Starting from his recent monograph Pushing the Boundaries, architect and designer Federico Delrosso will present twenty years of his work and his reflections on the relationship between light and architecture at the Eurasian Prize and the Moscow Architecture Biennale.
2014 Eurasian Prize, Ekaterinburg (RU), 22-23rd May
4th Moscow Architecture Biennale, Moscow (RU), 25th May 2014
Federico Delrosso is due to attend two conferences in Russia. On 22-23rd May he will be in Ekateringburg at the awards ceremony of the 2014 Eurasian Prize for architecture and design, for which he is also one of the judges. During the event, which originated in 2002, the Biella-born architect, who is based in Milan and New York, will speak about the interaction between “light and architecture” as a basic condition in his design approach. He will begin with physical and philosophical considerations of matter as energy and consciousness:
“If matter is energy, light is electromagnetic energy and we too are energy, what we do with architecture is nothing more than try to create a ‘magnetic field’ of energy interactions using spaces and volumes. But energy is also consciousness, which lives on in the memory of what we design. The meaning behind our work is therefore not simply an aesthetic deed for its own sake. Given that we are moving energy around and emotionally affecting people, it becomes an act of great social responsibility“. F.D.
Respecting the ‘spirit of place’, whether it be a space for working, dining or living, Delrosso’s projects restore the “special alchemy generated between the built space, those living in it and those who designed it”, establishing a relationship of disclosure, surprise or emotion with light. He uses natural materials, such as wood, stone and metal, in an attempt to recreate an original equilibrium with nature and what it has to offer. Examples of this include his single-family homes in the hills of Biella, his more industrial-style lofts or his flats, offices, bars and restaurants located in urban environments both in Italy and abroad.
His design projects provide even more examples: tables and chairs (in the HENRYTIMI catalogue) and, above all, the lamps (davide groppi) created for the sites he designs. “Lamps, just like the buildings I design, are receptacles and diffusers of energy”, says Delrosso. Mima, Palpebra, Spiragli or his recent product Shade reveal joints, draw surfaces and create volume in a continuous game of shadows, memory and atmosphere.
More than twenty years of his work are described in the book Pushing the Boundaries (by Porzia Bergamasco, Skira Editore, p. 184, €39), which will also serve as a backdrop for his second engagement in Russia – the 4th Moscow Architecture Biennale (25th May).
The title is “a metaphor that I think successfully describes my work and my approach to work”, writes Delrosso in the introduction. “This, for me, is a continual pursuit of that special emotion represented by a challenge or the feeling of having exceeded my limits with respect to a certain condition”. The author of the monograph also expresses this reflection as “a vantage point explaining the relationship with space – always pushed beyond its physical boundaries, with the crucial emotional involvement of lighting designed to liberate all natural extensions”.
The conferences will therefore be an opportunity to journey backwards through work carried out in an investigation of architecture which, as the author writes: “lives on with a functional aesthetic made up of geometric lines and an organic feel, open to the everyday lives of the people who inhabit the sites”.