The AILATI catalogue offers a journey that travels through the Past, Present and Future of Italian architecture. It provides a critical reflection that starts from the various sections of the Italian Pavilion at the XII International Architecture Show at the Venice Biennale, which Luca Molinari curated in 2010.

The book features a critical analysis of the subjects that are developed in the exhibition. The aim is to create a springboard for analysing current architecture, starting with the thematic structure of the Pavilion itself.

Amnesia in present day Italy 1990-2010 is a first attempt at an historic and critical reading and reflection of Italian architecture during the last 20 years. A past that is extremely close and still influences Italian designers.

Italian Lab showcases a selection of quality projects, split into subject groupings that stand for the main research into contemporary architecture. Which are the new formats for public spaces? How does the contemporary city evolve? How can we redesign our historic heritage? It is possible to build quality at 100 euro a square metre? These are just some of the questions that a mindful designer needs to address when working in Italy. The selection presents a rich, fragmented, imperfect and troubled scenario of a world asking questions that architecture must find answers for so as to “get back to being that technique/ civil art that we all need so much”.

Italy 2050 is the most complex section. It offers a perspective of a possible and perhaps hoped-for future. A controversial experiment with theoretical and experimental-design contributions revolving around the most burning questions of the future for Italy, interpreted by 14 Italians ranging from scientists, writers and artists combined with an equal number of designers.

The book closes with a selection of entries by about forty authors, including researchers, architects, designers, curators and landscapers. All called on to reflect and provide a key subject for an Italian present/future.
The result is an anthology. A collective narrative that delivers free and critical reflections on what it means to contemplate architecture and the contemporary city. Each author acted completely independently and with great intellectual generosity. It is hoped that this significant round table will provide subjects for discussion and public debate that will prove useful for future considerations.

By Luca Molinari, Ailati. Reflections from the future. 12th International Architecture Exhibition. Italian Pavilion, Skira, Milan, 2010


Editorial coordination
Simona Galateo / viapiranesi

Emanuela di Lallo
Chiara Riva

All texts in the section “Italian Lab” – with the exception of pages 72, 86, 09, 156, 165 and 168 – were prepared by Michele Calzavara

Contributions by
Capitanucci M.V., Comunicare il paesaggio [Communicating the landscape]
Calzavara M., Un paesaggio italiano fra intervalli, alloggi e patrimony [An Italian landscape between intervals, housing and patrimony]
Luna R., Perchè non dobbiamo avere paura [Why we shouldn’t be afraid]