in the frame of
www.lifebeyondtourism.org
Life Beyond Tourism




The use of traditional craftsmanship in contemporary architecture: innovation or illusion?
Florence, from 26/02/2012 to 04/03/2012




PROJECT LEADER:
Michel Bonnette (Canada) and Balogh Balázs (Hungary) ICOMOS Canada; Budapest - Hungary michelbonnette@videotron.ca; bbalogh@goliat.eik.bme.hu

PROJECT LEADER E-MAIL:

michelbonnette@videotron.ca; bbalogh@goliat.eik.bm  



PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

The goal of this workshop is to bring students in architecture to reflect on the concept of craftsmanship as a potential component of new architecture. This is the last and final phase of a two step workshop.

Contemporary Architects have forgotten about craftsmanship. Contemporary Architects do not understand any longer the language of the artists and artisans. They are not using their knowledge and skills in the design of their new projects. So, it appears that we are loosing this knowledge as well as the opportunity to enhance contemporary architecture with the decoration that we feel gives so much life and beauty to traditional architecture.

It is very difficult to bring the young generation to study the use of crafts in architecture if contemporary Architects do not make use of their knowledge, expertise and skills. Are contemporary Architects missing an opportunity? Is it possible to bring now practicing Architects to rediscover these crafts and make use of them in a new manner, to vision their use with their own eyes and feelings? Could the use of crafts bring new light to contemporary architecture?

WORKSHOP

A) Before coming to Florence (very important) :

Groups who wish to participate in the workshop must register and prepare by:

1. Researching and preparing a paper on the use of traditional building crafts in your country through history: how much the use of these crafts in architecture has contributed in defining your country’s cultural identity?

2. Holding a seminar to address the following comparative study:

A:
Architecturally speaking, which HISTORIC building is most famous in your city?
Who participated in the design of this building?
What contributes to give character and spirit to this building?
What crafts were used in the design of this building?
What was the contribution of the crafts persons in making this building famous?

B:
Architecturally speaking, which CONTEMPORARY building is most famous in your city?
Who participated in the design of this building?
What contributes to give character and spirit to this building?
What crafts were used in the design of this building?
What was the contribution of the crafts persons in making this building famous?

What conclusions?

Each group must prepare a visual presentation of its findings that must be posted on the workshop’s webpage before December 31, 2011 and that will discussed in Florence.


3. Mandatory: each participant shall bring to Florence a piece of local craft related to architecture (stone sculpture, masonry, woodwork, carpentry, iron work, stained glass, plaster, tiling, mosaics, etc). (Minimum of size of 50 cm2). These pieces of craft work will be used in a project to be designed by the participating students during the Florence workshop.


B) While in Florence:

Participants will visit Florentine period buildings and meet with some very talented craftspersons working in stone quaries and laboratories in the nearby town of Firenzuola to learn more about the use of traditional crafts in traditional buildings. They will visit the Istituto Statale d'Arte di Firenze, a school where young Italians are trained to the techniques of craftsmanship. They will meet with members of the Union of Florentine Craftsmanship, of the International Traditional Knowledge Institute and with famous Spanish Architects Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano to discuss issues related to the contemporary use of these crafts in the design of new buildings.

Questions will be discussed such as, for example, what does it mean to introduce traditional crafts in contemporary architecture? Under what conditions would that be possible? What could such a practice bring to new architecture? Are there examples of such practices in Florence or elsewhere? How much did the use of crafts in the past influence the practice of architecture? Can the use of crafts amplify the aesthetics of new architecture?

Among the methods and techniques that will be used during the workshop are the following:

- walking and observing the city as a museum;
- visiting Florentine restoration schools and art museums;
- surveying through sketching and photography the city’s architecture, squares, streets, events,
  people;
- visiting institutions, archives, libraries, laboratories, worksites;
- discussing with colleagues and experienced architects;
- exchanging ideas and with the guidance of local Florentine architects and crafts persons.

 

PROVISIONAL WORKSHOP PROGRAM

 

Sunday 26

 

Arrival of participants
 
Monday 27

 

AM – General opening of all workshops with presentation of the Foundation and of the Life Beyond
          Tourism initiative

          Opening of our workshop; presentation of the work done by students before coming to
          Florence

 

PM – Tour of Florence’s city center with a special interest for a comparative study of craftsmanship
          in Renaissance vs Modern architecture

 
Tuesday 28

 

AM – Visit of Florence’s Art Nouveau district

PM – Visit of the Istituto Statale d'Arte di Firenze


Wednesday 29

 

AM – Visit of the quarry of "pietra serena" and of some laboratories.

          Bus excursion to Firenzuola (1h30 minutes from Florence)

 

PM – Visit of a museum

 

Thursday 1

 

AM – Preparation of workshop papers / Visit of a Museum
 
PM – Opening of the Degree & Profession Festival & welcome cocktail
 
Friday 2

 

AM – Degree & Profession Festival Presentation

PM – Lecture by architects Nieto & Sobejano followed by a round table and group discussion on the theme of our workshop: “The use of traditional craftsmanship in contemporary architecture: innovation or illusion?”

Saturday 3

 

AM – Preparation of workshop papers / Visit of a Museum

PM – Presentation of final workshop papers by participants

         Delivery of certificates

         Final cocktail

Sunday 4

   

Departure





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