The school of Mendrisio. A project

The Academy of Architecture of the Università della Svizzera italiana is pleased to announce that the exhibition “The School of Mendrisio. A Project - Teaching Activities 2022/23”, curated by Marco Della Torre and Manuel Orazi, is open to the public from 23 February to 30 June 2024, in the exhibition spaces of the Teatro dell'architettura Mendrisio.

The Academy of Architecture has always exhibited annually to its public a review devoted to its educational offering, the results obtained during the semesters of its teaching activity and work of its students. With a completely renewed format compared to past editions, also this year the exhibition has as its primary objective the exhibition of the work produced collectively by the academic community during the period 2022/23. On the premises of the Teatro dell'architettura, the intent is to show the general public, and not just insiders, the range of teaching and activities conducted on the USI campus in Mendrisio. Here the purpose is to train new generations of architects with a specific and original educational imprint while transmitting knowledge of the discipline. This innovative and experimental project is a legacy of the founders of the Mendrisio school, who wisely judiciously laid the groundwork for it in 1996, the year when the Academy of Architecture was established.

At the same time, the exhibition is also an opportunity to reflect further on the nature of a school of architecture. For this reason we decided that the exhibition should include a brief outline of the principles guiding the formation of some schools in the last century, important models for the educational programmes of schools of architecture in the twenty-first century. They are: the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence, the Architectural Association in London, the University Institute of Architecture in Venice and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York.

The exhibition begins on the ground floor of the Teatro dell'architettura with a presentation of the design studios and those of visual representation and spatial awareness in the first year of the BSc course, and then continues in the two galleries on the upper floors. The layout proceeds with a display of the activities related to the following years in the different educational areas, organised by sections. These range from the historical-humanist disciplines to the culture of the territory and landscape, from those related to conscious, traditional, innovative and sustainable construction technologies to the exact sciences, from the techniques of representation and workshops for the cinema and photography for architecture to courses devoted to design for the ephemeral. Confirming the importance and centrality of the architectural project in the Academy's educational path, the gallery on the second floor presents the results of the design studios divided into groups according to the intentions and vocations they express: from those devoted to housing for individual and collective residences to those for architecture on a territorial scale, from studios to design the reuse of the existing heritage to those that embody values in the name of ‘critical internationalism’.
The exhibition is interspersed with a series of interviews conducted with students, assistants and lecturers to represent the broad and varied community that animates the campus of the Mendrisio school.

The exhibition is the result of the collective work of students, assistants, lecturers and professors - who supplied the texts, projects, images, and models - as well as the organisational support of the staff of the USI Academy of Architecture.

22. Februar bis 30. Juni 2024
Teatro dell’architettura Mendrisio
Via Alfonso Turconi 25
6850 Mendrisio
Academy of Architecture of the Università della Svizzera italiana
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