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Itinerant Office launches "Past, Present, Future" series gathering architects' personal insights

Italy - Jun 12, 2018 - 03:47   3624 views

Madrid and Milan-based open network initiative Itinerant Office has launched its new project called "Past, Present, Future", a project involving 11 internationally renowned Italian and Dutch architects, within a research path based on video-interviews. All videos can be watched from here.

Itinerant Office spoke to Francine Houben, founder of Mecanoo Architecten, Stefano Boeri, founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti, Kees Kaan, co-founder of Kaan Architecten, Jacob Van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV, Nanne de Ru, founder of Powerhouse Company, Caroline Bos, co-founder of UNStudio, Mario Cucinella, founder of Mario Cucinella Architects, Kees Christiaanse, founder of KCAP Architects&Planners, Marco Casamonti, co-founder of Archea Associati, Simone Sfriso, co-founder of TAMassociati, and Cino Zucchi, founder of Cino Zucchi Architetti.

MVRDV Founders Nathalie de Vries, Jacob van Rijs and Winy Maas. Image @ MVRDV

"Past, Present, Future", curated by Gianpiero Venturini, founder of Itinerant Office, will explore an architect's yesterday, today and beyond by including architects' personal insights and will provide a memorable trajectory throughout their careers. Developed with the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rome, the project was also exhibited at CANactions International Architecture Festival 2018, and the exhibition is completed with a documentary-style website, and three print publications, which is set to be announced tomorrow on Itinerant Office's website

World Architecture Community is Media Partner for "Past, Present, Future" series and is revealing some selected images from backstage footage and unseen visuals which are not published yet. 

MVRDV's office in Rotterdam. Image @ Ossip Van Duivenbode

"Don’t forget that architecture is not for you, is for the others. Of course, you need to push your talents and your work, but don’t forget that you do buildings for the others," said Mario Cucinella, Founder of Mario Cucinella Architects

For the project ‘Past, Present, Future: about being an architect yesterday, today and beyond’, Itinerant Office interviewed 11 internationally distinguished architectural practices, with the aim of gathering personal insights about their careers, and to collect different opinions on the ever-changing profession of architecture. 

KAAN Architecten's office in Rotterdam. Image © Simone Bossi

The investigation was designed to open a research path based on the analysis of these successful practices in order to understand their individual approaches, enabling us to understand – through comparison – what it means to be an architect in the 21st century. Based on a series of video-interviews, the project has been divided into three parts: "Past, Present, and Future".

The first section, Past, takes a look at their early careers by questioning which paths lead to their success, with each interviewee revealing personal memories and anecdotes from the very beginning. The Present section explores the particular characteristics of each studio, helping us to understand the ways in which they currently function, and how they have grown over time. 

Kees Christiaanse and Chiel van der Stelt. Image © KCAP

The final section, Future, opens up a conversation of speculation, discussing about some of today's most pressing architectural topics, and attempting to anticipate future concepts and trends. Each interviewee closes the discourse with a piece of advice, addressing the new generation of architects and designers.

"Past, Present, Future" about being an architect yesterday, today and beyond was exhibited at the CANactions International Architecture Festival 2018 hosted in the Lavra Gal- lery in Kyiv, Ukraine. The festival took place between 20-21st April, and presented a new sequence of extended video material, showing all 11 of the interviews along with their transcriptions, which were collected within three paper booklets.

Past, Present, Future, backstage from Mario Cucinella.

The texts were accompanied by an archive of images, referring to the experiences of each study: the beginning of their careers, projects of the past and of the present, and a selection of relevant concepts embodying their visions of our future urban environment. 

Past, Present, Future, Booklets and Panels.

An accompanying series of panels displayed info-graphics and diagrams comparing the details of each practice, whilst a graphical time-line mapped out key dates of their accomplishments. A visual collage followed this chronology, displaying memorable quotes, along side key images of projects, characters and concepts which were mentioned throughout the interviews.

Past, Present, Future, backstage from Kees Kaan.

A project rich in content, "Past, Present, Future" has a lot of material yet to be released. The information acquired during its production can be interpereted in multiple ways, with the ability to draw connections between key trends amongst the architects' pasts, the reasons behind the establishment and success of each of their firms, along with their unique outlooks on the future. 

With similar questions being asked in each interview, common traits can be clearly distinguished. Some prevalent themes discussed with the architects include 'mobility', 'intelligent technologies', 'urbanity', 'data-driven economy' and 'common goods'.

Past, Present, Future series from the exhibition

With over 20 hours of video footage, the format of the exhibition is adjustable, and through using unreleased content and behind the scenes material, it can be represented with different focuses to achieve new, innovative outcomes.

You can view the documentary website here.

All images courtesy of Itinerant Office, unless otherwise stated.

> via Itinerant Office