Log 53 asks the simple yet provocative question “Why Italy Now?” The responses are as diverse and multifaceted as the country itself. Exploring this seemingly well-trodden ground, one discovers that because of its historic centrality – and its precarity – Italy remains relevant to the challenges facing architecture today. As contributor Giulia Amoresano writes: “Amid calls today to challenge the Eurocentrism of canonical histories of architecture’s modernity and to work on decolonizing its theories and practices, work needs to be done on what we think canonical spaces are.”
Log 53 is guest edited by Alicia Imperiale in New York and Manuel Orazi in Macerata. Essays include philosopher Giorgio Agamben on a Venetian door, theorist Mario Carpo on blight in Piedmont, architect ElDante’ Winston on violence in Bologna, historian Edward Eigen on the Club of Rome, architect Fabrizio Furiassi on the Mafia in Sicily, and reporter Mario Calvo-Platero on colonial architecture in Tripoli. Emilia Giorgi explores unplanned greenery in Rome, while Gabriele Mastrigli highlights the planned greenery of EUR. Iwan Strauven reviews books on Carlo Aymonino and Aldo Rossi, Britt Eversole parses the trove of untranslated Italian theory, and Ingrid D. Rowland details her translation of Vitruvius. Paulette Singley sets the place for Italian cuisine, and Giulia Amoresano sources caffè espresso in the colonization of southern Italy. An Tairan revisits an 18th-century earthquake, Daniele Profeta analyzes the impact of the 19th-century Grand Tour, and Davide Spina exposes the dark side of postwar architecture culture. Greg Lynn talks with art historian Marilyn Aronberg Lavin about her digital analysis of Piero della Francesca, and Patrick Templeton asks writer and podcaster Alex Hochuli about Italy’s political legacy. Log 53 also presents projects by women building in Italy today – Lina Malfona, Elisabetta Terragni, and Maria Alessandra Segantini – as well as in the past – overlooked Neapolitan modernist Stefania Filo Speziale.
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