Bologna - Italy    23 - 27 / 09 / 2024

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Cersaie 2016: Conferences and Seminars
Ugo La Pietra - Lesson in reverse

Friday 30 September - 10.00 a.m.
Europauditorium, Palazzo dei Congressi

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The meeting with Ugo La Pietra is one of the most important appointments for young people in the Building Dwelling Thinking programme. At the event, students attending schools all over the Emilia Romagna region will have a chance to put questions to La Pietra and enjoy a unique opportunity to talk face-to-face with the acclaimed designer. The Lesson in Reverse will be introduced by Fulvio Irace, architecture historian and lecturer at Milan Polytechnic.


Ugo La Pietra More

Ugo La Pietra


biographical notes
Born in Bussi sul Tirino (Pescara) in 1938, a native of Arpino (Frosinone), he lives and works in Milan where he graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico in 1964. An architect by training, he is an artist, filmmaker, editor, musician, cartoonist and teacher. He has been defininghimself as a researcher in communication systems and in visual arts since 1960, moving simultaneously in the worlds of art and design. A tireless experimenter, he has crossed different currents (from Informalism and Conceptual Art to Narrative Art and artist’s cinema) and used multiple mediums, conducting research that were embodied in the theory of the “Disequilibrating System” – autonomous expression within Radical Design – and in important sociological themes such as “The Telematic Home” (MoMA, New York, 1972 – Fiera di Milano, 1983), “Real Space / Virtual Space” (Triennale di Milano 1979, 1992), “The eclectic Home” (Abitare il Tempo, 1990), “Beach Culture” (Centro Culturale Cattolica, 1985/95). He has transmitted his work through numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and he has curated several exhibitions at the Triennale di Milano, the Venice Biennale, the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, the FRAC Centre in Orléans, the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, the Fondazione Ragghianti in Lucca, the Fondazione Mudima in Milano and the Museo MA*GA in Gallarate. He has always critically maintained the humanistic, significant and territorial components of design through his works and objects, as well as his work in teaching, theory and publishing.

