni - performer, attrice e autrice nella scena contemporanea e di ricerca italiana – e Ilenia Caleo, filosofa di formazione, performer, drammaturga, attivista e ricercatrice.

Post Disaster Rooftops EP04, quarto episodio del progetto Post Disaster Rooftops, interpreta i tetti come spazi urbani non convenzionali.

Dai tetti della Città Vecchia di Taranto è possibile compiere una ricognizione immediata degli effetti della crisi (ambientale, economica, sociale…) e, allo stesso tempo, immaginare futuri alternativi.

“L’Italia è una costellazione di territori fragili – sottolineano i curatori, Fosbury Architecture. – Per alcuni la catastrofe è un evento tristemente ciclico, per altri un futuro ineluttabile, per altri ancora parrebbe essersi già manifestata. Convivere con il disastro è un tema a cui architetti e progettisti non possono più sottrarsi, per immaginare progetti che tentino di confrontarcisi concretamente.”

  • 2/9: La terra delle Sirene is the title of the second of the nine site-specific activations of Spaziale presents

The second of the nine activations of the Italian Pavilion curated by Fosbury Architecture will take place in the Bay of Ieranto (Massa Lubrense, Naples), and will involve the designers BB – Alessandro Bava and Fabrizio Ballabio. Advisor: Terraforma, incubator: FAI – Italian Environment Fund

The Bay of Ieranto is the inlet at the end of the Sorrento peninsula facing the faraglioni of Capri, since 1987 heritage of the FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano. It was here that, according to Pliny the Elder, Ulysses would

met the sirens, remaining enchanted by their song during his return journey to Ithaca told by Homer in the Odyssey.

The bay was chosen by the design atelier BB, founded in 2021 by Alessandro Bava and Fabrizio Ballabio, and the team of Terraforma, an international music festival dedicated to artistic experimentation and sustainability, to work around the environmental state of the seabed and at the same time generate new forms of 'ritual aggregation'.

“Faced with the decline of anthropocentrism and in preparation for the challenge for the survival of the human species – explain the curators, Fosbury Architecture – the need emerges to reconfirm the spatial contract between man and nature, in the perspective of future climate change.”

A project between mythology and technology which, through a performance, explores new forms of ritual aggregation and the relationship with the surrounding environment.