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January 09, 2015

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Florence, feature stories, spring 2015

Florence Program hosts discussion on Reuse in the Mediterranean

The Syracuse University Architecture Program in Florence will host a panel discussion at the Villa Rossa Center on Thursday, January 29th from 5 to 7 p.m. entitled Contemporary Reuse in the Mediterranean Basin.

The event, which is free and open to the public, gathers leading experts from design and real estate development to discuss concepts and strategies for the reuse of buildings, landscapes, and infrastructure in this culturally rich, socially diverse, yet politically and economically challenged bio-geographical region. Panelists will present creative adaptations of infrastructure, landscapes, and buildings from cities and regions in Albania, Greece, Italy, and Spain followed by a thoughtful and lively discussion that foregrounds the questions: what are 21st century construals, scales, and practices of “reuse” and what is at stake in their appropriation?

Julia Czerniak, associate dean and professor of architecture at Syracuse University School of Architecture, will moderate the discussion. Czerniak organized the event with support from Sasha Perugini, Director, Syracuse University Florence and Dean Michael Speaks, Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Contemporary Reuse is not simply a compromise between historic preservation and demolition. Rather, it fully embraces this ‘between’ status and invites speculation on how design professionals (and by extension developers, policy makers, and political decision makers) can contribute to the ambition to reuse, not just build, our way out of contemporary economic, ecologic, and political challenges, all the while producing a culturally rich and socially just built environment.

Panelists include Panos Dragonas, an architect and associate professor at the University of Patras, Greece and founder of dragonas christopoulou architects in Athens in collaboration with Varvara Christopoulou; Elisabetta Terragni, an architect and an associate professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College, New York; and Daniel Andres De Riva, currently a real estate advisor at Knight Frank Spain, leading the strategic proposals for large urban development projects in Spain which integrate issues pertaining to planning, policy, and finance. Previously de Riva was a faculty member at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, teaching at the Florence Program, home campus, and leading various travel programs throughout Europe and Latin America.

Alberto Iacovoni, architect and founder of architecture firm ma0 and Gianandrea Barreca  from the Urban Vision and Architectural Design department at Domus Academy School  in Milan will be respondents for the event.