Chronology of researches 1959/60 He began “sign research” in painting, aimed at salvaging of the “Minimum symbolic experimentation”. 1962 With A. Ferrari, E. Sordini, A. Verga and A. Vermi, he founded the Gruppo del Cenobio. 1968 He designed and created the “Audiovisual Environment” at the XIV Triennale di Milano. 1969 He won the following prizes for painting: I° Premio Termoli, II° Premio Joan Miró, I° Premio Cesare da Sesto. He took part in the IV Week of Painting at the Museum Johanneum in Graz. He created urban intervention for the “Campo Urbano” in Como. 1970 He was invited to the experimental exhibition at the XXXV Venice Biennale. 1971 He designed audiovisual urban tools for Trigon 71 in Graz (Austria). 1972 He took part in the “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape” exhibition at MoMA with “La cellula abitativa;” he developed works for and took part in exhibitions at the “The new writing” area. 1973 He was a founding member of Global Tools. He was invited to the XV Triennale and made the film La grande occasione. 1973-1975 He became artistic director of the Milanese publishing house Jabik & Colophon. 1975 He won first prize at the Nancy Film Festival. 1976 He took part in the XXXVII Venice Biennale in the “Environment as society” section (E. Crispolti). 1978 He took part in the XXXVIII Venice Biennale in the following sections: “Artist’s cinema” (V. Fagone), “Utopia, the crisis of the architecture. Radical Architecture” (L.V. Masini). 1979 He won the Compasso d’Oro with the project “L’occultamento.” He curated the “Real space / Virtual space” exhibition at the Triennale di Milano. 1980 With Gianfranco Bettetini, he curated the “Chronographies, Special project” exhibition at the XXXIX Venice Biennale. 1981 He co-curated the “Scenographic space in the Italian television” exhibition at the XVI Triennale di Milano. 1983 He curated (with G. Bettetini and A. Grasso) the “The Telematic Home” exhibition at the Fiera di Milano. 1986-1997 He became art director of cultural and experimental exhibitions at the “Living time” event. 1992 He curated the “Life between things and nature” section at the XVIII Triennale di Milano and created the “Mediterranean Landscape” installation at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Quadriennale Internationnale de Design. 1997 He organised the personal exhibition “Fragments,” with objects created in mosaics at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. 2001 “Mediterranean lands,” a personal exhibition at the Fondazione Ragghianti in Lucca. 2002 “The new territoriality,” at the Rocca Paolina in Perugia. 2005 All of his films were acquired by the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana which organized an exhibition presented by Vittorio Fagone; Luciano Caramel was the curator of his personal exhibition at the Fondazione Umberto Mastroianni in Arpino (FR) and Frosinone. 2007 He took part in exhibitions dedicated to the 1970s at the Museo Villa Croce in Genoa (“Public, actions and ideas in the Seventies in Italy”), at the Triennale di Milano (“Seventies. The long decade of the short century”), and at the Mole Vanvitelliana in Ancona (“Observing the reflected thought”); he created the installations “Sicilian itineraries” and “Unity of the Mediterranean sea” at the Museo del Mediterraneo Fondazione Orestiadi in Gibellina. 2008 He was the subject of a large retrospective at the Fondazione Mudima in Milan, curated by Vittorio Fagone. He participated to the exhibition “International Sculpture in Agliè. Sculpture Nature. Orient Occident” invited by Luciano Caramel. 2009 FRAC Centre in Orléans dedicated a personal exhibition to his architectural works from the 1960s and 1970s; he realized two exhibitions on his work in ceramics at the Museum in Castellamonte and at MIC in Faenza and, in 2010, at the Museo Hoffmann in Caltagirone; in this year he presented two other exhibition dedicated to his ceramic work in Turin and in Albisola. 2011 He took part in a large retrospective at the Galerie Mercier in Paris; he presented the exhibition “Living the city. Yesterday’s future, for a new territoriality”, at the Museo MIAAO, in Turin curated by Enzo Biffi Gentili. 2012 He participated in the “Goodbye Seventies” exhibition at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, and in the “Radical City” exhibition organised by the Archivio di Stato in Turin. Fondazione Mudima dedicated a personal exhibition to him entitled “Living in Milan” which collected his works and interventions in the Milan area. He took part in the exhibition “The Expanded Gaze. Exhibition for Italian artist’s cinema (1912- 2012)” at the Fondazione Rocco Guglielmo in Catanzaro. 2013 He participated in the “In the sign of sign. After the Informal Art. The Cenobio Group” exhibition at the Galleria del Credito Valtellinese (Milan) curated by Luciano Caramel, “Artists in space” at the Fondazione Rocco Guglielmo in Catanzaro and in “Environments and Counter Environments. ‘Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,’ MoMA, 1972” at the Graham Foundation in Chicago. He presented the personal exhibitions “Itineraries” at Ca’ di Fra Gallery in Milan and “Trace. My territories” in Ceramic Museum in Mondovì. 2014 Triennale Design Museum in Milan dedicated a personal exhibition to him entitled “Ugo La Pietra. Disequilibrating Design” curated by Angela Rui. He presented the exhibition ”Inside / Outside” at the Galleria Antonia Jannone in Milan. 2015 He presented the personal exhibitions “Green works it out!” at the Galleria Il Chiostro Arte Contemporanea in Saronno, “Textural Structures” at the E3 Gallery in Brescia and he took part at the exhibition “Earthrise” at the PAV in Turin invitated by Marco Scotini.

Teaching Since 1964, he has taught at the Architecture Departments in Milan, Pescara, Palermo, Turin and Venice; at the Politecnico di Milano, Design Department; at the Istituto d’Arte in Monza; at ISIA in Faenza; at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan; at the NABA in Milan; at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan; from 2000 to 2005 he ran the Progettazione Artistica per l’Impresa department, which he founded, at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan. Since 2009, he has been a professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Design Department and at the NABA in Milan. He has held workshops and seminars at several universities and academies both in Italy and abroad.

