The inauguration of the photographic exhibition Icons of Architecture took place on Tuesday, October 10, at the CRISTINA Rubinetterie showroom in Milan, during an evening dedicated to the encounter between photography and architecture that featured a talk by architect Francesco Conserva, Partner and Vice President of the Open Project studio.
The opening of the exhibition, which until October 24 brings on display the ten finalist photographs of the Icons of Architecture 2023 Award, promoted by Matrix4Design in collaboration with URBAN Photo Awards, was an opportunity for a reflection on photographers' approach to architecture as well as an analysis of contemporary design and the related responsibilities of architects and designers in terms of social and environmental sustainability. As in every edition of the Award, the goal remains to emphasize the link between the world of design and the world of photography where visual research meets and narrates changes in space.
After greetings from Marco Caleffi, president of CRISTINA Rubinetterie, the talk opened with remarks from Andrea Boni, editor of Matrix4Design, creator and promoter of the Icons of Architecture Award, who explained:
"Over the course of the four editions of the Prize, we noticed an evolution in the photographs. Initially, the photographs we received were colder, static, purely descriptive of the building represented. This year, however, the photographs are more intimate, presenting a freer, unprecedented and personal point of view. Choosing was difficult because 225 photographs came in from 65 countries around the world, a testament to the international audience we are addressing thanks in part to the help of URBAN Photo Awards. The finalist photographs on display in the exhibition will allow visitors to renew their gaze on major modern and contemporary buildings, viewing them from new perspectives, new distances, new angles and new colors."
It was then the turn of the evening's guest speaker, Francesco Conserva, with whom we explored the design philosophy of the Open Project studio, which has been imagining and implementing urban regeneration interventions, hotel facilities, student halls, cultural hubs, and work spaces since 1984, following a multidisciplinary, integrated and sustainable approach. Dwelling on the urgency of rethinking the very concepts of construction and redevelopment, in urban contexts but not only, architect Conserva said:
"As Open Project, the issue of sustainability has always been part of our way of acting, our way of thinking. In the face of the challenges of climate change, we architects are called to design holistically, focusing on values of greater coordination and interference with plant engineering and green care aspects. The goal must be to anticipate future situations, which is why it is necessary for engineers, architects, and plant designers to be able to go beyond their own point of view, to be able to change their perspective to change their way of acting accordingly with respect to the new environmental demands. Exactly as it happens in photography, when the research of those behind the lens offers us all the opportunity to change our view of architecture and the reality that surrounds it, giving rise to new visions."
The Icons of Architecture Photographic Exhibition can be visited from October 11 to 24 at the CRISTINA Rubinetterie showroom at 8/10 Pontaccio Street during showroom opening hours as part of the Milano Photofestival program.