École d’architecture
de la ville & des territoires


mardi 10 novembre 2020
à 13:00
Cycle de conférences

Conférence de Francesca Benedetto, Yellow Office, Harvard GSD

This lecture will explore the role of emptiness as a lens to look at l’écart throughout a series of projects, researches, exhibitions, publications, and artworks realized in the last decade.

These works bring together several scales of design processes, from territorial strategies and urban planning to public spaces, parks, pavilions, and cemeteries, to objects, interiors, videos, illustrations, maps, and exhibitions. They result as a part of broader research that revolves around the relation between city and nature, ideas of public space, and geographic disciplines, all observed through the lens of the visual arts. Using the landscape as a medium, these interests converge in a unique vision of a New Pangaea that both recognizes and observes the ever-fluctuating geographical, natural, and political boundaries of the contemporary world. This New Pangaea is an investigative and imaginative tool. On the one hand, it allows for a rereading of the expansion of the city within the territory, in relation to major environmental themes. On the other, it looks at how planetary meanings and themes may be contained in a single portion of territory, thus providing a means to understand their implications and manifestations at scales that range from the territorial to the urban scale of public space, to domestic rituals. Each project then investigates the relations between People, Nature, and Architecture at different scales, imagining their coexistence in possible futures.

From a theoretical point of view, my approach to design is strictly connected with four main topics: commons, collective memory, experience, and imagination.
It seeks to identify the need for common values to face urgent topics of our present and future time: climate change adaptation, climate migrations of different species, including human beings, possible ways of being resilient and understanding risks and not at last social justice: the recognition and redefinition of human being values and human rights. It wants to represent a place according to the concept of collective memory and social space considering the space of the city and its territory in its symbolic and imaginary dimension. It is focused on imagining multiple direct experiences of a physical place, to observe the local scale and its relationship with the planetary one. As of last it allows envisioning possible future scenarios able to identify the resources and the needs of a specific place, but also to see memory and identity as playing an active role in generating new projects and possibilities.

Francesca Benedetto (1981) studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano and the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa. In 2008 she founded YellowOffice, an architectural firm with a particular focus on landscape architecture and urbanism, combining research and design. YellowOffice has been awarded international prizes and competitions. Among these: Berat 2015, Tirana 2014, Rome 2012, Geneve 2012, Turin 2010, Carso Goriziano 2010. The office has also been part of exhibitions such as the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice and the first Chicago Architecture Biennial. Francesca Benedetto also works in academic fields, teaching and participating in panels and conferences in major Universities (Politecnico di Milano, Cass Cities - London Metropolitan University, University of Limerick, NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Domus Academy, IED Istituto Europeo di Design). In 2014 she coordinated the Master in Land Design at IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) in Cagliari, Italy and in 2015 she worked as Italian ambassador for IED. In 2016 she has started teaching at Harvard Graduate School of Design in the Landscape Architecture Department.

Conférence en anglais

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