The June issue of Domus is articulated as an introspective investigation into our relationship with nature. Toshiko Mori, in her Editorial, talks about the relationship established by man with the forest. “The forest has an overwhelming presence. It is symbolic and vast, it has an unfathomable extent that mirrors that of the ocean. It has witnessed the events and tragedies of history, is woven into the memory of civilization, and continues to exist as a cultural monument.”
Starting in the Essays section, Philip Tidwell analyzes the complex relationship between Finnish identity and the forest, which emerges powerfully in Mr. and Mrs. Aalto’s design for the national pavilion at the 1939 New York Expo. Next, Mori talks with Simone Farresin of Formafantasma and Marianna Goebl of Artek, highlighting the impact of climate change on the forest and the evolutions of Alvar Aalto’s iconic Stool 60. Ana María Durán Calisto explains how after 70 years of debate, LiDAR, a new satellite prospecting technology, is revealing the profile of ancient urbanism in the Amazon region, cradle of multinational corporations of extreme beauty and socioecological complexity. Guest Editor interviews Jeremy Frey. Descended from a long line of native Passamaquoddy weavers, Frey introduces new materials and forms while maintaining strong ties to traditional practice.
Continuing with Architecture, Balázs Bognár describes the use of wood in the work of Kengo Kuma & Associates. Indeed, the firm sees wood as one of its materials of choice, in continuity with the heritage of Japanese building knowledge and respect for satoyama-the village mountain, source of territory, orientation, food and materials. We retrace the firm’s evolutionary stages by delineating its design method’s features. Marlon Blackwell talks about his Bike Barn, a multifunctional building made for a private school, reinterprets the traditional typology of barns in the area.
Jennifer Bonner explains Haus Gables, the experimental project made entirely of CLT, takes its starting point from observing the articulated roofs of single-family residences in the United States. Next, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto talks about the relationship between architecture and ecology restored through his work on the village conducted with the association and the university. Andrés Jaque describes his Reggio School in Madrid, where the nudity of architecture responds to the pedagogical need to learn by living in an ecological and surprising building that sets curiosity in motion. Closing the section, American designer Elora Hardy tells how she builds a new kind of long-lasting, high-quality, environmentally friendly building with her group of designers, architects and craftsmen.
Next for the art column, Donald Moffett observes how art and science can no longer be separated under the generalized threat of climate degradation. In closing Toshiko Mori narrates the issue’s cover, where Candida Höfer’s photographs distill moments of an architect’s aspiration. “They capture these fleeting moments in an understated light, as if the architectural experience itself were an object to be admired. Although they are images of imposing scale, they have a strongly personal and intimate appeal.”
This month’s Diario, with the usual pages devoted to current events, is opened by the Travel in Italy section, where Editorial Director Walter Mariotti recounts another leg of the yearlong journey along the peninsula. This time we stop in San Miniato, the most significant outdoor urbanization project in the history of 20th-century Siena. Elena Sommariva writes about the new collection that UNStudio designed with and for Fantoni, which focuses on “third spaces,” flexible and collaborative, halfway between home and office. Roberta Silva, managing director of Flos since 2019, recounts the most significant milestones of the company, which celebrated 60 years in 2022, and its commitment to increase sustainable production. Loredana Mascheroni reflects on the legacy left by Gianfranco Frattini: an eclectic furniture and interior designer, he loved the craftsmanship of the workshop. An exhibition revived his work through patient work on archival material.
Attached to this month’s issue, you can also find the special EcoWorld - Special Design, where Domus tackles sustainability by trying to break out of the clichés. In his Editorial, Walter Mariotti stresses the need also to adopt new behaviors, choices and wills. “Only through a radical mutation of priorities and personal decisions, deciding what we are really willing to give up, will it be possible to live more sustainably, producing a world made of less toxic relationships that unite instead of divide, thus recognizing what is really at stake.”
Among other contributions, Emma Olbers investigates the importance of material choice: in fact, material choice accounts for 50 percent of a furniture’s carbon footprint. Valentina Croci writes about how the need for carbon footprint reduction is leading companies and designers to experiment with new materials based on circular processes that feed into the local scale. Jessica Mairs researches waste metabolism. Established among the cornerstones of sustainability, circularity aims to make a virtue of waste and refuse. Research needed in view of a doubling of waste generation by 2050. Silvana Annicchiarico addresses the issue of waste. From a trend to a necessity, ecodesign wants to comprehensively and radically rethink the production model that aimed at the overexploitation of resources.