The splendid wooden architecture of the Teatro Farnese will provide the backdrop for Anna Heringer's words, a concrete example of the vulnerability that the architect invites us to look at without fear, with her lesson entitled "La sostenibilità è amare" (Sustainability is to love). The current theatre is, in fact, a faithful reconstruction carried out in modern times, following the destruction of the original building during the bombings of the Second World War. Anna Heringer invites us to reflect on the all-human fear of death and on how, to "defeat" this fear, we try to design and build with materials that are increasingly more durable and resistant to degradation, with the unfortunate result of obtaining mountains of waste and an excessive consumption of resources, as well as "mental burnouts of the individual, caused by the race to reach perfection."
On the other hand, according to the architect, vulnerability is to be accepted as a natural factor. Anna Heringer thus invites us to look at vernacular architecture, constructed with local materials and techniques according to the specific characteristics of the places where they are built and in relation to their local climatic conditions. In particular, the architect considers earth the most interesting material, an expression of perfect circularity.
To overcome the fear of our vulnerability, the only way that Anna Heringer sees as possible is the love that she finds in beauty, understood as the "superior harmony of all elements", her formal expression. The title of the lectio magistralis, "La sostenibilità è amare", finds a precise explanation in the architect’s words: "When we act out of love and care – towards our planet, towards other people, towards a community…, sustainability happens naturally". For Anna Heringer, therefore, architecture is to be used "as a medium to strengthen cultural and individual confidence, to support local economies and to foster the ecological balance".
Images courtesy of Ordine degli architetti PPC di Parma and Studio Anna Heringer
Captions and Credits
- 01: Bamboo Hostels, Baoxi, China © Julien Lanoo
- 02: Anna Heringer © Gerald v. Foris
- 03: Claystorming - Educational Training Centre, Tatale, Ghana © Studio Anna Heringer
- 04: Facade - Anandaloy, Rudrapur, Bangladesh © Kurt Hoerbst
- 05: Caves spaces - METI School, Rudrapur, Bangladesh © Peter Bauerdick