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A keynote speech from Marco Spada, PhD at SPACE International Conference 2022 on Sustainable Architecture, Planning and Urban Design

We are delighted to announce that Marco Spada PhD (Lecturer in Architecture, Interim Course Leader BA(Hons) Architecture, EAST – School of Engineering, Art, Science and Technology, University of Suffolk) will be one of our Keynote Speakers at SPACE International Conference 2022 on Sustainable Architecture Planning and Urban Design.

Marco Spada is an architect (ARB registered) and urban planner. He holds a PhD in Architecture, Theories and Project from the Sapienza University of Rome, with a thesis on the industrial landscape. He was previously Honorary Associate at the Department of Geography and Planning of the University of Liverpool, where he studied the implications of post-industrial regeneration dynamics on the urban and built environment. He is currently the founding partner of urbantaleslab.com, an independent research platform specialising in the urban narrative. Marco’s research focuses on the relation between city, memory and factories. He recently published “Industryscape” and two articles on Ted Cullinan’s work for Olivetti and the unrealised dome of the Church of St Ignatius in Rome.

His speech at the Conference is entitled “At the Roots of Sustainability – Ted Cullinan, Work Ethic, and Early Olivetti Projects”, and in his own words he will be talking about:

“The work of Edward “Ted” Cullinan (1931-2019) has been appreciated as one of the first attempts to create an ethical and sustainable method of architecture at a time when dependence on non-renewable energy sources was at its highest, between the 1970s and 1980s. 

What is impressive, a few years after his death and at a time when fossil fuels were in crisis, is his non-dogmatic approach to the sustainability of projects, an approach that we can define as critical and pioneering—an approach by practical trial and error, rather than by checklists and comprehensive theories. Probably, Cullinan’s philosophy, his enchanted look at the complexities of design, derives from an aesthetic approach to the act of building, an approach in which the beauty of the project derives from the moral correctness of the construction process.

The speech will start from Cullinan’s early experiences in California, then move on to the Royal College of Physicians building site and finally to the projects realised for Olivetti, the famous Italian typewriter brand.

In these projects, even before the famous buildings for the Maggie’s Centre Newcastle or the celebrated Weald and Downland Gridshell in Singleton, one can observe, in nuce, the criteria of ethics and aesthetics that would later be standardised and systematised in the daily activity of the Cullinan Studio in the following decades.

In a period of challenges to architectural education, the role of masters, educators and designers stands as a moment of reflection and analysis on the social role of the architect.”

We can’t wait to hear him at the Conference!

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