The ever-smaller cultural dimension of our time is the measure of what we have become
The ever-smaller cultural dimension of our time is the measure of what we have become and this is precisely where we must start, asking ourselves whether there is still room today for a world where it is once again the mind that subtends and supports human endeavour We now know that it was this very limitation that prevented a real modernisation of our country-system – or rather that stopped the completion of what had been started but was never finished, forcing us to struggle with our current times. This applies to nearly all the fields of civilised living, obliged to witness defencelessly the brutal abuse of our land, the uninformed and ill-considered use of our resources, natural and artificial, and, above all, the heinous deterioration of our institutions. This situation, long apparent to all, is now so deep-rooted as to be regarded by most as permanent, unchangeable and consequently accepted with resignation and taken as inescapable.
In these conditions, what is most saddening and worrying is having to see our entire nation impotent and immobile, incapable of finding ways out that will lead to new paths of progress and civilisation. It is indeed sad and frustrating to find ourselves in such a state, where everyone knows what is wrong and does not work but no one seems able to find a remedy. There are few explanations for this embarrassing situation and the most plausible might be that the majority of Italian citizens today are mainly concerned with and interested in preserving and defending their status quo, safeguarding their standard of living, each with what they have, much or little as it may be.
This summer’s emergencies, caused on the one hand by countless fires and on the other by a lack of water, suddenly thrust us into a nightmare
Fire and water have always been essential elements of human life on this earth but they are also the protagonists of many, dramatic tragedies that are certainly not new to us. This is why populations have learnt to gain a hold over and manage them, controlling them and, above all, mitigating their destructive effects by means of constant, careful and persevering prevention, studied case by case. This is even more so in a country such as ours, more advanced than many other parts of the world. Yet, this summer’s emergencies, caused on the one hand by countless fires and on the other by a lack of water, suddenly thrust us into a nightmare featuring a sorry image of our land left to its own devices and to what we have become.
Italy in flames and out of water for its population has shown, loudly and clearly, that we have reached a point of no return. We can no longer say that sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost, for our chickens have already come home to roost and – alas – conclusively and irreversibly. We had best go back now to our design disciplines and try to understand how they have, in recent years, pandered to or countered what we have just said. We shall do so by taking two of the cornerstones of our work: training and the profession.
It is truly sickening to see that a country such as ours, which boasts excellent universities, has failed to reform itself from within
Where, in those years, were the architects, professionals and professional bodies?