Applied Research & Innovation
Practicing profession certainly requires a meticulous and constant updating to ensure that the produced outcome conveniently adapts to regulations and technological opportunities. However, professional practice, if devoid of a critical path of evolution on the topic issues of the design process, severely limits the potential of its achievements, avoiding the opportunities that emerge when a deep connection with applied research and, consequently, with innovation is established. For this reason, SELF has been building a solid relationship with the world of Research, being protagonist in several investigations and defining a strategic approach to the project that, beyond the constructive debate within the theoretical experimentation, has been able to produce innovative and excellent results.
Learning from Teaching
Nowadays, at a time when we deal with problems whose complexity, interconnection and transversality are constantly expanding, the growth of a critical vision is crucial for a professional in order to increase his analytical and decision-making skills. If Teaching is an opportunity to sum theoretical, technical and ethical positions accrued over time, the continuous Learning that the teaching activity provides thanks to the dialectical relationship with people not yet working – and nevertheless enthusiastic and brilliant in the construction of visions – creates tremendous opportunities for the ones who want to progress putting themselves into new challenges. SELF, with its strong involvement in the world of teaching and education, finds there an invaluable resource whose benefits reflect into the freshness of methods, the heterogeneity of arguments and the enthusiasm of experimentation.
The architectural project is a collective phenomenon and the season of Archistars and Masters has passed since time. Contemporary world is dealing with a reality based on an extraordinary high level of complexity. Such a context cannot be shaped individually or by a unique gesture, but becomes an opportunity for an evolutionary process of thinking that necessarily has to be shared. If the project is process, then the designers become cultural workers, in a network that is much broader, the deeper is the level of complexity of the process itself. This is not a simple arrangement of diversified skills, engineering, mobility, environmental sustainability, etc., but a new operating model where stakeholders, roles and connections between different members of the network are suitable and customizable depending on specific needs. SELF operates within a flexible and extensive network, geographically and culturally spread, gathered not by specialists solving partial problems, but by designers providing integrated contribution: the outcome of such a holistic approach is always greater than the sum of the individual employed skills.
Publishing & fixing Ideas
There is no Practice without Theory. Rather, the Theory can forecast scenarios that practical action perhaps will never reach. Making theory in architecture today means reflecting on our own discipline, and, more important, exploring contemporary reality. For a designer this is something much more practical and utilitarian compared to other forms of expression, such as the history of architecture or the architectural criticism. Writing and publishing essays, articles or books are actions permeated by a high level of design thinking and they become essential for understanding better a problem, fixing topical points or establishing action hierarchies. SELF Partners have been always combining publishing activities with the ongoing professional practice, publishing monographs, writing texts and editing special issues of the top national architectural magazines: two theoretical fields are intertwined within a unique creative process which finally results in architectural forms, urban projects or experimental researches.