We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Milan Navigli Canal Challenge" competition – Davide Caccia, Giulio Maria Rindi, Francesco Caputo and Andrea Cervi from Italy!

Honorable mention winners from Italy

The group was formed thanks to a friendship born in the context of common academic and working paths. Davide Caccia and Andrea Cervi carried out their entire university career at the Milan Polytechnic; Francesco Caputo divided his education between the IUAV in Venice and the Milan Polytechnic; Giulio Maria Rindi completed his Master’s Degree at the Sapienza University in Rome.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

The project stems from a few pivotal ideas that determine and modify both the large-scale layout and that of the areas around the perimeter of the Naviglio (canal):

- the possibility of expanding urban strategies useful to the city beyond the limit of the Naviglio (green areas to reduce the heat island effect, parking spaces for shared electric vehicles, tactical urban interventions to return public spaces to the community)

- the desire to integrate the cycle path within the area of the canal, so as to allow greater protection for cyclists and a better cycling flow without interferences between cars and bicycles

- the choice of having a continuous row of trees running alongside the canal in order to highlight the water course, thanks to the height of the tree crowns, and also increase the amount of greenery in the city.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

 We believe that the ideal role of the architect and the actual role are strongly detached from one other. An architect should focus on creating spaces, analysing the needs of society and people. Today, however, the dynamics of the economy and the large investment companies influence architectural and urban planning choices, impoverishing both the language of architecture and the urban layout of cities. Our desire is to overturn this paradigm, bringing Architecture to the centre.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

The decision to participate in a competition stems from the desire to confront ourselves with an independent project path - not tied to linguistic addresses dictated by the ideas of professors, in the context of university, or senior architects, within the dynamics of architectural firms - so as to make our own design choices, reaching a point of mediation with the other members of the group.

A further aspect, by no means secondary, concerns the desire to understand whether the project can be conceived and shared transversally by experts in the architectural and urban design fields.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Having taken part in competitions both as students and as recent graduates just entering the professional world, we would like to describe and distinguish the two experiences.

As a premise, we would advise both categories to participate in competitions as a learning experience. In the case of students, it is easier to divide time between a project carried out at university and a competition project, as university dynamics allow for greater flexibility. A competition gives students the opportunity to immediately experiment with the many ideas learned at university without the filter of professors and assistants.

For recent graduates, on the other hand, the time to devote to projects outside of work is less but, especially at the beginning of your career, it is important to understand what to focus on and competitions can be a great tool for doing that. Taking part in competitions for projects of different scales with different project groups allows you to understand strengths and weaknesses that can influence your future career. 

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