Kengo Kuma bwas born in 1954. He established Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA) in 1990. Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo after teaching at Keio University and the University of Tokyo. KKAA projects are currently underway in more than 30 countries. KKAA has office in Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai and Bejing. Kengo Kuma is a globally acclaimed Japanese architect whose prodigious output possesses an inherent respect and value of materials and environment, often creating a harmonious balance between building and landscape. He masterfully engages both architectural experimentation and traditional Japanese design with twenty-first-century technology, resulting in highly advanced yet beautifully simple, gentle, human-scaled buildings. He’s renowned for the drive to search for new materials to replace concrete and steel, seeking a new approach for architecture in a post-industrial society, and fusing interior and exterior realms to make spaces that both create a calming and tranquil atmosphere. Kengo Kuma is considered one of the most influential contemporary architects, universally recognized for his sustainable approach and devoted to respect for the environment and tradition. He designed significant buildings around the world, among the last recent and most recognized and award-winning works there are the Japan National Stadium in Japan, V&A Dundee in Scotland, Folk Art Museum in China, the GC Prostho Museum Research Cente in Japan, the Under One Roof EPFL Artlab in Switzerland, Kadokawa Culture Museum and Exchange in Australia,FRAC Marseille in France and many others. In 2021 he received the "The Most Influential People of 2021" award from Time Magazine.
Benedetta Tagliabue – EMBT Architects
She studied architecture at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV) and currently acts as director of the international architecture firm Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, founded in 1994 in collaboration with Enric Miralles, based in Barcelona, Shanghai and Paris. Among her most notable projects built are the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Diagonal MarPark, the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, Campus Universitario de Vigo, and the Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo which was awarded the prestigious RIBA International “Best International Building of 2011” award. In the teaching field, she has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Columbia University and Barcelona ETSAB, lecturing regularly at architecture forums and universities, and is part of jurors around the world, e.g. the Princesa de Asturias awards and since 2014 she is part of the jury of the Pritzker Prize. In 2004 she received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Her work received the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2005, the National Spanish Prize in 2006, the Catalan National prize in 2002, City of Barcelona prize in 2005 and 2009, FAD prizes in 2000, 2003 and 2007. She received the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award, which is given annually to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture. And in May 2019, she received the Cross of Sant Jordi granted by the Generalitat of Catalonia for the excellence of her professional practice in the field of architecture worldwide. She is also the director of the Enric Miralles Foundation, whose goal is to promote experimental architecture in the spirit of her late husband and partner Enric Miralles.
Mario Cucinella was born in Palermo in 1960 and graduated in Architecture at the University of Genoa in 1986. In 1992, in Paris, he founded MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects, an architecture and design firm that has now headquarters in Bologna and Milan, and of which he is also the creative director. In 2015 he founded SOS - School of Sustainability, a school for young professionals and recent graduates that focuses on the application of sustainable architecture and design to give future decisions makers the tools necessary to tackle the environmental issues that are emerging globally with an open-minded, holistic, research-driven, and human-centred approach. The importance of his work and continued commitment as an architect and educator on environmental and social issues have been recognized with the International Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2016) and with the Honorary Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects (2017). In 2018 he was curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale with the exhibition “Arcipelago Italia”. Mario Cucinella has taught at the universities of Ferrara, Naples, Munich, and Nottingham. He is the author of many publications including: The future is a journey to the past. Ten stories about architecture (2021, published by Quodlibet) In this book Mario Cucinella – together with Valentina Torrente and Laura Zevi - describes ten trips to cities and places that gave him valuable insights into environmental issues and the rational use of available energy. Architecture of Education (2021, published by Maggioli), an analysis of how the most important places in civil society will be able to evolve thanks to architecture and the dynamics it is able to generate, through a multi-voiced narrative alternating with design solutions developed by Mario Cucinella Architects. Building Green Futures (2020, published by Forma), a volume that investigates, through a collection of the latest projects and most representative architecture of Mario Cucinella Architects, possible answers that architecture can provide to the global challenges of the future.
