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Thinking Lines. Andrea Ponsi Oggetti, allestimenti, architetture

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SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana
Florence, 23 Oct.-8 Nov. 2002

publication year: 2002
paperback
150x150 mm; 48 pp.
51 colour and b&w illustrations

88-7461-005-X Italian/English

“When architect and educator Andrea Ponsi began experimenting with copper pipes and joints traditionally used in plumbing, he found excellent proof of an idea that was, and still is, fundamental to him: that much can be made out of little. From intimate knowledge of a single material and the use of simple contruction elements, a philosophical vision and a complete design theory may very well develop of their own accord.”

Done in collaboration with SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana, this volume illustrates six projects completed or about to be completed in Santiago (Chile), Rome, Arezzo, Los Angeles, Marina di Pietrasanta and Møn (Denmark). Includes an essay by Richard Ingersoll entitled Andrea Ponsi. Slow Design.

From “Andrea Ponsi: autobiographical lines”
“After studying architecture in Italy, the UK and the US, having worked for approximately ten years in firms in San Francisco and having taught in Art Institutes and Universities in California, it was upon my return to Italy that I started to link up the lines of thought that I had been cultivating for a long time. At first these lines were organized on a small scale; using copper piping and joints, I started to create objects, instruments, furniture for my own studio space. Through this way of relating with design, I was finally convinced that much can be created out of little, that no idea, including ‘out-dated’ ideas (e.g. furniture with hydraulic joints), should ever be thrown away even though there will always be someone who will advise you to do so. With the passing of time, these copper lines have been turned into projects for furniture for offices, homes, shops, exhibition layouts. The shift to thinking along lines of an architectural scale came about when I decided to enter the competition for the Palos Verdes Art Center in Los Angeles. A building in California, a school, an art center, neither too small nor too large: an excellent opportunity to close a first circle, that which still succeeded in containing the distant memories of the West Coast. The wooden lines of the “path through the wood” (this being the name I had given it) had been appreciated, and my project won. In that work, as in the others that followed, I tried to start with few, clear premises: that architecture must reflect an attitude of sensitivity and adaptation to the fragility of the environment; that spaces must be both simple and indeterminate, based on an allusive rather than a spectacular type of beauty; that they must try to convey sensations of a calm harmony, able to set in motion internal resonances rather than using abstract, theoretical types of language, or nervously reflecting the contradictions of our present time. I had to continue working on these ideas. In the last two years, therefore, I have concentrated on designing buildings and projects on an urban-planning scale. Nonetheless I have not neglected my work on more intimate spaces, shop interiors or small exhibition pavilions where it is still possible to concentrate on the small details. Then, when during the day I decide to withdraw from my work, I feel that watercolors summon me with the strength of a siren to ask me to draw objects, views from my studio, perspectives of squares, trees, hills, coastlines, subjective maps, views of cities – real or unreal, remembered or analogous.”