February 19, 2016

The ‘F’ Word: Fools, Fakes, Frauds, and Formalists


The ‘F’ Word: Formalism
The Scarlet Letter of Architecture


The F Word symposium presents leading voices from design education, theory, and practice assembled in Florence to discuss the concept of Formalism, its definition, history, tactics, and application in architecture today. The F Word will explore the controversial air that continues to surround this highly debated term and try to reclaim the timeless virtues of operating within a Formalist ethos. The F Word will address our understanding of the relationship between Form + Content as it relates to both latent and manifest structural resonances within a work. The F Word will distinguish inherent elements of Formalism - including the linguistic-based collusion between Syntax + Sign - from common misconceptions and illicit misappropriations. The intention: to rediscover within a formally multi-valent architecture the potential for an advanced notion of visual literacy and an authentic concept of Formalism for the Future.

Organized by Richard Rosa, with assistance by Luca Ponsi

10:00 am, Friday, February 19, 2016

Teatro Tasso@ the Convent of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy
Via Villani 15
50124 Firenze, Italia

Admission and seating by reservation only
Contact: or

  • Richard Rosa, Moderator
    Director, Florence Architecture Program
  • Luis Diaz
    Senior Lecturer, Architecture Program, University of Brighton, Brighton
  • Andrea Zanderigo
    baukuh, San Rocco, EPFL, Milano
  • Judith Wolin
    Professor Emeritus, Rhode Island School of Design
  • Val Warke
    Cornell University
  • Luca Ponsi
    Syracuse University, Studio Ponsi, Firenze
  • Jeffrey Hildner
    Architect, The Architect Painter Press, Sacramento
  • Paul Lewis
    Princeton University, LTL Architects, NY