Jean Nouvel will be Domus guest editor in 2022

The French architect succeeds Tadao Ando: he is the fifth in the series of ten outstanding names in architecture that are guiding Domus towards its centenary.

In 2028, Domus will celebrate 100 years since the publication of its first issue by Gio Ponti. To celebrate the centenary, the 10x10x10 editorial project will see 10 internationally renowned architects take the editing lead of the magazine, for 10 issues each.

From Italy with Michele De Lucchi (2018) to Japan with Tadao Ando (2021), passing through the Netherlands with Winy Maas (2019) and the United Kingdom with David Chipperfield (2020), the role of Domus guest editor returns to Europe and lands in France where Jean Nouvel was born and still lives. Like his predecessor Ando, from whom he ideally receives the baton at the helm of Domus, Nouvel, born in 1945, is also a Pritzker Prize winner. The most important honor in the world of architecture was awarded to him in 2008.

The new Guest Editor announced that, starting from January 2022, he wants to make his Domus an ode to architecture of character. “What would a knowledge of the world be that ignored the sensible? What would the reason be without its poetic contestation? What would the truth be discovered from just one angle? An ignorant knowledge. An unreasonable reason. An amputated truth. And in each of these cases the oblivion of the imagination,” reads the attack of his manifesto of intent, that readers will find in bundle with December Domus. “Invention begins with character, with the importance of saying NO,” writes again Jean Nouvel in the manifesto.

Jean Nouvel interviewed by editorial director Walter Marriotti
Jean Nouvel interviewed by editorial director Walter Marriotti. Photo by Giovanni del Brenna

Along with Domus December, available at the beginning of next month on newsstands and in digital version, there will also be a monograph dedicated to the new Guest Editor, who opens up with the editorial director Walter Mariotti in a long interview.

“At Domus I will focus on the personality of buildings and their relationship with art. Above all, I will talk about images, because I am convinced that today architecture finds in them a profound and positive inspiration,” Nouvel announces to the editorial director, lashing out against the “compilative magazines, which line up one building after another with ever smaller photographs.” All of this, explains the new Guest Editor, “fails to convey either the meaning of the building or the sense of architecture today.” He also emphasizes the responsibility of architectural design from a human perspective, explaining that architecture is “the answer to concrete, social, and individual questions,” distinguishing the different nature between construction and architecture, and relaunching the fundamental questions that each era poses to architecture – the cultural, economic, and social variations that accompany human beings. “Because architecture is, first and foremost, a human act,” he concludes.

“I am sure that Jean Nouvel will know how to amaze us, as he has always did in a career that has no equal,” declares the Editoriale Domus’ President Giovanna Mazzocchi: “A theorist and staunch defender of the political power of architecture, Nouvel has always declared the freedom to express himself also through design and art, but above all to work in multiple contexts and in all regions where his vision has been requested or accepted. A secular, contemporary and futuristic position that confirms a vision of architecture as a strong thought and of the architect as co-creator of the future, both social and individual. For all these reasons and for all those that he will show us in this year of Domus, I am happy to welcome him to our community and wish him the best of success.”

Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris, France. Photo Giovanni del Brenna
Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris, France. Photo Giovanni del Brenna

“With Nouvel’s work, we enter the sanctum sanctorum of contemporary architecture,” points out the editorial director Walter Mariotti, at the helm of the editorial team since 2017 and responsible for the continuity of the 10x10x10 project. “We thus access” – continues Mariotti – “the opportunity to see how the original emotions of the individual, his profound insights, his aspiration to justice and uniqueness remain the only resistance against the massification of existences and tastes, outlining a vision that through architecture defines a society that without renouncing to  capitalism challenges it to improve it, to make it fairer, to keep feelings and humanity at the center.”

The first issue of Domus 2022 by Jean Nouvel will be published at the beginning of January.

The monograph dedicated to him, together with his manifesto of intentions, comes out attached to the December issue of Domus (on newsstands from Tuesday 7) which, as every year, pays homage to the Italian spirit.

Opening picture: Jean Nouvel. Photo Giovanni dal Brenna

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