«We are thinking of architecture capable of serving as a watchtower to defend and affirm rights where boundaries have been created by marginalization and exclusion.»

Figures from different cultural and professional backgrounds were invited to provide ideas and arguments on the issue of the common good and its relations with built space.
The contributors, aware of the growing general interest in this subject, first compared their respective positions and then exchanged their ideas in work groups. Finally they drafted the individual comments brought together in the exhibition catalogue. Their statements are inspired more or less faithfully by the 3 questions asked of visitors to the Italian Pavilion:
What example best expresses your idea of the common good?
Why does the theme of the common good seem so pervasive today?
Who would you address these questions to?




Daniela Ciaffi

community planning

The general cultural framework in which this transition is inscribed is the passage from the bipolar paradigm of administrators-administered to the collaborative paradigm in which public, private and third sector build new alliances.

Maurizio Coccia

contemporary art criticism

Within the scope of the common good, action and object presuppose each other, and meet in the collective purpose, the public interest. Salus populi suprema lex, said Thomas Aquinas. Acting for the common good means guiding everyone towards the good of the community.

Davide Tommaso Ferrando

architecture criticism

Architecture, once introduced into the sphere of the Common Goods, will be characterized more by the ability to activate collective processes of reappropriation and transformation of the urban environment than the adoption of a specific physical form.

Alessandro Franceschini

fair trade

Given the prospect that more than a third of the world population will live in urban slums and outer suburbs, participation and the sharing of ideas and solutions has to become the main way to make inhospitable spaces liveable, even if the available financial resources are scarce.

Emiliano Gandolfi

urbanism and curatorship

To construct a discourse of urban sharing, you first have to create its alphabet, a lexicon for the conquest and preservation of the common good. […] Now try writing your own ABC …

Giuseppe Longhi

urban planning

I am fascinated by the experiences of civic enterprises of the third sector, which offer goods and services, creating new values (economic, social and environmental) for a society in which apathy seems the rule.

Andrea Mariotto

participatory policy making, coordinator

Moving beyond the common good means avoiding its objectication, and the risk of reducing it to a commodity, while appreciating its ability to make us actors in fully sustainable processes.

Francesco Marsciani


A borderless community that imagines commonalty as a radical non-membership, as a deeper and more radical form of responsibility, that of our debt for the conditions of our existence.

Ezio Micelli

real estate economics

Now it is necessary to radically change our perspective. We have to rethink the patrimony as a way to support development in the medium and long term and not just as a resource that might provide liquid wealth.

Luca Molinari

architecture and curatorship

Architecture has the strength to interpret complexities and bind them to each other, to make them comprehensible by turning them into joint projects. It produces hope because it works on the idea of the future.

Matteo Passini

ethical and cooperative finance

The focus should be placed not so much on the common good (land), but on the process (design, production, management, organization) that will convert it into a resource for all, capable of meeting community needs.

Emanuela Saporito

participatory design and urban studies

It is possible to make a list of public and private property, but not of common goods, because people are continually surprised by discovering new ones, constructing new alliances on them, and dedicating their energies to them.

Sandro Scandolo


Material goods are now increasingly the result of thoughts and emotions, solidarity and hope, namely of that immeasurable common heritage which humanity is slowly but surely regaining possession of.