Current Issue: Domus 1005

Domus 1005

Cover: graphic interpretation of a sketch by Patrick Berger for The Canopy project in Paris. © Patrick Berger

Editorial: Are you with us?

With this issue of Domus I enter my fourth year of its editorship, beginning with issue 972 and long enough to allow a good look back at what has happened during this time and to reflect on what has been done but also to venture a few comments on what there is
still to do.

Domus 1000. Domus seems indestructible

Kiesler’s endless influence

Featuring on hundreds of drawings, original photographs, models and life-size spatial reconstructions, a large exhibition at MAK in Vienna provides a comprehensive overview of the phantasmagorical design universe of Frederick Kiesler, casting the spotlight on a revolutionary figure in 20th-century art and architecture who believed the primary objective of the architect was to improve people’s material and mental well-being, and strengthening society in the process. The curator of the exhibition describes Kiesler’s current relevance and great influence while notes written by Kiesler himself in 1934 explain his project for the Space-House, the prototype of a modern and experimental one-family home.

Notes on architeture

Learning from architecture

Drawing on four decades of teaching experience, the spanish architect, who is currently teaching architectural design at madrid’s escuela técnica superior de arquitectura, explains to us the importance of sparking the student’s interest in original, in-depth “exploration” of the discipline, emphasising its collective dimension in particular through the development of urban themes.

Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Kingston University, London

On the basis of the belief that “Every school should be an art school”, new technologies at Kingston University are treated as an expansion of tools of analysis and traditional production. Founded more than 150 years ago, the school has always focused on offering dynamic professional training, thanks in part to its partnerships with prestigious international organisations and the provision of well-equipped workshops.

Designing an America of the people, by the people, and for the people

At the end of September, the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York opens its third exhibition on socially responsible design. We preview its contents with a piece by the curator describing the economic and social scenario encountered as she travelled 80,000 km around the United States in two years of research meeting designers, philanthropists, artists, students and workers – all in the conviction that design becomes a powerful means of change when local communities are directly involved.

My magazines

After speaking to Alessandro Mendini (Domus 998) and Paolo Portoghesi (Domus 1003), we continue our narration of Italian magazines with Vittorio Gregotti, who takes a totally different stance. This time, it is the architect and designer speaking of his magazines and projects, a joint presence throughout his lifetime – from his early days at Casabella Continuità with Ernesto Nathan Rogers to the inspired period of Edilizia Moderna and, finally, his Casabella and the splendid Rassegna.

Lifting the ‘A’ from war to peace

Having been an international protagonist of graphic design for 50 years now, Milani gives Domus an overview of the highlights of a career that unfolded in Milan and New York City. Logos, corporate images, books and posters are all permeated by a pragmatic sense of humour, extreme synthesis and clarity – gifts he uses toward fostering thoughtfulness. An unpublished writing by the late Massimo Vignelli describes the traits of his talent.

Making the intangible tangible

Knowledge of cities

Two decades of patient research conducted by Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani in the Department of History of Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has resulted in the compilation of an atlas of public spaces both ancient and recent, codified by a strict analysis procedure. The manual represents an important corpus of references for contemporary city planning.

Museum of Climate, Lleida, Spain

Using the topographical shape of the site as its raw material, this Spanish office has designed a climate display that shows the effects of different weather types on elements both natural and artificial. Indoors and out, the new museum explores the problems and opportunities of climatic conditions.

Il Daímon di Architettura. The irrationality of a treatise on contemporary architecture

According to Renato Rizzi, an obligatory necessity in order for Tafuri’s “architect of the future” to become reality is the bringing of theoretical, design and architectural thought down to the cognitive foundation of image: Fabian Carlos Giusta analyses the key points in the three volumes of Rizzi’s analytical treatise.

The Canopy, Paris

Since the demolition in 1971 of the 19th-century pavilions designed by Victor Baltard for the central markets, the area of Halles has been through various building stages, some rather tormented. Now, with the grand architectural gesture of the Canopy, the work of two French architects has given new meaning from an urban point of view to this central place, resolving the complexity of its social, cultural and infrastructural functions.


St Angela’s College, Cork, Ireland

The exemplary recent project by this Irish husband-and-wife team proposes a complex functional solution between diverse buildings old and new, all lying on different site levels. The volumes were patiently stitched together and carefully juxtaposed on a steep urban slope.

New Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil

The new building for this important contemporary art gallery is a condensation of all the formal precision and compositional balance that the young Brazilian office Metro has developed by working on different types of projects.

Valentino flagship stores in London and Rome

The latest designs for the boutiques of the Italian fashion house are a contemporary take on architectural tradition, giving rise to rigorously designed spaces featuring the most sophisticated details and materials, each designed for the specific context.

The hidden beauty of objects

Come to design almost by chance after studying mechanical engineering and in love with industry – “it’s noisy, it creates sparks, it produces big numbers and it keeps the price down, if possible” – Odo Fioravanti’s design focuses closely on parts that will always be hidden from sight because “the designer’s purpose is to hide beauty in everyday objects”.

Daring to create

The history of the company Marazzi spans 80 years and three generations of bold, far-sighted entrepreneurs. The company’s CEO, Mauro Vandini, tells Domus about the landmarks in its history, from the ground-breaking invention of the single-firing process in the 1970s, which enabled the whole Italian ceramics industry to assume leadership of the sector globally, to the recent acquisition of the firm by the American Mohawk Industries group.

Shaonong Wei’s Shanghai

Elzeviro: “Fellini e... l’EUR”

I like EUR because it has this air of being a bit like a motion picture corporation, with empty spaces where you can dump your toys, your dice and cubes. The sensation of availability that this place exudes is congenial to me; it suits me because it has no history.

Rassegna: Systems of enclosure