Parasite 2.0
finding a language
Milan, IT; Brussels, BE

Parasite 2.0 are Stefano Colombo, Eugenio Cosentino, and Luca Marullo. Based between Milan and Brussels, the practice was founded in 2010 as an independent research unit, a space of expression parallel to the academic environment. They investigate the status of human habitats, acting within a hybrid of architecture, design and scenography.

Making a mark with a competition

We met during our university years. Starting our own independent research space during the academic years was necessary due to the prevailing impossibility of being able to approach certain topics with our professors. Parasite 2.0 was our free space that eventually would take, day after day, more time and energy. The invitation to participate, and after winning, the competition for YAP MAXXI 2016 was for sure a turning point in our practice. We thought, “Wow! Somebody is taking us seriously!”

Starting out as autonomous agents

In the beginning, we didn't have any clients or institutions supporting us. The only way was to start building up a portfolio and somehow spamming and sharing it online. The first actions and interventions we had planned were installed in the span of a few days, using as a stage the cityscape. Due to the lack of resources, we started to build up structures with everything available around us from scraps and waste to cheap DIY shop materials. The lack of resources shaped our attitude towards the use of construction materials that are not commonly used in the architecture and design word. This is still a strong element of our work.

Moving to the center of Europe

Three years ago we decided to move our office from Milan to Brussels, in order to get a bigger and more connected space in the center of Europe. Brussels is also a very active cultural hotspot at the moment where the work of young practices is well-respected. During the last three years we've spent almost all our times in different countries, following different projects and working remotely. We are accustomed to working together from different places, but we hope to spend more time together now.

A non-hierarchical open space

Our office was conceived as a sort of open living room, with a big sofa, a very comfy carpet and a chaise lounge. At the center is a huge desk, a unique element where everyone can find their space, as in a round table. There's no hierarchy in the way we occupy the space, and this configuration is a perfect balance of work and leisure. But at the moment, the office is a series of online platforms for video conferencing and cloud where we can share files and documents between ourselves.

Accessing the public through culture

We started a collective while focusing on art installations. In our mind, it was quite clear that in order to go deep into the analysis of the political and social impact in architecture, it was necessary to find a language and space far from what we could define as commercial architecture. So, our work was more related to the art and cultural environment, working with galleries, museums, or foundations. It was quite weird to see a growing number of requests after a few years for more classic types of projects such as interiors, exhibition design and retail, even without asking us to change our approach.

Research through pedagogy

We aim to keep working together and maintaining the workflow. Our work is very connected and related to public events and the presence of a public. At the moment this implies a lot of change for us. At the same time, we recognise how teaching and pedagogical processes in general are crucial for our research. Perhaps our dream is to found a new platform for learning and experimenting with space-related pedagogy.

© Camille Blake

© Tiberio Sorvillo

Photography © Gianluca Di Ioia

Image  courtesy of Parasite 2.0

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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