Appointed by IED Rome for IED Factory 2023 to curate a one-week workshop with the students on imagining of the future of Rome in 50 years, we have addressed the participants on the following questions and issues:
What are the specific characteristics of Rome's naturalistic identity? What are the images that compose it? Which of these characteristics will remain in the future evolution of the city? And therefore, what is the intrinsic, intimate, naturalness of Rome?
We have noticed that, at the current time, evident manifestations of climate changes, such as tropical temperatures, are affecting and changing the perception of the urban vegetation in Rome. Over time, the city has become populated with non-native natural species, extraneous to the typical Mediterranean landscape: small pieces of exotic nature articulate the urban space and provide, as in a montage, the image of a city, Rome, that is also tropical.
The relationship between the infesting tropical image of these species and the classical architecture of the city reactivates the romantic and decadent sense of sublime and picturesque vision of the Eternal City that Piranesi depicted through his Roman capriccios in the XVIII century.
This unseen threshold between spontaneous naturality and constrained urbanity still lies there in Rome, and it opens a range of possibilities for the future vision of the city.
The workshop aimed at triggering the students to imagine the physical and mental vegetal experience of Rome - where the historical urban fabric melts with the natural presence - wherever spontaneous or domesticated.
During the workshop, the students collected exotic references and natural picturesque episodes, aiming to investigate how natural traces and attitudes of the Eternal City interact
with the historical and architectural foreground, and they have reinterpreted those with a montage-led approach and image-making process.
Conceived and made with the IED Students, the installation interprets a future way of experiencing, within the domestic space, the encounter of the inhabited space with nature and celebrating it in the same way the ancient Romans did
within their frescoed domus. Reproduced on print in a 1:1 scale, this fictional ‘trompe l’oeil’ room recalls the ancient ‘horti picti’ genre, superb frescoes representing ‘viridaria’, secret gardens painted on the walls of the Roman villas in the 1st century B.C.
The IED Students sampled multiple urban sounds and noises to create an immersive soundtrack, and made a fictional colonnade by sampling and 3d modelling the Tempio dei Propilei Egizi by Luigi Canina in Villa Borghese, a fascinating example of eclecticism used in the installation as an architectural transition element between the real space and the imaginary tropical garden depicted on the walls.
Aiming at interacting with the human presence in terms of size, scale, and atmosphere, the final installation took form into ‘MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo’ on the occasion of the exhibition of ‘IED Factory 2023. Rome in 50 years’.
Iuliana Ana-Maria Ciceuan Anna Silvestri
Alisa Ziegelwanger Valerio Cenciarelli
Lal Dal Monte
Giulia Dissabo Ludovica Petrella Sara Raccio
Roberto Scirocchi Matteo Xuan Ly Trivoli Stefano Cecchini Tommaso Purri