Selected publications Il sistema disequilibrante, ed. Toselli, Milan 1970; La guida alternativa per la città di Milano, monograph, ed. Progettare Inpiù, Milan 1974/75; Autoarchiterapia, ed. Jabik & Colophon, Milan 1975; Istruzioni per l’uso della città, ed. Associazione Culturale Plana, Milan 1970; Spazio reale-Spazio virtuale (Lo Spazio audiovisivo nella XIV Triennale di Milano) ed. Marsilio, Venice 1980; Pro-memoria, ed. Katà, Milan 1982; Abitare la città, ed. Alinea, Florence 1983; La casa telematica, ed. Katà, Milan 1984; Il giardino delle delizie, ed. Alinea, Florence 1986; Argomenti per un dizionario del design italiano, Franco Angeli Editore, Milan 1987; Gio Ponti l’arte s’innamora dell’industria, ed. Coliseum, Milan 1988, ed. Rizzoli 1993; Domesticarte, ed. Alinea, Florence 1988; Casa Aperta, Giardino all’Italiana ed. Alinea, Florence 1989; Ugo La Pietra, ed. G.G., Barcelona 1991; Ad Arte, ed. Alinea, Florence 1995; Fatto ad Arte, ed. Triennale di Milano 1997; Pietre Marmi e Mosaici, ed. Alinea, Florence 2002; La vita è una cuccagna, ed. Alinea, Florence, 2003; Ad Arte. Tradizione e Innovazione nell’Artigianato Artistico Lombardo, ed. Cestec, Regione Lombardia, 2004/2006; Globo tissurato. 1965-2007, ed. Alinea, Florence, 2007; Abitare la città, ed. Allemandi, Turin 2011; Urban furniture for society, ed. Corraini, Mantua, 2013; Inside / Outside, ed. Corraini, Mantua, 2014; Green works it out!, ed. Corraini, Mantua, 2015; Odori e sapori, Ed. Galleria Nuages, Milan, 2015; Living with art. Research and works in the applied arts and in design, ed. Corraini, Mantua, 2015.

Publishing He was editor of “Domus,” “D’ARS” and “AU” magazines. He was creative director of the magazine “Mestieri d’Arte.” He has directed and edited: “In. Argomenti e immagini di Design,” “Global Tools,” “Progettare INPIÙ,” “Brera Flash,” “Fascicolo,” “Area,” “Abitare con Arte,” “Artigianato tra Arte e Design.”

Fulvio Irace More

Fulvio Irace

Architect and Professor of history of architecture, Milan Polytechnic
Biographical notes
Fulvio Irace is a full professor of “History of Architecture” at Milan Polytechnic, where he holds the History of Contemporary Architecture chair at the Faculty of Civil Architecture and the Faculty of Design; he is also a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, and a member of the board of teachers for the PhD course in “History of Architecture and Town Planning” at Turin Polytechnic.
He is a member of the scientific committee of the Vico Magistretti Foundation and is on the board of trustees of the Piano Foundation.
In 2008-2009 he was a member of the jury for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize.
From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Milan Triennial and curator of the Architecture and Territory sector.
One of the founders of the national association AAI (Archivi di Architettura Italia – Italian Architectural Archives), he is one of the promoters of the “Architecture and Design” section of CASVA (Centro alti studi e valorizzazione delle arti – the Centre for Higher Studies and Valorisation of the Arts) of the Municipality of Milan.
Architectural editor for the publications “Domus” and “Abitare”, he has worked with the most important national and international magazines in the sector, and in 2005 was awarded the Inarch Bruno Zevi Prize for architectural criticism. Since 1986 he has been an opinionist in the field of architecture for the Sunday Supplement of “Il Sole 24 Ore”.
Attentive to the historiographies of Italian architecture between the two World Wars, to which he has dedicated much work through various exhibitions and publications, more recently his studies have concentrated on contemporary Italian architecture, and the figure of Renzo Piano, the subject of various monographs and an important exhibition at the Milan Triennial.
In the field of criticism and historical methodology he is the author of the following works:  Dimenticare Vitruvio, 2001 and 2008;  Le città visibili: Renzo Piano 2006; Divina Proporzione, 2007; Gio Ponti, 2009.
He has curated a number of architectural exhibitions.



Video interview

Ugo La Pietra