Architecture, the pandemic and the future of design: Roberto Forte

Forte Architetti,

Medical Emergency Covid19,

In only a few months, everything has changed completely. Even the world of architecture. In search of possible new scenarios, Floornature opens the discussion of a new approach to design for a time of public health emergency, publishing a series of interviews with architects all over the world.
How are the big studios organising their work, and what has been the impact of the current situation on smaller architectural practices?
What does it mean to design infrastructure, cultural centres and living spaces while avoiding social contact?
Might the resilience we seek in buildings also be applicable to the profession of architect?
Here are the architects’ responses, some in text form and others in videos, in the usual style of our portal.

Architecture, the pandemic and the future of design: Roberto Forte

1. How did your firm handle the lockdown?

2. What new forms of work are you experimenting with and how about the results?

3. How do you think this experience will affect the future management of an architectural practice?

Summary of video interview with Forte Architetti

Hello, I’m Roberto Forte of Forte Architetti.
The studio was established in Catania, Italy about 15 years ago, and for the past five years we have had offices here in Cape Town, South Africa, where I am recording this message today.
The nature of our studio has ensured that we have always taken advantage of remote working: our office in Italy is the creative heart of the studio, but over the years we have implemented projects in Mozambique, the Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and now, South Africa. South Africa is actually very important to us, because, as I mentioned, we have been working here for five years, and have met with considerable success.
On the topic of remote working and the lockdown: remote working has always been a part of the way we work, as our projects are created, thought out and designed in Italy and then implemented in other parts of the world. We have built a solid communication network over the years, and so we were by no means unprepared: holding meetings on Skype and Zoom and working at a distance is normal for us.
As for the impact of all this on the future of the studio, we won’t be changing anything, and will continue to work exactly the same way as we did before the lockdown. But I would like to reflect on another consideration here: the need to think of the home as a new dimension of the person. We need to redesign, reimagine our homes, and make them comfortable and above all packed with meaning. In this sense, in our tradition of home design we have always considered the home a hybrid place, a place that is similar to a person, tailored to the needs, requirements and lifestyle of its final user. In this sense, at this time of reconsideration, we are happy to see that our thinking on this topic is particularly up to date and valid.