Ephemeral Domestic

Architecture, Roundtable, Milano

“I Pomeriggi” series

Architecture, Roundtable

“I Pomeriggi” series

Ephemeral Domestic. Against the fragility of interior architecture.

The conference will be held in Italian at the Istituto Svizzero, via del Vecchio Politecnico 3, Milano
Curated by Silvia Groaz (Fellow in History and theory of architecture).
‘I Pomeriggi’ series
Free entrance

Although most architecture aims for perpetuity, the life of buildings, and especially their interiors, inevitably proves ephemeral. Often subject to alteration, replacement and drastic renovation, interiors rarely maintain their integrity for long, adapting rather to the rapid social, technological and cultural changes of everyday life. Exploring the subject of interiors thus involves addressing a number of conceptual and methodological challenges related to the reconstruction-historical and sometimes physical-of architectures poised between abundance and demolition. In this context, raising awareness of interior architecture implies facilitating a process of recognition, revitalization and recovery of a fragile and ephemeral heritage, contributing to the perennialization of the intrinsic meanings of their histories. Recently, in order to fill the frequent lack of documentation and the impossibility of direct observations, new research approaches have emerged. This panel discussion discusses the conceptual and methodological implications employed by historians, architects, and restorers to address a heritage that is too often ephemeral, yet capable of generating diverse, plural, and overlapping narratives in the perennial layers of our cities.


Barbara Ferriani is a restorer of ancient, modern and contemporary works of art and directs the Barbara Ferriani Srl studio in Milan. She works with public institutions, museums, foundations, archives and private collections. She currently teaches Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Milan and the Catholic University of Milan. She was co-curator in 2018 of the exhibition Lucio Fontana-Environments/Environments, HangarBicocca (Milan). Her publications include “Ephemeral Monuments, History and Conservation of Installations” (co-authored with Pugliese M.), published by Mondadori in 2009 and by the Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles) in 2013; “Lucio Fontana- Ambienti/Environments” (co-authored with Pugliese M., TodolĂŹ V.), published by Mousse Publishing in 2018.

Silvia Groaz (1987) is a Postdoc researcher in Architectural history funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for a joint research project between the Université Catholique de Louvain and Yale University. She obtained her PhD in History and theory of architecture at EPFL Lausanne, and a Master of Art in History of architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. She was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York and received grants from the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Construction History Society. In Milan, her current research is on the intersections between postwar art and architecture practices through the esoteric and ecological environments of Nanda Vigo.

Annalisa Viati Navone is an architectural historian, professor of Histoire et Cultures architecturales Ă  l’Ensa Versailles, of whose research laboratory LĂ©aV is a member of the scientific council and coordinator of the “Corps, espaces, sensibilitĂ©s” axis. She is a lecturer-researcher at the Archivio del Moderno – University of Italian Switzerland where she directs international research projects on 20th century Italian, Swiss and French architecture, many of which focus on forms of interaction between architecture and the arts, and on the spatial and perceptual qualities of interior spaces. She is the author of “Toward a Concrete Architecture. Peppo Brivio le prime opere” (Bellinzona 2021), Luigi Moretti’s “La Saracena” between Mediterranean, Baroque and informal suggestions (Mendrisio-Cinisello Balsamo 2012). co-curator of several publications including: Les intĂ©rieurs aujourd’hui. Analyses, projets, usages (Lille 2024), Marco Zanuso Architecture and Design (Milan 2020), Giulio Minoletti (1910-1981). The spectacle of architecture (Mendrisio-Cinisello Balsamo 2017). He is currently directing with Christian Sumi the publication of the complete works of Marco Zanuso (Volume I – Architecture).

Orsina Pierini (1962) is full professor of Architectural Design at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), Politecnico di Milano. Her main research focuses on a conception of architectural design that integrates the historical experience of architecture and the study of the city as constant materials and conditions that influence contemporary projects. He has addressed the importance of the role of housing in the urban design of the contemporary city in the study of places of residence: house design as an ongoing verification of the state of the art transposed neproject for the contemporary city. The most recent activity in the investigation of dwelling places is aimed more specifically at the topic of European housing. The activation of the exploration of the potential of housing design within the urban design of contemporary contexts has also led to the publication of the volume “Housing Primer. The forms of residence in the contemporary city” (2012). More recent research has taken shape with the publication of “Housing Atlas – Europe 20th Century,”in collaboration with an international group with Carmen Espegel, Dirk van Gameren, Mark Swenarton. This line has also directed studies on housing in the city of Milan, structured in recent years in the research on “Milanese Houses 1923-1973” (2017). In continuity with this experience is also the participation in the Venice Biennale 2018, co-curator of the catalog “Everyday Wonders, the Corso Italia Complex” and Cino Zucchi’s installation on Luigi Caccia Dominioni. The most recent result of this research is the book “Nelle Case. Interni Milanesi 1928-1978” (2023).