Agostino Ghiradelli earned a degree in architecture from the Università degli Studi di Genova in 1999. He has collaborated and has been Partner of several International Firms, has worked in New York and Paris and has supervised construction sites all over the world. He focuses both in the research and the design phase of Architecture and Urban Planning projects. To this end he collaborated with public institutions and he was a lecturer for various international institution: MIPIM 2019, University of Vienna, University of Trieste, ULI, Europe Young Leaders Summer School of Milan. In 2017 he created the Studio SBGA I Blengini Ghirardelli with Giuseppe Blengini. He gained experience in a wide range of architectural projects always focusing on sustainability. He designs agile working environments that implement connectivity and flexibility improving quality of life. The urban planning interventions in which he played a role of designer / coordinator are: ESA-ESTEC CAMPUS in Noordwijk near Rotterdam; UniCredit Campus in Lampugnano, Milan; Masterplan for the new stadium of A.S. Roma Football Team in Roma; CityLife Masterplan in Milan.
Urko Sanchez Architects is an award-¬winning Kenya and Spain-based boutique architectural firm renowned for excellence in design. The projects range in size, complexity and function. In all cases, however, the focus is on the client and the context, with a tailor-¬crafted approach to each unique project. Commercial projects include hotels, office buildings, industrial spaces, and residential developments amongst others. In addition, Urko Sanchez Architects is passionate about social improvement, contributing as often as possible to projects that target disadvantaged communities with needful and innovative interventions. Urko Sanchez Architects Offices are based in Kenya and Spain, working main in East Africa but the office has undertaken projects throughout the region (Djibouti, Somalia) and further afield (UAE, Angola, Bosnia, Germany, Spain). The team at Urko Sanchez Architects is flexible, multicultural and boasts stellar local and international track¬ records. Principal Urko Sanchez has a wealth of experience, having traveled extensively and accomplished projects in multiple contexts. Urko uses his broad experience to craft an innovative and versatile architectural outlook for every unique project. Urko Sanchez Architects focus on working closely with clients to create tailor-¬made projects, and faithfully interpret their vision. Above all else, the firm values client trust, and unparalleled quality in the expression and execution of its ideas. The firm is deeply committed to environmental stewardship, and for each project, the team considers the cultural roots of the structure, and how the building will be best integrated into its environment; the view, the indigenous materials, and the flow of the surroundings. Hallmarks of Urko Sanchez projects include contemporary twists on traditional architecture; a green aesthetic that harnesses wind and solar power and recycled water; and leveraging natural architecture to showcase natural light, and frame private gardens and open courtyards.
Tosin Oshinowo is a Lagos-based Nigerian architect and designer renowned for her expansive residential and commercial spaces and insights into socially-responsive approaches to urbanism. Grounded in a deep respect for Yoruba culture and history, and coming from a markedly African context, Oshinowo’s designs embody a contemporary perspective on the next generation of African design and Afro-minimalism: a responsive reflection of the past, present, and future of architecture and design that prioritises sustainability, resilience, and poise. She is also the curator of the 2024 Sharjah Architecture Triennial. As an architect, Oshinowo is best known as the founder and principal of cmDesign Atelier (cmD+A), established in 2012. Based in Lagos, the practice has undertaken a number of predominantly civic projects, including the design of the Maryland Mall, as well as a wide range of residential projects, including light-filled beach houses on the coast of the oceanside city. Her interest in architecture extends into a broader vision of urbanism and community; she recently completed a project with the United Nations Development Programme in Northeast Nigeria, building an entirely new community for a village displaced by Boko Haram. Before founding cmD+A, she worked in the offices of Skidmore Owings & Merrill in London and the Office of Metropolitan Architecture Rotterdam, where she was part of the team that designed the 4th Mainland Bridge proposal in 2008. Returning to Lagos, she practised at James Cubitt Architects and led notable projects, including the masterplan and corporate head office building for Nigeria LNG in Port Harcourt. As a product designer, her work is primarily focused on chair design; in 2017, she created Ilé-Ilà, which means House of Lines in her native Yoruba language. A luxury brand, Ilé-Ilàchairs are made to order, designed and handmade in Lagos and have been featured as a highlight of contemporary African furniture design in publications around the world, including Harper's Bazaar Interiors (April 2018), Elle Decor (January 2020), and Grazia (June 2020). Oshinowo’s work also spans the conceptual sphere, with a strong interest in architectural history and socially-responsive approaches to architecture, design and urbanism, underpinned by a passion for supporting African design and innovation. In 2020, she partnered with Lexus on conceptual design explorations for Design Miami, and she has written prolifically on urbanism, afro modernism, design and identity in publications including Expansions, a publication as part of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale and Omenka Online, a topic also explored in her TEDxPortHarcourt talk in November 2017. She also co-curated the second Lagos Biennial titled How to Build a Lagoon from a Bottle of Wine? in 2019. Oshinowo is a registered architect in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, as well as the Royal Institute of the British Architects, with a degree in Architecture from Kingston College in London, a Master's degree in Urban Design in Development from the Bartlett School of Architecture, a Diploma in Architecture from the Architecture Association London, and a Masters in Business in Architecture and Design from IE University, Madrid. She has won numerous awards, including the 3rd City People Real Estate Awards for Architect of the Year 2017, and the Lord’s Achievers Awards for Creativity, in celebration of World Achievers Day 2019. She was among five finalists for the 2024 Diversity in Architecture Divia Awards.
