Italian Review. Innovation as a Gradual Process

Small-scale and medium-scale interventions, mostly on the built environment, with operations of addition, completion, restoration, refunctionalization and redesign of internal spaces, are still the main activity in Italian architectural production. The concept of “anomalous modernity of Italian architecture”, highlighted by Cino Zucchi several years ago, the design attitude of new constructions in relation to the contexts, with the historical and environmental pre-existing elements as stated byErnesto Nathan Rogers, seem so strongly rooted in design culture – even after a long time – to leavelittle room for escaping the “forma mentis” that is deeply rooted in our geographic area. Despite heterogeneous linguistic variations within rigorous forms of expression on a formal level, this attitude to “build on the built”, in continuity with it, is shared by several of the authors selected for this issue, inviting us to be more environmentally aware, aligned with the current approaches for the safeguard of the planet for future generations. The themes of conservation and reuse are not only induced by the rigorous safeguard principles established by the institutions to protect the heritage; they often belong to clients’ culture and to the education of most young generations of designers. These latter aim at innovation as a gradual process, filtering experimentation through the historical, cultural and social values of intervention places, manifesting as a capacity for re-elaborating and updating previous languages into new forms of expression in adherence to the now essential principle of aware development.

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