massimiliano and doriana fuksas have joined forces with a network of other renowned professionals, including doctors and professors, to write an open letter to the president of the italian republic, sergio mattarella. responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been particularly destructive in italy, the fuksas’, along with their collaborators, have identified conclusions from the crisis as well as possible guidelines to be implemented in future. the open letter, which comprises four main points, was shared on instagram and can be read in full below. since the message was shared, president mattarella has replied, thanking the team for their contribution and forwarding the suggestions to the relevant government ministries.
to learn more, designboom spoke with doriana fuksas who explained why it is important to react quickly to the pandemic and how her firm has been coping with the challenges of remote working. read the interview in full below.
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designboom (DB): you have communicated the four points very clearly. what do you think is the first step individuals, and the country of italy, can take?
doriana fuksas (DF): in a situation as dramatic as the one we live in, it is urgent to react quickly. to do this, we must continue investigating, continue searching for the best solutions, but, above all, we must apply the results of those investigations. it is the moment of action rather than just the moment of reflection. this action must start from all dimensions and all sectors, from each one of us (respecting the new conditions for our social relations), including promoters and the industrial and professional sector, (which must promote the necessary innovation), and obviously, by our leaders (who must legislate and promote the necessary changes in public structures to overcome this type of situation).
DB: the letter is signed by doctors and architects. how and why did you decide to collaborate with these experts?
DF: we live in an increasingly complex society, where the action of the different professionals in each sector overlaps with that of other sectors. public health is an important and very complex issue. it was unthinkable for us to carry out such research without the participation of specialists in health issues. people who know the conditions, contradictions and limitations of the spaces in which they carry out their activity. for us architects, it is easy to collaborate with other specialists. it is something we do regularly and it is something we firmly believe in.
fuksas completed the new rome EUR convention center in 2016
see more projects by the firm here | image © moreno maggi
DB: do you think that architects will need to collaborate more closely with other professions, including doctors, in future?
DF: yes of course. the city is a shared space, collectively built by people, buildings, infrastructure and nature and its use is increasingly hybrid: we share spaces to live, work, have fun or enjoy culture. but each of these actions are deeply specialized, and in order to project them, we need interaction with their specialists.
DB: you have already received a reply from the president. are you optimistic that things can change for the better?
DF: yes, we are always optimistic because we firmly believe in what we do, I suppose that’s what evolution is all about, learning from mistakes and acting to improve them. we are sure that we are going to evolve enough and that we will do what is possible collectively so that a pandemic like this does not recur, at least with the intensity with which it has hit us.
doriana and massimiliano fuksas | image © fabio lovino
DB: how have you and your studio had to adapt to the situation? what has the transition been like for your team across the globe?
DF: without a doubt, we have accelerated a process of redistribution of our tasks and collaborations that we had already started in a slower way. obviously, they are the result of all the ICT tools that we have, something that undoubtedly allows us to work globally in a continuous way. it is almost natural in all sectors, even today we see it in personal or family relationships. we are entering an era where our other self is a screen: in it we see ourselves, in it we work and in it we relate to others. these days, in many publications we have read that this pandemic is the end of globalization, because we cannot (for the moment at least) move as easily as before, or by the means that allow us, airplanes, trains, cars … nor by the bureaucracy of the borders.
but instead, we are connected with the whole world in a non-physical space and in an immediate way, without limitations of transportation time, or borders, or limitations in the distribution of information. right now, we exchange ideas, images and information with people who may be in your same city or on the other part of the planet. if we do not call this globalization … I just think that we are initiating another type of globalization — we could call it ‘globalization 2.0’. more evolved, also more forced, something that our study — with offices in rome, paris, shenzhen and dubai — less intensely, started some time ago.