Architectural Exchanges

Architecture, Conférence, Milano

More information coming soon

Architecture, Conférence

More information coming soon

The conference will take place at Istituto Svizzero, via del Vecchio Politecnico 3, Milan.  

Switzerland and Italy: Architectural Exchanges

The conference aims to establish the first inter-institutional platform for the historical analysis of the architectural relations between Switzerland and Italy, which have never been examined systematically despite their long history. From renowned masters like Francesco Borromini and Carlo Fontana to Ticinese artisans who, since the fifteenth century, have established vibrant centres of architectural production across the Italian peninsula, these exchanges continued well into the twentieth century thanks to the activity of figures like Mario Chiattone and Alberto Sartoris. But it was during and after the Second World War that the two countries, due to renewed economic and diplomatic relations, forged a solid architectural dialogue that persists to this day. From academic collaborations, like that between Aldo Rossi and ETH Zurich, to professional partnerships, like that between Herzog & de Meuron and Feltrinelli, Italy and Switzerland have created a special relationship in architecture, thus making a decisive contribution to the global conversation in the discipline.

This conference will address the history of Swiss-Italian relations in architecture in all its complexity by bringing together 30+ academics from 15+ institutions who will partake in four thematic panels and one roundtable. By featuring a broad chronological framework, the conference will shed light on the architectural relationships between Switzerland and Italy since the early modern times, focusing on the intense exchanges of the last seventy years.

The event is jointly organized by ETH Zurich and the Politecnico di Milano. Organizers: Dr. Gregorio Astengo (ETH Zurich), Prof. Dr. Paolo Scrivano (Politecnico di Milano), Dr. Davide Spina (ETH Zurich / ZHAW).

More information and full programme coming soon.


Gregorio Astengo is an architect and historian. He holds an MA from Politecnico di Torino (2012), a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Architectural Research from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2014) and PhD from the Bartlett (2019), funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Gregorio Astengo was a teaching assistant at UCL and Queen Mary (University of London), adjunct professor at Syracuse University London, lecturer at the New College of the Humanities and Postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich. Since January 2023, he is a Postdoc Mobility Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation. His main research interests are the impact of real estate on architectural history and the production of technical literature for architecture.

Paolo Scrivano is Associate Professor of the history of architecture at Politecnico di Milano. After receiving a PhD from Politecnico di Torino, he has taught at the University of Toronto, at Boston University, and at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He has been Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery of Art and has received research funds from the Australian Research Council, Boston University’s Humanities Foundation, and the Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is the author of the volumes Storia di un’idea di architettura moderna. Henry-Russell Hitchcock e l’lnternational StyleOlivetti Builds: Modern Architecture in Ivrea (as co-author) and Building Transatlantic Italy: Architectural Dialogues with Postwar America. He is also scientific coordinator of the international network Mapping Architectural Criticism, based at the Université Rennes 2.

Davide Spina is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich, where he also completed his doctorate, and an SNSF Researcher at ZHAW. Previously he studied architectural history at the Bartlett, UCL. Davide Spina was a fellow at Istituto Svizzero in Rome (2018–19) and Milan (2021–22), and is a co-organiser of DocTalks, an international online platform for early-stage researchers in architectural history and theory. He has presented at international conferences, such as that of the Society of Architectural Historians and the European Architectural History Network, and his writing has appeared in Architectural History, AA Files, Log and gta Papers. His forthcoming book with MIT Press examines the post-war activities of the Italian real-estate developer and contractor SGI.

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