Round table sessions with three participants, two hourglasses, and four questions to be answered in five minutes on sustainable design, architecture, urban planning, and land use management for the future of our cities – a few simple ground rules have been established for the Green Table International Forum on Architecture and Design for the Future, to be held October 20–23 in the Auditorium di San Francesco al Prato, Perugia. But these simple rules are the foundation of this ambitious and potentially landmark event. The Forum will include four days of discussions among experts from various sectors, businesses, as well as the public, all aimed at responding to climate, environmental, and socioeconomic changes in an informed way. Each session will be recorded for posterity, with a 360-degree videoconferencing camera on each table and an online platform that will stream all content and discussions, and record them for later viewing. In other words, the first Green Table will offer numerous options for engagement.
Another special feature of the event – and one that underscores the commitment of both the City of Perugia and the Region of Umbria to occupying centerstage in an international process of transformation – is the use of phygital technology. Bringing together physical and remote participation into the one experience, the technology will be used to broadcast each session live from Perugia and as a delayed simulcast from Milan, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Munich, and Shanghai. The underlying idea of the Forum is, after all, to share projects, ideas, and solutions relating to the big environmental challenges and safeguarding human health.
In building a future for cities and places that’s more sustainable, healthier, and more equitable, everyone must do their part and bring their own skillsets to the table. But collective, informed actions are also needed. This is the reasoning behind the partnership formed between In/Arch (Italy’s national institute of architecture) and ADI (the country’s industrial design association). With the backing of Fondazione Guglielmo Giordano and Media Eventi, this alliance is playing a more vital role than ever during this period dominated by the health crisis. “Resetting the focus on people, their quality of life, public spaces, our relationship with the environment, proximity to services, mobility, and interconnectivity (both physical and digital) as part of an integral vision of development is essential for restoring a deeper meaning to the word humanity,” says Andrea Margaritelli, president of Fondazione Guglielmo Giordano and of In/Arch, as well as co-creator of the Green Table forum with Carlo Timio.
But the pandemic and the massive changes it’s brought with it, including the acceleration of many existing phenomena, has already become a watershed between a world that no longer exists and a world that’s yet to fully reveal itself. This is why the ADI, and its president, Luciano Galimberti, couldn’t do otherwise than get involved in the Green Table forum: “The ability to envision the future by looking at the demands of the present is the essence of design. And if what’s at stake is protecting the environment and quality of life, it’s design’s job to offer concrete solutions to create new scenarios and virtuous cycles.”
Grouped into the four broad categories of Design, Architecture, Urban Planning, and Land Use Management, numerous issues will be tackled by Forum participants, all of them interconnected and interdependent on a transition process aimed at creating more urban green spaces, repurposing, regeneration, and the development of cultural infrastructure. Ahead of other sectors, design has identified the need to preserve a dimension of human life – that is, to translate the term wellbeing into reality, including in relation to the environment. Balance, responsibility, and a recognizable identity are just some of the keywords being used by designers and stakeholders, with both buyers and manufacturers therefore increasingly focused on generating value and benefits.
Architecture in general is perhaps the sector that’s most involved in addressing the new needs created by the pandemic, from social distancing to remote working, and the technological updating of business premises, residential buildings, and schools. None of this, however, can happen in isolation from urban planning and land use management. There are those in-between places – rural areas, coastlines, and hilly and mountainous inland areas – that, although marked by widely distributed settlement patterns, can increasingly become economic resources and landscapes for revitalization.
There will be numerous important guests on each day of the event, including designers Michele De Lucchi, Patricia Urquiola, Stefano Boeri, Mario Cucinella, and Benedetta Tagliabue; scientists Stefano Mancuso and Cinzia Chiriacò; philosophers Maurizio Ferraris and Aldo Colonetti; as well as other important figures from the cultural, information, and economic fields. They’ll be the ones sitting at the Green Tables that inspired the event’s logo: “An archetypal, circular emblem, colored with different gradients of green,” explains Marco Tortoioli Ricci, design director of BCPT Associati. “In the dynamic version, the backgrounds are in constant motion, reminding us that these tables are living organisms. This, completed with an essential letter T below the circle, recalls the greeting of advanced humans – people who are no longer doomed to having to escape from a future that’s gone awry, but, as Stefano Mancuso would say, who are able to grow like a tree.”
The next digital session will take place on Monday 11 October at 11:00 am on the Wyth platform, when the Forum’s finalized program will be presented.
For more information and to see the program: greentable.it
The forum has the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition.
Presented by the Fondazione Guglielmo Giordano and Media Eventi in partnership with In/Arch and ADI, and with the support of CNAPPC, the Forum has the backing of a special network of public and private partners marked by their genuine commitment to the environment.
The Forum’s public and corporate partners: The Umbria Region, the Municipality of Perugia, and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia; main partners: Aboca, Listone Giordano, Paghera, and Rubner; technology partner: Wyth, with its innovative digital platform
Cultural institutions supporting the initiative: Università degli Studi di Perugia, Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile, Accademia di Belle Arti “P. Vannucci” di Perugia, and PEFC Italia