Our work began in the last millennium with a precise idea of ​​architecture as a collective work for society. Our proposal for the Italian Pavilion at the 2016 Architecture Biennale is in keeping with that vision: a collective effort to which we have summoned other groups whose vision is particularly attentive to places, communities and local resources.

The architecture on display is integrated into these approaches, often with limited resources but rich in strong ideals.

In keeping with these principles, the exhibition, divided into sections, opens with the contribution that people of different cultural and professional backgrounds have made, in response to curatorial team’s request, to the debate about the  theme of the common good in their respective fields and in relation to built space.This introduction seeks to illustrate how architecture is related to the general theme of the common good and, finally, how to advance discussion of the role  of the common good in our future.

This theoretical reflection is conducted as part of an investigation into Italian  architecture in relation to the theme of the exhibition: “Designing for the Common Good.”

The Italian Pavilion 2016 presents 20 projects by Italian architectural firms which showcase a broad range of approaches, a variety of actors , a plurality of  objectives in the work done. The selection covers different fields – housing,  work, health, education, culture etc. – and enhances the relations between  a variety of commissioning bodies (public, private, associative, civic, etc.)  and architecture, which plays an active part in a process of participation  and ever greater public involvement.

At the end of this narrative, the exhibition circuit opens with a display of  photographs that give visible form to the idea of the ​​common good in Italy.

After reflection on the theme and the encounter between architecture and the common good, the exhibition divides into an experiment in the field and a clear call to action. The Italian pavilion will present 5 original projects for 5 completed works assigned to as many national associations committed to the struggle against marginalization in outer city areas in different parts of Italy. These are 5 artifacts that will be customized in a joint project between designers and associations. They will bring  quality, beauty and rights where these are now absent or defective in an overall project of social subsidiarity. They will be embedded in real situations, in places where they can reveal their usefulness by helping improve the quality of life for people while regenerating urban spaces.

The projects will supply instruments for use in outer cities and blighted districts: aids to social improvement, centers for appropriating collective space, models for nurturing and developing human and environmental resources, civic supports to accompany public regeneration policies.

The associations involved in the project will each create a structure for monitoring the environment and raising environmental awareness: a mobile clinic and cultural mediation center; a permanent center for education in coexistence and active citizenship through play and sport; a social space for adults and children; a point for distributing information about culture, libraries and leisure activities; a social center, located in a building seized from the mafia, open for public discussions and other activities. To make these actions effective, the structures will be financed by private sponsors and will feature in a civic crowdfunding campaign. This will be officially launched, on a specially designed platform, at the opening of the exhibition.

The exhibition installation will be low cost, giving simple answers to complex questions, seeking to eliminate the superfluous and creating added value.
In this way it will cut costs while increasing efficiency and virtuous reuse, on the principle of low cost/high social value.

The catalogue and other media that recount the curatorial project will use original and immediate methods of communication.