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Conference 1 Nov 21 > Hybridization of Natural and Artificial in Contemporary Architectural Research

Conference 2 Nov. 26 >The Changing Notion of space and time in relationship to the rise of Information Technology


Workshop Crisis Modernity and Information Technology

Once Bruno Zevi, the great historian of Architecture, asked me “Saggio, what is modernity?
It is 50 years that I am been working on it...” I answered something like “Well is not
chronologically determined...”. He added: “Saggio, modernity is what changes the crisis
into value and promotes a new aesthetic”. Well, I thought, this is a bomb.

One or two years after this Cappuccino conversation (because we had it in the bar close
to his house-office), Zevi organized a conference on landscape and architecture and
invited me to intervene. During this talk, I recalled the previous dialogue and when I said
that “Modernity changes crisis into values” he stopped me and said “But this is not mine”.
(Zevi was referring to Jean Baudrillard and others thinkers on the same subject matter). This
time I answered quite smartly: “Yes, It is not yours, but Duchamp taught us that is the choice
which is crucial. And I got through you” 1-1.

So this concept is Zevi’s is Baudrillard’s is mine? I think that is yours instead. This
anti-chronologically idea of Modernity has sense if it is capable of promoting your actions
and your creative thinking.

Modernity, therefore, is referred in the context of this workshop has an intellectual status of
attention towards the crisis and problems of different cultural and social situations. The
concept can be referred to Paleolithic times as well to contemporary ones and it is a very
important idea that structures actions and understanding. Modernity has the inner strength
of looking for new directions to address problems and not rely to old models in order to
face new situations that needs new efforts and ideas.

The second aspect of this workshop is addressed to the different contexts within which we
can address the world "crisis." This workshop tries to concentrate the attention to those
situations and environments for which a creative, motivated and intelligent action can be
crucial and necessary. Within this approach we clearly relates Modernity to Crisis. These
two words are for us intimately related. The third aspect of the question is the presence of
Information Technology. And here IT has a multilayered presence.

From one point of view IT is the “Crisis” of our times because we are living the historical
process of transformation from the Industrial Paradigm to an Informational one. This period
of changes creates huge problems and at the same opens immense opportunities.

On the other side, IT is not only the crisis but also a key aspect, nowadays, to provide
answers and solutions. This is clear in the presence of IT in so many aspects of human
actions. Imagine for example Physics, Medicine, Biology these days “without Information

Lastly there is the most difficult aspect of the presence of IT in our time that is aesthetic. By
aesthetic, naturally we do not intend “pretty” but the highest, most complex and even
contradictory forms of knowledge. “Modernity is what changes the crisis into value and
promotes a new aesthetic” So, IT is at same time crisis, solution and search of a new
aesthetic. An aesthetic that is capable to reinterpret, with the contradictory and complex
tool of art, our new world.

Within this conceptual framework the students will work with professor Saggio and Assistant
professor June-Hao Hou to focus, design and develop innovative proposals. The actual site,
software, and program will be revealed gradually in the course of the workshop.

Antonino Saggio is the founder and chief editor of the book series "IT revolution In
Architecture" that has been published In English by Birkhauser since 1999 and since 2000 in
Chinese. He has taught extensively in the United States and Europe. This workshop is "not"
software driven, and is "not" technological concentrate but will use IT to focus on new
deign issues and innovative themes.

The design workshop will address these two fundamental questions
1. What is the conceptual relevance of IT tools
2. What innovative design ideas can we develop to focus and fully develop IT tools?




Book Series "It Revolution In Architecture" Antonino Saggio, editor

"New Subjectivity: architecture between Communication and Information" Antonino Saggio

"Interactivity at the Centre of Avant-Garde Architectural Research" Antonino Saggio

"Space as Information"Antonino Saggio

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