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How will migration influence architecture and the city?

Photo: Nolli - Now by HOMU


Nowadays, during the Covid-19 worldwide quarantine, in a no-migration suspended time, the public domain enters into the most domestic space, the home, as never before.
All categories are affected: politicians, doctors, teachers, journalists, musicians, writers, architects, influencers, scholars etc. TV presenters are hosting programs joining the show online from their kitchens; working meeting are happening from the living rooms of the participants; musicians are playing concerts from their cellars.

Migration is assuming a new complete meaning while we are forced not to move, transforming the way we live and work. Any professional activity is vehiculated from our hideaway places, opening up to the collettivity personal and private spaces.


In 1748 Giovanni Battista Nolli, in his famous plan of Rome, used a figure-ground representation where he shaded in a dark poché not only the built, as Bufalini plan in 1551, but all the private spaces, whether they were buildings or urban voids like a courtyard or colonnades. Back then, as a result of Nolli’s unheard-of criteria of ordering the city in private and public domain, the white areas were representing a continuous common space, made up of all the urban and building voids, external (tangent) or internal (secant) with respect to the blocks, all connected by a system of paths.
Today, thanks to digital technologies, we can represent a new public domain, in its contemporary and temporary version, as a disconnected system, where urban squares, streets, markets, plazas and so on are implemented by the network of domestic rooms connected online.
This specific, punctual, intense, undefined condition is affecting the city and its architecture obliging the community to deal with new spaces, maybe smaller, more intimate, more spontaneous, more embarrassing, more comfortable, less comfortable, the domestic space going public.

homu is an Italian architecture office founded and directed by Lucia Zamponi and Filippo Nanni. The work of the studio receives mentions and awards in national and international architecture competitions and is published on websites and magazines. We have lived and worked in Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands and the US. With a strong experience on a large range of projects we aim to create decisive, innovative and immediate reading architecture. Our Italian background defined a deep relationship with history and gets us used to a certain amount of daily natural or artistic beauty. Japan has been essential to the definition of a clear and functional aesthetic based on the balance between architecture, nature and people. Working in Europe and in US has led to a broader reflection on cities, program and context.

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