Raul Pantaleo is an Italian architect, born in Milan, he lives and works in Venice and Trieste. Graduated from the IUAV University of Venice. Holds an international certificate in Human Ecology attained through post-graduate studies at the University of Padua. Raul is project designer and consultant in the sectors of bio-architecture and urban re-qualification; he is currently involved in conducting laboratories in the processes of participatory and communicatory project development. In addition, he is involved with the practice of social communications and graphic design for various Public Administrations and non-profit organizations. Raul Pantaleo is one of the co-founder of “studio TAMassociati”, a practice which specializes in socially oriented projects in critical areas. Some of the current and completed projects include: The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery for the Emergency NGO in Sudan; Banca Etica (Ethic Bank)Headquarters in Padua (Italy); healthcare buildings for the Emergency NGO in Darfur, Sudan; also projects in the Central African Republic, Sierra Leon, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq and Uganda. Among the main awards received : the LafargeHolcim Awards Acknowledgement prize (2017), Aga Khan Award (2013), Zumtobel Gruop Award (2014).
Born in 1971, France. Emmanuelle Moureaux is a French architect living in Tokyo since 1996, where she established "emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design" in 2003. Inspired by the layers and colors of Tokyo that built a complex depth and density on the street, and the Japanese traditional spatial elements like sliding screens, she has created the concept of shikiri, which literally means "dividing (creating) space with colors". She uses colors as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces, not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces. Handling colors as a medium to compose space, her wish is to give emotion through colors with her creations, which range from art, design to architecture. Her representative works include the architectural design for Sugamo Shinkin Bank, "100 colors" art installation series, space design for ABC Cooking Studio, art installations for UNIQLO and ISSEY MIYAKE, and stick chair. In 2017, she has created a large installation "Forest of Numbers" at The National Art Center, Tokyo for its 10th Anniversary exhibition. Commissioned in 2011 by the New Taipei City Government in Taiwan, she handled the artistic design of the Mass Rapid Transit "Circular Line", working on the color scheme of 14 km section, where her colors spread into city-scale with its completion in 2021. Her installation series - 100 colors - express emotions from the experience of colors and layers of Tokyo. Unveiled in 2013 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her studio, she is planning to exhibit "100 colors" in different cities around the world. Associate Professor at Tohoku University of Art and Design since 2008, Emmanuelle's laboratory explores the possibilities of color through a project she named 100 colors lab. Students are asked to create 100 colors palette of an item from their everyday life, such as glasses, bubble foam, rice, umbrella, watches, CD, chocolate block and so on. Member of "Tokyo Society of Architects", the "Architectural Institute of Japan", and the "Japan Institute of Architects".
Saad El Kabbaj, Driss Kettani and Mohamed Amine Siana
Born in 1978 in Casablanca, Saad El Kabbaj studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture of Rabat, Morocco where he graduated in 2003. He opened his office in Casablanca in 2005 and works on a various range of projects. He currently teaches at the UIR University in Rabat. Born in 1978 in Fes, Driss Kettani studied at the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture of Rabat, Morocco where he graduated in 2003. He currently teaches at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. Born in 1979 in Casablanca, Mohamed Amine SIANA graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture of Rabat, Morocco in 2004. He currently teaches at the UIR University in Rabat. They opened a shared office in Casablanca in 2005 working at the same time on personal projects and together on important commissions and competitions. The idea was to create a kind of workshop, with the benefits of exchanging and sharing ideas while having at the same time a personal range of expressions. Thus, they won the competition of the Taroudant University in 2006 which was completed in 2010. Another collaborative project is the Guelmim Technology School which was completed in 2011. This project was short-listed for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. They also worked on the Laayoune Technology School, the Jacques Chirac School Group in Rabat, the BO 52 mixed-use in Casablanca or the Casablanca Grand Stadium competition. They try to combine a modern and contemporary approach while being very sensitive to the context and the spirit of the place, trying to find a meaningful and poetic sense of the space. Their work has been awarded by the Mimar Sinan Prize in Istanbul, the Archmarathon Award in Beirut, among others. Their work has also been published in numerous international publications and has been exhibited in Venice, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Melbourne and Milano.
