ACC Lectures 2024 | Lecture 04 | Pepe Barbieri

The Architect as Enabler

The lecture will define a new dialogue between bodies and things. From the Mediterranean matrices of space to the genomes for the multiple horizontal weaving of a future metropolis.

* Curators’ note: the lecture will be held in Italian with the possibility of brief interventions and reflections also in English.

Pepe Barbieri is Full Professor of Architectural Composition at the Faculty of Architecture in Pescara, and Director of the DART Department (Department of Environment, Networks, Territory). He publishes numerous studies and researches concerning the relationship between architectural design and transformations in contemporary cities, with particular attention to territorial infrastructuring, suburban areas, and urban sprawl in medium and small-sized centers. His projects have been exhibited in numerous prestigious venues, including the Venice Biennale and Milan Triennale.


6 thoughts on “ACC Lectures 2024 | Lecture 04 | Pepe Barbieri

  1. Gil Shafir

    Architect Pepe Barbieri discusses managing various spaces in cities and buildings.He takes techniques in paintings as a reference for developing entities for different types of spaces. According to his approach Architecture “should make mute things speak” by taking both raw and developed materials, turning them to living spaces.
    His examples for “speaking architecture” offering the spectators to connect include:Air-flowing through spaces, transparent objects, using shadows and lights, providing “human movements” to objects. He sees our living space both horizontal and vertical and offers to do a strategic architectural assessment by changing the background of the space to white and using the Mat-building, maintaining its presence. By placing certain objects such as staircases or porticos, we can create perspective and “movement of spaces” and offer “shelters”. Fragments are presented as important things, able to create many separated spaces in a city. Methods like Kintsugi to maintain them are encouraged.

  2. Romina

    The notion of activating the fragmentation within the body of cities and valuing the neglected interstices aligns with the concept of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of enhancing wounds. Architects, therefore, are tasked with more than just addressing existing needs; they must nourish the latent desire for alternative ways of inhabiting the future. This involves critiquing existing structures and spaces to create open, porous urban fabrics that generate added values of urbanity.

    In such cities, several actions can be taken. Offering shelter and making streets vibrant are crucial. Generating urban voids, both uplifting and cutting through them, creates dynamic spatial experiences. Living on stairs and within thicknesses of urban structures enriches the fabric of daily life. The idea of Kintsugi, symbolizing finding beauty in imperfections, can be seen as a metaphor for adding value to urban fractures and spaces between buildings.

    The generative power of architecture lies in its ability to foster new values of community and coexistence through spatial arrangements. Like Brunelleschi’s architectural objects, strategically placed designs can catalyze urban revolutions by altering meanings within the city fabric. By activating these fragmented spaces and embracing the in-between, cities can evolve into diverse, inclusive, and vibrant environments that resonate with their inhabitants’ desires for a better future.

  3. Giulia Barros Lemes

    In his lecture Professor Pepe Barbieri argues that architects should focus on fulfilling desires rather than just solving practical problems. He believes that it’s their role to transcend traditional problem-solving approaches and create meaningful places. Barbieri emphasizes understanding the relationship between people and their environment, envisioning cities and individuals as one interconnected entity. He illustrates his ideas with examples like Alvaro Siza’s white sheet design approach and the concept of cities as archipelagos. Barbieri also discusses the Mediterranean city as a model of this concept, highlighting its dense yet porous structure. He showcases projects like the Masp in São Paulo and Ibirapuera Park, demonstrating how architecture can blend with nature. Furthermore, he explores incorporating voids into urban design, such as staircase voids in ancient European cities. Barbieri’s lecture raises questions about the limits of architecture and the design, the role of walls and boundaries, encouraging us to rethink traditional constraints.

  4. Jacqueline Siega

    In professor’s lecture Pepe Barbieri, the concept of limit in architecture is understood as a threshold, something perceptible and traversable, a dilated line in space that becomes a place. Taking up the Japanese concept of Kintsugi, the condition of fragmentation of contemporary cities, a sort of “archipelago city”, is recognized as something to be exalted, not to hope for a reconstruction of the parts to form a unity, but to give meaning to fragments present and related to each other. Therefore, attributing strategic importance to these “open wounds” is an indispensable premise for giving value to the horizontal fabric of the city. As the example of the city of Naples clearly shows, the limit is seen as something porous, permeable, like the stone with which the city was built, and an interrupted sequence of inside and outside. In the “space between” the idea of designing that space of relationships in which movement is possible, a “dance”, a vital place that gives meaning to things is pursued.

  5. Ala Salari

    Architect Pepe Barbieri’s discourse delves into the intricate management of urban spaces and buildings, drawing inspiration from techniques found in paintings to craft dynamic environments. He advocates for architecture that breathes life into inert materials, transforming them into vibrant living spaces that engage and captivate. Barbieri’s concept of “speaking architecture” encourages viewers to connect with spaces through elements such as air-flow dynamics, transparency, and the interplay of light and shadow. By strategically placing architectural elements like staircases and porticos, he proposes creating perspectives and fluid movement within spaces, offering a sense of shelter and refuge. Additionally, he champions the preservation of fragments within the urban landscape, endorsing methods like Kintsugi to honor their significance. This discourse echoes the sentiment that architecture is not merely about structure but about evoking emotions and fostering connections within the built environment, a theme echoed in the exploration of love’s material manifestations within Berlin’s urban landscape.

  6. Valentina Montagnini

    Pepe Barbieri ci offre un ragionamento su disposizioni spaziali.
    Costruire competenze è far in modo che l’architettura non risponda ad una domanda, ma che sia attivata da un percorso diverso, e che magari scaturisca una domanda non del tutto presente.
    Il suo messaggio è aperto e maneggiabile, non una prescrizione da seguire, ma una forma di conoscenza una modalità interrogativa, un’individuazione del problema senza essere necessariamente la soluzione.
    Si ragiona sul rapporto tra soggetto e oggetto, il primo diventa tale solo se in contatto con il secondo; oggetto e soggetto nascono insieme, di conseguenza, durante la lezione, si dà un senso al flusso di vuoto, e alla stratificazione e porosità che danno un senso tra gli spazi. Per sottolineare il suo pensiero, Barbieri cita Álvaro Siza, le grandi città del sud Italia e le tendenze di frammento trovate nella città vecchia di Roma da Piranesi.
    I limiti sono individuati nelle soglie, che tuttavia, come ci insegnano le quinte di un teatro, hanno un loro utilità, un limite, per quanto debba essere attraversato, ha senso di esistere.


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