Small Talks Reloaded – to travel is to study | by Elena Romani

27.09.2021 - 01.10.2021
Bologna (Italy )

Contemporary architecture took the spotlight at Cersaie with the project “Small Talks Reloaded – to travel is to study”, organised in collaboration with Proviaggi Architettura and presented during a live meeting, where the Italian firms involved in the project shared their most significant and formative travel experiences.

The project originated during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020 when 11 episodes of “Small Talks” were aired on Cersaie’s YouTube channel, all of which shared the concept that, despite everything, we never stopped thinking.

The discussions began with a quote from Alvar Aalto’s “Viaggio in Italia”: “I do not wish to speak of any specific journey. It may be a past journey that still lives on in my memory; it may be a journey I am making or perhaps a journey I am planning. Such a journey is probably necessary, a “conditio sine qua non” for my work as an architect.”

These are the key elements of any discussion of a place of memory for an architect.

The following architects described their design experiences: Werner Tscholl, Fiorenzo Valbonesi (asv3 officina di architettura), Paolo Iotti (Iotti + Pavarani Architetti), Francesco Isidori (Labics), Simone Sfriso (TAMassociati), Alfonso Femia (Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia AF517), Simone Gheduzzi (Diverserighestudio), Cino Zucchi (CZA – Cino Zucchi Architetti), Margherita Manfra (Orizzontale), Filippo Bricolo (Bricolo Falsarella), Francesco Magnani & Traudy Pelzel (MAP studio).
One at a time, they each presented a past and a future project as a way of representing the continuity between architectural styles, each characterised by the firm’s distinctive personality. The result was a journey through dwellings, abandoned areas, cloisters, churches, historic buildings, public squares, bars and cultural venues, places where architecture and nature converse harmoniously and sustainably through an interplay of materials.


Cersaie 2021 Small Talks Reloaded Cersaie 2021 Small Talks Reloaded


The meeting was concluded with some travel advice offered by Álvaro Siza back in 1988: “Travelling is trial by fire, individually or collectively. Each of us leaves behind a bag full of stress, tedium, preoccupations and preconceptions. Simultaneously, we lose a world of small comforts and the perverse attraction of routine… I myself prefer to sacrifice many things, to see only the things that attract me immediately, to stroll randomly, without a map and with an absurd sensation of an explorer… In the space of an authentic journey, our eyes, and through them our minds, gain unexpected capacities. We perceive in a non-mediated way. The things that we learn reappear dissolved among the lines that later on we draw.”


Watch the video of the conference “Small Talks reloaded – Viaggiare come studiare”


October 2021