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Studio Ossidiana

Part of our ‘Towards Another Architecture’ online lecture series.

It is now a hundred years since the first essays that would later form Le Corbusier’s Vers une Architecture were published in the magazine L’Esprit Nouveau. ‘A great new epoch has begun. There exists a new spirit’, Le Corbusier observed, which, he went on to argue, demanded an architecture that did not just adopt but revelled in the possibilities of industry and mass production. ‘Modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the city.’

Today, we live at another pivotal moment for architecture and for the wider world. The climate emergency alone requires us to rethink everything we have previously taken for granted about how we conceive and construct buildings. While Le Corbusier saw industry as architecture and society’s saviour, our present predicament has no easy panaceas, and we are suspicious of anyone offering them. One of the great ironies of Le Corbusier’s messianic vision is that the very thing he so celebrated – unbridled industry – has led us to the climate emergency.

Yet, as Le Corbusier himself recognised, moments of crisis and transformation are also opportunities for overturning conventions, facing uncomfortable truths and forcing disciplinary and societal ‘reset’. What we need is not a new architecture, as Le Corbusier was popularly mistranslated as advocating, but another one: an architecture that is not bound to a single vision or future, but is diverse, pluralist and sustains multiple conversations about the active role that architects might play in the world.

This series of events invites practitioners and thinkers working in a range of fields and geographies to reflect on this pivotal moment and advocate their vision(s) for another architecture.

Studio Ossidiana is an award winning practice in architecture, design and research led by Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Bellotti. Working across scales, Studio Ossidiana blurs the boundary between architecture, design, art, landscape, and urban strategies. Studio Ossidiana’s work has been exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia 2021, Istanbul Design Biennial 2020-21, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021, ArkDes and Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Alessandra Covini received her master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Technology in Delft (NL). Alessandra is the winner of the Prix de Rome Architecture 2018. Alessandra has taught and lectured at TU Delft, Rotterdam Academie van Bouwkunst, Piet Zwart Institute, KABK Den Haag, Rietveld Academy, Design Academy Eindhoven.

Giovanni Bellotti received his master’s degree in Architecture from IUAV University of Venice (IT), and a postgraduate degree from MIT (US) in Architecture and Urbanism. Giovanni is a Fulbright fellow and Miguel Vinciguerra award recipient. He worked as a researcher for TU Delft’s The Why Factory and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. Giovanni teaches at Rotterdam’s Piet Zwart Institute and at the Design Academy Eindhoven.