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Place and Intuition

Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo

Graduating in Architecture from Rome’s La Sapienza University in 1974, from 1974 to 1980 Grasso Cannizzo mainly lectured in Monument Restoration at the Rome Faculty of Architecture headed by Professor Franco Minissi. She taught at the Faculties of Architecture of Palermo and Siracusa. In 2014, she won the competition called by Trento University for its “Adalberto Libera” chair and the competition for Visiting Professor at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts. In 2016, Grasso Cannizzo received a special mention for her exhibit in Reporting from the Front, curated by Alejandro Aravena for the XV Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2018, she was selected by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara for the Freespace exhibition of the XVI Venice Biennale. The awards and acknowledgements received include the RIBA Awards/EU in 2005 and 2012, and Milan Triennale’s Lifetime Achievement Award also in 2012.


The previous stages on our “Journey to Italy” were concentrated in the north of the Italian peninsula. We looked at the architecture of Milan, a European growth city, the South Tyrol in the north east, a region whose architecture has strong ties with its special traditions, and the Veneto whose architecture seems to embody the region’s vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. Shifting to southern Italy, the situation changes completely. The scenario is one of a sequence of fewer, more scattered towns, with groups of isolated buildings - many in ruins or lying unfinished -
and dispersive agriculture, so unlike the dense industrial production of the north. Industrial plant, when it exists, is still on the large scale, now often being wound down. Alongside this scenario, however, are areas of great quality where nature and history seem to have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for centuries. It is in these areas that we have witnessed the appearance in recent years of another “south”....

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