Nothing left to design

CAMPO Nothing left to design

Workshop and exhibition curated by Gianfranco Bombaci and Maria S. Giudici

Exhibition Opening:
Thursday 8th of September 2016 – 18.30 p.m.

Talk and book presentation:
Thursday 8th of September 2016 – 19.00 p.m.
Fundamental Acts and The Supreme Achievement
with Matteo Ghidoni and Maria S. Giudici

With the contributions by Andrea Branzi, Odile Decq, Gian Piero Frassinelli, Matteo Ghidoni, Sam Jacob, Philippe Rahm, Peter Wilson, Elia Zenghelis.

Featuring the work of Stefano Graziani

in collaboration with
Black Square Press


The exhibition, born out of the collaboration between the London publisher Black Square and the space for architecture CAMPO, features the contribution of Andrea Branzi, Odile Decq, Gian Piero Frassinelli, Matteo Ghidoni, Sam Jacob, Philippe Rahm, Peter Wilson, Elia Zenghelis and featuring the work of Stefano Graziani.

Black Square and CAMPO asked a group of architects to imagine and describe through a brief narrative text the architecture that could give form and place to rituals and desires.
These scripts will become the basis for a set of narrative drawings developed during a workshop at CAMPO within which architecturestudents will try to give form to spaces designed by others. For a week, the workgroup gather in Rome, working on these translations from text to image, and exploring and documenting those places where sacred and profane rituals and ceremonies are celebrated in Rome today, from St. Peter to the Trevi Fountain.

CAMPO-Nothing-left-to-design14517438_1209583442439842_7441647170268503229_nThe idea of the exhibition and the workshop, curated by Gianfranco Bombaci and Maria S. Giudici, together with a publication that will collect the results, originates from the project The Planet as a Festival published by Ettore Sottsass in 1972. The project, in the form of a text and a series of drawings, described the possibility of a land where all humans are free from work and social conditioning and where there is no architecture left to design. All that is left to architects in this condition is to imagine an architecture designed by “others”.

The Planet as a Festival is not a utopian project but rather the construction of a condition in which architecture can work as a device for new rituals, thus emancipating itself from the need to respond to a functional program. Architecture is then free to give space to the most profound instincts that animate collective life. It is precisely when ‘nothing is left to design’ that the mandate of architecture can be reinvented.

In this scenario, no social models are left to propose, and the rhetoric of infinite growth and development that animated the modern era comes to an end. Sottsass addressed this condition imagining architectures made by others, capable to represent dormant desires, which are in need of a form: a monolithic dispenser for incense, drugs, and laughing gas set in a campground, rafts for listening to chamber music on a river, and a stadium in which people gather to watch the stars. The projects were illustrated in collaboration with Tiger Tateishi and were intended as an offspring of the “moral of the man worker-producer”. Ultimately, Sottsass aimed to demonstrate how “men can live for the sake of living and can work to come to know, by means of their bodies, their psyche and their sex, that they are living.”


Sharing this approach the project “Nothing left to design” elaborates a reflection and opens a debate on the possible role of Architecture in putting forward ideas for new forms of life and new possibilities for our social imagination beyond the current conventional models.

Photos: Jacopo Valentini