Maria Claudia Clemente from Labics
1) What is the "mission" of an architect?
The task of an architect is to make the world in which we live a better place. From the small to the large, from the monumental to the minimal, within every project lies a potential opportunity. Spreading quality, beauty, rigor; designing spaces, buildings, neighborhoods and cities that are able to respond to the questions for which they were born, but that at the same time have the ability to convey civic and collective values. To do this, we need to learn to see the world, to be curious and never be satisfied of the first responses, and often not even the first questions, that a project poses.
2. Is being a female architect in Italy still a challenge?
Often projects are in strong historical contexts. Simply, being an architect in Italy is a challenge! However, in my experience, being a woman or a man is not much different. I have never felt distrust, lack of esteem or confidence due to my being a woman. Sometimes, in fact, it has been an advantage. Conversely, I often realize how the role of the architect in this country is seen as unimportant, both culturally and economically.
3. How can you intervene in a respectful manner using a contemporary language?
It really depends on what you mean by the word 'respect'. For us, respect is not an issue related to language or to the aesthetic resemblance of contemporary construction with the historic. None of our actions, even those in the most delicate situations - for example, the projects in the Forum of Trajan - are mimetic; each one is looking for a new dialogue, closely connected with the context, whether it be historical and/or monumental.
To create this connection, one must first of all understand the other party. Hence, respect for us is firstly about understanding the context and its structure. With structure I mean the set of aesthetic and historical information, ie. the formal, programmatic and physical content of the artifact or the context in which it operates.
4. What can't you live without in an architectural office?
A plastics workshop and a large library.
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