Stefano Boeri: “Milan Arch Week gets buildings and designers talking about events in the lives of us all”

From 23 to 27 May, Milan is holding the second edition of Milan Arch week. Here follows a video interview with Stefano Boeri, artistic director of the event.

Stefano Boeri

“The future of cities is instantaneous,” says Stefano Boeri, artistic director of Milan Arch Week. Devoted to architecture and now in its second edition, it will run from 23 to 27 May, in “ideal continuity with the Venice Biennale”, at the Milan Triennale, the Polytechnic and the Feltrinelli Foundation. The event is promoted by the City of Milan, the Milan Polytechnic and the Milan Triennale, in collaboration with the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation. “A shrinking timeline separates us from a science-fiction future. Many issues that once seemed remote and utopian are part of an instantaneous future. Now we’re deciding what the city will be like in 50 years’ time.” This week's theme is “Urbania, a look at the future of cities”. The title is inspired by the famous sci-fiction literature series “Urania”, launched in 1952 and edited by Fruttero and Lucentini. Up for discussion is the city of the future and the citizens who will live there. Meanwhile, the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation is presenting “About a City. Places, ideas and rights for 2030 citizens”, organised as a programme of talks, debates, spectacles and projections, with the scientific curatorship of Stefano Boeri, Mauro Magatti and Salvatore Settis. 

Up for discussion will be the themes of diversity and the issues of comity, the rights of minorities and access to services; the advance of the digital, technological infrastructure and solutions for sustainable urban planning in alliance with nature. “With the new Rector of the Polytechnic Ferruccio Resta and Mayor Giuseppe Sala, we imagined an urban event for Milan,” continues the artistic director, “which has attracted great names in architecture, and in this respect it has few competitors around the world. This city has everything it takes to become a great popular school through architecture.” Sure enough, the event will be hosting a series of lectures by established and up-and-coming figures, including four Pritzker Prize winners: Jacques Herzog (24 May at 6.30 pm, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation), who will open the programme of About a City, Kazuyo Sejima (24 May at 6.00 pm, Milan Polytechnic), Wang Shu (26 May at 6.00 pm, Milan Triennale) and Toyo Ito (27 May at 9 pm, Milan Triennale). Joining them will be Bjarke Ingels, Carrilho da Graça, Jeanne Gang, Cino Zucchi and many others (programme on the website). Milan as a pool of talent for a debate on a possible global architecture. “Some big names can offer emerging cities a status. In this respect there is a form of globalisation of architecture, which is closely bound up with the vocabulary of certain architects.” And of course the discussion will focus on migratory flows and how European cities have incorporated them. “European cities are palimpsests. Migratory flows have changed history. Parts of cities are being rewritten by new approaches to housing. This can’t and won’t stop.” Why go? Stefano Boeri concludes, “It’s an opportunity to take architecture with the right dose of irony, while having fun and avoiding celebrations.”

Lecture Milano Arch Week 2017
Lecture Milano Arch Week 2017
Milano Arch Week
23-27 May
La Triennale, Politecnico, Fondazione Feltrinelli

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