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New Generations is a European platform that investigates the changes in the architectural profession ever since the economic crisis of 2008. We analyse the most innovative emerging practices at the European level, providing a new space for the exchange of knowledge and confrontation, theory, and production.
Since 2013, we have involved more than 300 practices from more than 20 European countries in our cultural agenda, such as festivals, exhibitions, open calls, video-interviews, workshops, and experimental formats. We aim to offer a unique space where emerging architects could meet, exchange ideas, get inspired, and collaborate.
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ROBOCOOP is an experimental and research art duo project with a background in architecture, currently based between Rome and London. From a virtual work environment, the practice works on artistic experiments and installations, constantly fascinated by the power of the image in architecture.
We met during the architectural studies at University in Rome, where we spontaneously started to work together sharing thoughts, references and affinities. The first part of our activity consisted of monthly gatherings where we used to make our collages, print as posters, paste them around the city at night and create fictional scenarios in the street. Our favourite place for the installations is still the street and the urban fabric. Now it has been mainly focused more on commissioned shows and urban installations but our approach to create a fictional scenario related to the city via an image is still our starting point and goal.
We could say that the office is mainly virtual, because at the moment we live in different cities and our workspace is a virtual meeting room where we discuss design features and management strategies. Drawings, quotes, images, books’ excerpts are our daily routine brainstorming. Also, the habit of having weekly online meetings has begun before and regardless of the pandemic situation, so our workflow was not affected but actually settled and improved. We would say that ROBOCOOP is not a common architectural office that is active daily but rather a research project activated at certain time intervals, like a big room of ideas or a digital archive that we share and update everyday.
Substantially there’s no gap between the initial expectations and the activity we develop now. The initial idea was to establish a combination of our two different skills and expertises and merge them inside ROBOCOOP. Since we are both working as an architect and photographer. Parallel to this, besides being involved in academic activities, we converge technical and theoretical expertises in the same research, thus mirroring our professional growth process.
In our recent artworks and installations, we started developing drawings to a 1:1 scale; a real trompe l’oeil, directly inspired by old frescos, paintings and drawings. Fascinated by the power of the image in architecture, we started to think that the final output is not that of its construction, but of its representation in space. The image, which has become a spatial collage, behaves like a real built space. For instance, “Quadrature” has been designed to be a virtual continuation and an appendage of the urban space, that were describing an hypothetical setup of a city that might have happened but it didn’t. The ambition for the future is to develop further the way the installation is experienced by the visitor. The drawing can be a real place: more liveable, traversable and accessible. The idea of temporariness has been so far really important in our approach to the installation.
Photography Courtesy of ROBOCOOP
Photography Courtesy of ROBOCOOP
Photography Matteo Benedetti
Photography Divario Studio Daido