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Urban Cultures lunch seminar: ECÒL, Olivia Gori 04/03

Thursday 4 March 2021, 12h00

Macrolotto 0, the Creation of a New Domain of Expression
Click here for the Zoom link.

The story of the Macrolotto 0 neighbourhood is an interesting one. From its development as an industrial compound during the first industrial revolution to becoming one of the largest Chinatowns in Europe, its streets have pretty much seen it all. Majorly developed on private initiative, the urban fabric of this area of the city of Prato can be read as a continuum of factories and commercial activities voraciously devouring ground at the expense of public space. The result: in the Macrolotto 0 there is no clear border between public space and commercial space. The street and its – often narrow – sidewalks have become a place to sell, buy, advertise, meet and socialize equally. Furthermore, the fact that the Macrolotto 0 is today almost entirely inhabited by the Chinese community has created interesting urban scenarios as well as controversial dynamics inside the neighbourhood and has made this place a particular case study for social, urban, and economic models and speculation. In the past five years, the Macrolotto 0 has also witnessed some of the earlier examples of tactical urbanism and has played a role in understanding the potentials of informal architecture and planning.
This presentation will discuss the evolution of the Macrolotto 0 and its relationship with public space through the experience of the studio’s first projects and their impact on the social dynamics of the neighborhood.

ECÒL is a multidisciplinary practice and research platform based in Italy (ecol.studio) which develops unconventional strategies and aesthetics as a way to address contemporary issues and needs.

Olivia Gori is an Italian architect whose work focuses on public space and urban regeneration through site-specific design interventions. In 2016, she co-founded the interdisciplinary design-led practice ECÒL through which she has been carrying out her professional activity together with theoretical research in the field of urban regeneration and the search for new aesthetic possibilities within less privileged contexts. In 2019, parallel to the activity of the studio, she worked as a research fellow at the Faculty of Architecture of Florence, for which she managed the systemisation of the design and research activities carried out in the academic field in the territory of the municipality of Prato. Thanks to various collaborations, she curates and contributes to numerous publications on the topic of suburbs and has worked internationally as an expert in urban regeneration processes. Recipient in 2017 and 2019 together with ECÒL of the Premio dell’Architettura Toscana and in 2018 of the Premio Gubbio awarded by the national association for historical and artistic Italian centers.