An architecture festival

a text by Stefano Boeri on Abitare n. 510

A festival which moves through renaissance palaces and cathedrals, and will take place in Perugia and Assisi, as well as in the countryside, in sites which range from the lay acropolis and the hills of the Franciscans to rooms and squares and where, for four days, architectural ideas and visions will be at the centre of debates about the very future of the world.

The theme of this year’s festival – Anti-City – forces us to think about the push towards individualism and waste in the world today, and how these trends are undermining the very foundations of our urban centres.
Anti-city is a powerful and invisible kind of energy, which undermines community relations and the possibility of forms of exchange and cooperation between individuals and groups. At the same time it also makes the sharing of services and common goods less likely, destroying any possibility of social mobility. It is a pernicious influence which creates ghettoes wherever it appears and encourages the separation of identities of groups of people and individuals who, on the surface, have much in common, both in terms of their origins and their expectations.

By bringing together architects, planners, geographers, writers, artists, anthropologists and politicians, Festarch will discuss ways of combatting this push towards the break up of the urban, and about how to ‘create cities’ in the age of the AntiCity.

After two exciting years in Cagliari, when thousands of young people, ordinary citizens, and students from all over Italy met in the Manifattura Tabacchi in that city in order to listen to architects and others and discuss a range of issues, we have now moved to Umbria. Festarch this year will be based in Perugia and Assisi, from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June.
But before that, for a week between the 27 May and the 1 June, Festarch will be in Terni,where it will take on the form of Festarch.Lab, ahotbed of research and ideas from young local architects where the themes and ideas for the major events of the festival to come will be discussed.

By supporting Festarch, Abitare once again underlines its mission as a catalyst of new and innovative thinking and as a site for debate and communication.

In order to see the future, now, Abitare awaits you in June, in Umbria.