Innesti/Grafting is the theme that Cino Zucchi has chosen to develop the direction suggested by Rem Koolhaas to the national pavilions at Venice Biennale.  

Innesti/Grafting is the title, but most importantly it is the interpretation that Cino Zucchi – nominated by the Ministry curator of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2014 – has chosen in order to develop the direction suggested by Rem Koolhaas to the national pavilions, “Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014”.  
This is an invitation to examine the processes that led to the current homogeneous and atopic nature of global architecture, identifying the resistance and/or peculiar characteristics that modernization has taken regarding the real or presumed “national identities”.
Schema generale del progetto di allestimento © CZA
Top: Sketch of the section A contemporary landscape © CZA. Above: General scheme of the exhibition design project © CZA
With Innesti/Grafting, Cino Zucchi begins with the assumption that “Italian architecture since the First World War to today demonstrates an ‘anomalous modernity’, represented by its significant capacity to interpret and incorporate previous states through continuous metamorphosis. Not adaptations of form of the new compared to the existing in retrospect, but rather ‘grafting’ an ability to transfigure the conditions of the context into a new configuration: an attitude that was once viewed by some as nostalgic or a compromise, but which today is admired by Europe and the world as the most original contribution of Italian design culture”.
Il Portale. Un innesto contemporaneo © CZA
The Portal: a contemporary grafting © CZA

Innesti/Grafting is thus an account of our best architecture from a fresh point of view. Historical, recent and contemporary works are chosen with the eyes of a botanist rather than that of a historian, and reread according to original methods, to reveal their capacity to indissolubly combine interpretation and innovation, existing material and future form.

The Pavilion’s fundamental proposition, grafting as a leitmotiv of Italian architecture through the centuries, is represented both through the reading of the projects exhibited as well as through the actual structure of the exhibition route and its installation, to create a unique large portrait of the strong visual and formal impact, where each element portrays the thesis according to its own methods.

Schizzo del Portale © CZA
Sketch of the Portal © CZA
In the Italian Pavilion exhibit, there is not an idea of linear evolution, but rather a look at individual design episodes or events connected over time by unexpected relations. If modernization has involved the entire peninsula over the last century, the case of Milan has been used as an example of “laboratory of the modern”, whose architectonic and city planning affairs of the last 100 years – but also several key moments in its past history – demonstrate the particular means employed by projects with a large transformative role compared to the preexisting urban structure. But Milan is also the place that is hosting Expo 2015, an example of great territorial transformation over recent years which will be observed in its various content and present and future developments.
- Schizzo della sala “Milano Moderna: un laboratorio urbano” © CZA
Section Modern Milan: an urban laboratory © CZA
The exhibit continues with a series of architecture collages, with a suggestive representation of a large contemporary landscape made up of images of recent projects where architects from various generations are challenged with difficult settings. A series of “postcards” autographed by non-Italian architects will give a concise interpretation of the particular Italian condition as seen by various corners of the world.
Schizzo dell’installazione “Un giardino ospitale”  © CZA
Sketch of the installation A welcoming garden © CZA
Opening and closing the exhibit are two marks, two physical “grafts” in the context of the Arsenale designed by the same Cino Zucchi: the large arched portal of the entrance next to Gaggiandre and a large bench-sculpture that winds through the trees in the Giardino delle Vergini.
Sala “Milano Moderna: un laboratorio urbano” © CZA
Section Modern Milan: an urban laboratory © CZA
On the occasion of the presentation of the exhibit, the Italian Pavilion is launching a public invitation aimed at collecting a series of videos that can interpret places of collective life in Italy produced by students, ordinary people, and videomakers. A selection of these videos will make up the choral work “Inhabited Landscapes” curated by Studio Azzurro, aimed at investigating how man interacts with the transformations dictated by architecture and how, in turn, they adapt it to their everyday needs.
Sala ”Un paesaggio contemporaneo” © CZA
Section A contemporary landscape © CZA
The Pavilion as a whole will demonstrate the wealth and stratification of the Italian landscape, and the ability to interpret signs from the past by the protagonists who have contributed the most to its transformation into a contemporary country, allowing the landscape to converse with the world.

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