Raoul Vecchio graduated in Architecture and Engineering in 2015 at the University of Catania at. Humanitarian activist for emergencies and development, he specializes in human rights, assistance to victims of violence and Peacebuilding. In 2014 he founded the Humanitarian Organization Balouo Salo, of which he is president, dealing with projects in the diplomatic, media, planning and implementation fields. The projects are always focused on the objective of resolving emergencies and fostering self-sufficiency in the rural communities of developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. He teaches locally and internationally at Masters and Universities, and collaborates with NGOs and international organizations for development planning and the resolution of emergency situations in emerging countries. He is the writer of numerous books on architecture and humanitarian activism. Among his most important architectural projects: an anti-salt dam in Senegal to deal with a rare environmental phenomenon that causes malnutrition and poverty to over 80,000 people, the construction of solar wells with water decontamination systems to reduce infant mortality, the construction schools and educational centers to reduce illiteracy, the construction of shelters for women victims of violence. The approach is devoted to self-construction and community participation by means of educational workshops and the involvement of beneficiaries. Since 2015 it has raised awareness and trained over 25,000 inhabitants in 85 rural villages in southern Senegal, and offered educational support to over 18,000 schoolchildren in Senegal. He carries out continuous diplomatic and mediation activities and training of the local and international community on sustainable development and human rights. His humanitarian commitment has been recognized with various awards in the field of international solidarity and with honorary awards in the places where he operates.
Grazie Maria Nicolosi
University of Catania, Italy
Sebastiano D'Urso, PhD and associate professor of Architectural and Urban Composition at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania. He carries out research activities looking at the contaminations of architecture with other disciplines. He shares research results to foster further contaminations by publishing them in journals and monographs.
Co-Founder Balouo Salo, Italy & Senegal
Moulaye Diebate, also known as Jali, co-founder of Balouo Salo, was born in Baghere, Senegal, in 1983. Inheriting an eight-century long tradition passed on from father to son, Jali is a griot. He has an innate passion for the kora, a traditional musical instrument of the Mandinka ethnic group, which is widespread across West Africa. After obtaining his scientific high school diploma, Jali moved to Dakar where he began his studies in Economics, but his music brought him to Italy, where he has been living since 2004. Jali is a cultural mediator with many years of experience in the field of Immigration. He is also enrolled in the register of experts at the Court and the Chamber of Commerce of Catania and he has proven experience in Translation/Interpreting in many foreign languages. In 2020, he graduated in Linguistic Mediation Studies with a dissertation titled "Migration and Refugee Rights in the European Context". Moulaye Diabate has also collaborated with national and international institutions and organizations in the field of linguistic and cultural mediation, as well as with NGOs in the field of protection of children's rights and integration.
Dario Luigi Distefano is the founder of the innovative SME archicart, where he coordinates the technical and R&D departments. After graduating in engineering, Dario obtained a PhD in urban and territorial risk assessment and mitigation, developing his patented corrugated cardboard panel technology. He collaborates with several universities as an expert in low-tech and low-carbon building systems. Dario is vice-president of the non-profit association Balouo Salo, engaged in several humanitarian projects in the Casamance region, southern Senegal.
Grazie Maria Nicolosi
PhD University of Catania, Italy
Grazia Maria Nicolosi, PhD, is a subject expert in Architectural and Urban Composition [SSD ICAR/14]. She conducts research activities aimed at urban and architectural design and computational experimentation. She participated in the Erasmus programme at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Valladolid, and she conducted several study trips: to London in 2013, to Japan in 2017, and to Stuttgart in 2018 at the Institute for Computational Design and Construction. She is the author of monographs and scientific essays, among other things, on sustainability and aesthetics in architecture.