Postmodern Conditions: Architectural (Non-)Education in the 1980s in Rome

Architecture, Table ronde, Conversation, Online

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Architecture, Table ronde, Conversation

By signing-up

I venerdì pomeriggio
I venerdì pomeriggio at Istituto Svizzero are dedicated to our residents. It is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the projects they are working on during this year’s residency.

The event is curated by Patrick Düblin (Fellow Roma Calling 2020/2021).

Postmodern Conditions: Architectural (Non-)Education in the 1980s in Rome


The architectural education of the 1980s in Rome offers two contrasting narratives: on one side, there was a handful of renowned professors (Aymonino, Portoghesi, Purini, etc.) that, through built projects and curated exhibitions, contributed to an architectural style that was termed « postmodern ». At the same time, however, the students of the aformentioned postmodern “heroes” were competing with 12.000 others for a library book or a seat in the lecture hall. While their teachers shaped a global discourse of an architectural style, the students’ experience of the 1980s was heavily influenced by the effects of the mass university. Regarding these challenges, what imprint, if any, did these professors leave on their disciples? What strategies did the students develop to get their education?

The discussion sets off with a diagrammatic sketch of Italy’s postmodernist architectural landscape by Peter Lang. It then shifts into a roundtable discussion and oral history with three former students of architecture at La Sapienza University of Rome: Francesco Careri, Amelia Roccatelli, and Lorenzo Romito. By juxtaposing grand narratives with microhistories, the event provides a critical journey through the 1980s architectural education in Italy – from Paolo Portoghesi’s Strada novissima at the Venice Biennale of 1980, to the nation-wide students’ revolt La pantera in 1989/1990.


Event organized by Patrick Düblin (Fellow Roma Calling 2020/2021).

The talk will be held in English and can be followed via web, by signing-up.
To participate visit the zoom link.

Patrick Düblin studied Art History and Philosophy in Basel and Berlin. He was a research assistant to the director of the Kunstmuseum Basel. Since 2016 he has been teaching and researching at the Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies (LUS) at ETH Zurich. He is interested in the intersections between art, architecture, landscape, and urbanism. In Rome he continues his dissertation on the artists and architects group Stalker, whose practice is rooted in the spatial and social particularities of contemporary Rome.
Find out more about Patrick Düblin’s project, read his latest contribution on the blog of Istituto Svizzero on the website of the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps.

Francesco Careri is Associate Professor of Urban and Architectural Design in Roma Tre University, where he is director of the Master of Environmental Humanities and the Master of Performing Arts and Communitarian Spaces. He is a co-founder of Stalker, with whom he has been conducting actions and research in the multicultural city since 1995. Since 2006 he teaches the course Civic Arts, a peripatetic laboratory grounded in walking explorations of emerging urban phenomena. He published Constant. New Babylon, una Città Nomade (Testo & Immagine 2001); Walkscapes. Walking as an Aesthetic Practice (Editorial Gustavo Gili 2002, Culicidade 2016); Pasear, detenerse (Gustavo Gili 2016), and with Lorenzo Romito, Stalker/Campus Rom (Altrimedia 2017).

Peter Lang a former New Yorker, now resides in Rome. He completed a professional degree in Architecture at Syracuse University and holds a PhD in Urban Studies and Italian History from New York University. His research focuses on the subjects of utopia, radical design and alternative education. He was Professor in Architectural Theory and History at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (2013-2019) and earlier Associate Professor in Architecture at Texas A&M (2001-2013). Lang founded r-lab in 2016, a public platform for critical research and creative practice. Marvels and Catastrophesis a collective initiative of r-lab leading investigative and performative inquiries into culture of disaster. Lang is also a visual artist, curator and writer, and has been a member of the Rome based civic arts group Stalker since 1997.

Amelia Roccatelli is an architect. She graduated in Rome in 1993. She has always worked as a freelancer. During her university years, she was part of the Art Department group, collaborating in the creation of theatre sets and installations. In 1990, she was one of the founders of the studio Il Mulino. She participated to the first walks of the Stalker group.

Lorenzo Romito is an architect, artist, activist and curator, who works in-between cultural, environmental and urban studies. He is a co-founder of Stalker (1995), Osservatorio Nomade (2001), Primaveraromana (2009), Biennale Urbana (2014), and NoWorking (2016). He was awarded the Prix de Rome Architecte, Académie de France, Villa Medici, Rome (2000–2001). His work with Stalker has been exhibited and published worldwide, including at the Biennale di Venezia 2014, 2008, 2000, the Manifesta Biennale 2000, the Quadriennale, Roma 2008, and the IABR Rotterdam 2008. He created educational programs in the field for TU Delft, IUAV Venezia, HEAD Genève, Parsons New School, New York, HFG Karlsruhe, ETH Zurich, Roma Tre, and HKK Stockholm. His actual teaching positions are Environmental Humanities Master, Roma Tre (2017), Performance and Community Spaces Master, Palaexpo – Roma Tre (2019), Public Art at NABA, Roma (2020), Scuola Urbanesimo Nomade (2017).