Interview > M. VALLICELLI, L. SANT'ANDREA, N. TROIANELLO

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We interviewed Michelangelo Vallicelli, Andrew Lawrence and Nicholas Troianiello, young emerging architects from Rome, who won first prize in the international design competition Madrid Digital Arts Museum.

AE: Tell us in brief the phases of the competition from concept to the win and what you think you have been more in comparison to the others competitors and their projects.
ANSWER: The competition was developed from the beginning as a result of a synergy between a professional approach and a research closely related to the theme of the competition. The most important inputs were comparisons during seminars and research studies on the digital image and the relationship between urban space, technology and digital media such as interaction systems. Somehow these activities have inspired our conception of interactive archive for Madrid, as if we had already in mind that project for a while 'and the competition was an opportunity to develop' field '. All this together with our special flexibility and complementarity in the work allowed us to present the material that was the result not only of a theoretical speculation or a proposed high-performance technology, but we acted knowing well what we were talking about. Compared to other solutions, I think this has been one of the most successful components.

AE: how it was born your group? how did you meet?
ANSWER: We went to the same university, several times we shared together as educational activities for tutors of international workshops at the University of Roma Tre. As soon as we got to know the competition, we thought the opportunity of being able to combine academic study (Michelangelo is a PhD student at the University of Roma Tre and is handling the relationship between digital image, information systems and space urban) also a dimension of a more experimental project on (Nicholas and Lawrence have in fact an architectural firm together called S03). It is from these premises and 'born' s idea to collaborate and participate in the competition.

AE: the skills acquired in your university studies will have been useful? what specifically?
ANSWER: Having attended all the same university we would like to say absolutely yes, but not necessarily for the specific notions of teaching, as well as opportunities for professional it provided us. I think it's one of the few universities in Italy where the educational aspect is related to vocational training, but before putting everything into light what are its components in a really creative and international scale. All three have done work placements abroad thanks to our university and its program Design Studio, in London at Amanda Levete Architects (Lorenzo), in Denmark in Copenhagen at CF Møller (Michelangelo) and a period of study in Canada Cambridge, at Waterloo University and the United States, at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (Nicholas)

AE: What prompted you to face a challenge beyond national borders and to measure yourself with young architects from all over the world for this important competition?
ANSWER: In Italy there is a 'xenophilia very strong and we complain constantly inadequacies than the pressures for innovation that come from outside. While confronting fundamental questions of today as the role of technology and the image in the architecture, the point is to ask what is innovation and what is the technology? we liked to give a voice from our country, which often retreats into a rather narcissistic exclusive on comparison with the historical context, the issues of today in an international context.

AE: What do you think about contemporary emergencies? ...
ANSWER: We believe that major emergencies are first about architecture itself. We do not realize how our actions are determined by the thoughts that precede them. Today we talk almost exclusively about the importance of the processes, and practices, as the only dimension of the project: the very fact of saying it or take a position on implies that a thought is still present. Often we consider two essential as the 'feasibility' 'efficiency' the 'performance' 'innovation' 'creativity' without wondering what their nature. A designer must know the context in which it operates, and understand it can also mean to put it in crisis, and work accordingly

AE: ... and how the profession should be reformed?
ANSWER: Many national and international professional actually refer to an organizational structure and production 'company'. Today I do not think that makes more sense to work in these terms even if the inertia of the system is very strong. In the metropolitan context of today a producer may be a consumer and vice versa, and a 'tool' for a group of people may be fine for others. The context in which produce today is much more complex industrial society in which it developed the traditional conception of the architectural profession. Certainly we expect that the definition of 'industry' professional lapses and leave space to a structure of greater mutual organization of supply and demand in which it is increasingly important to integrate different disciplines such as art, technology, research, economy etc.

AE: What are your next goals? Do you think in the future to consolidate as a group?
ANSWER: Certainly Yes, We hope, we work really well together, and we are also opening towards contributions, as we said previously, from other disciplines so as to not only work 'by architects for architects.

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