Nicola Di Battista

To celebrate #domus1000, its editor has chosen objects linked to personal memories, such as Bellini’s Divisumma, and the books by José Ortega y Gasset, “an inexhaustible encyclopaedia of knowledge”.

The nine outstanding figures behind #domus1000 reveal themselves in brief self-portraits “condensing” their tastes and attitudes into five choices: a piece of architecture, a design object, a work of art, a book and a city. They are also sketched in colour by the illustrator Massimo Giacon.


Picking things up from where they had been left in 1996 (when he was deputy editor to Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani), the current Domus editor has built a monthly magazine focused on in-depth analysis and immediately embraced the ambitious aim “to give our times fresh design hope”. Using the tools provided to him by his architectural profession, he embarked on the far from simple undertaking by creating a board of five Masters of architecture (Chipperfield, Frampton, Kollhoff, Oechslin and Souto de Moura) and a “study centre” composed of younger Italian architects. Completing his “model editorial staff” are the recurrent theoretical and conceptual references to the Modern architects – Mies and Corbu at the top of the list – and the classical artists – Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Michelangelo, among others. Always battling against time, a perfectionist and constantly in search of a solution to the “aporias of our epoch”, Nicola Di Battista, who was born in Teramo on 20 October 1953 under the sign of Libra, never holds back where students and the university, his favourite interlocutors, are concerned. Teaching remains his great love to which he devotes magazine pages, presentations, encounters and initiatives whenever possible.


Piece of architecture The Ideal City by Adalberto Libera is a great tribute to Italian landscapes, natural and artificial, recomposed in an imaginary manner around the people socialising in them. I believe this extraordinary architecture, very naturally and simply, expresses the ultimate mission of architecture to which all architects ought to apply themselves - that of creating places where people can live, poetically and really.


Design object – Mario Bellini’s Divisumma because it takes me right back to when I was 20 and convinced my parents to buy me this strange calculator, the form of which attracted me like a magnet. I told them that I could not continue my studies without it.


Work of art – The cut-outs Henri Matisse produced at a late age. They transfigure his vision of the world around him and fix it in totally new and unprecedented forms. Passing as if by magic from paintbrush to scissors, he discovered and revealed a new world of forms that are still surprisingly relevant and very contemporary, 60 years after they first appeared.


Book –José Ortega y Gasset’s many books which, when taken as a whole, form an inexhaustible encyclopaedia of knowledge. I find Meditazioni sulla felicità (Teoría de la felicidad) an extraordinary book that I have been constantly reading and rereading for many years. I always manage to find what I am looking for and what I need in it. It is a book that amuses and intrigues me. It makes me think and reflect on the condition of our life.


City – Rome, because it is the archetypal city, one where architecture is particularly complete and where everything acquires value in the shadow of the Pantheon. As Thomas Bernhard said “Rome is of all cities the most congenial to the mind: it was the ideal city for the ancient mind, and it’s the ideal city for the modern mind precisely for the modern mind, and in the chaotic political conditions that prevail here today.
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Nicola Di Battista
: 2013–present
Deputy editor: Donatella Bollani
Art director: Giuseppe Basile

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