Architecture without End


  • 1pm

  • Adam House, Adam House Lecture Theatre
    3 Chambers Street
    Edinburgh
    EH1 1HT

Speaker: Giorgio Ponzo

In her study on The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt prophetically describes the process of “labourization” that human activities are subject to in our days. Incapable to aspire to a condition of permanence, human endeavours are deprived of a lasting meaning. Deeply entangled in wider processes of cultural and material production, the work of the architect (and of the architectural educator) seems unable to subtract itself from this phenomenon. The question whether one should resist or surrender might require a re-definition of the “work of the architect”, and the identification of a role model.  In an unexpected subversion of the understanding of his fate, Albert Camus’ Sisyphus ends up enjoying the absurd effort inflicted on him. The pointless repetition of the work, the excessive force required, and the ephemerality of the enjoyment could define a new set of features for practicing architecture, within the context of the office and in the public realm.

Giorgio Ponzo is Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design and Pedagogy at ESALA since 2016. Giorgio studied architecture at the Turin Polytechnic and at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. He worked as an architect in Italy, completing projects and prize winning competition entries for public spaces and urban design both in Italy and internationally. Giorgio taught at Turin Polytechnic, at the Berlage in Rotterdam and Delft, at Leeds Beckett University, and at the Harbin Institute of Technology (China).

Giorgio’s research pursues a definition of knowledge work and looks at the qualities of the spaces where this work – that does not produce anything – happens.

Part of the 2017/2018 ESALA Research Seminar Series. Free and open to all.