The Berlage

Session Room K

From the Spoon to the City: The Milanese Architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni

Elli Mosayebi

Between 1945 and 1970, Milan evolved from a bombed city being rebuilt to Italy’s economic metropolis. Rapid modernization, economic boom, and social change combined to provide an extremely productive foundation on which architecture could evolve in a number of experimental projects. The work of the architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni (1913–2016) is emblematic of this evolution. Over more than eighty years, he created an oeuvre in that city that is characterized by heterogeneous themes and areas of activity. His most productive creative period was from 1945 to 1970 and hence falls in this exciting period of Milan’s architectural history. Residential buildings, conversions, interior designs, and furniture make up the major part of his work. His clientele was largely from the middle and upper-middle class of Milan, a group whose self-image was changing as a result of the democratization processes of the postwar period and the economic boom years between 1958 and 1963. They were seeking to update the architectural expression of their homes. The subject of the lecture is to show the thematic connection between the different scales of his projects—from the spoon to the city. The lecture will aim to introduce the theoretical concept of “ambiente” that Ernesto Nathan Rogers has coined in this historical phase.

This is the fourth in a seven-part lecture series entitled “The Architect as Generalist.” Scholars and practitioners will explore how architecture practice is inherently expansive and cross-disciplinary, from the Renaissance to the present. Lectures will examine how architects are not only comfortable designing buildings and cities but also furniture, exhibitions, books, films, fashion, amongst other things.

Since 2004 Elli Mosayebi has led the Zurich-based architecture office Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin together with Ron Edelaar and Christian Inderbitzin. From 2004 to 2008 she was research assistant at the Chair for Architecture Theory under Prof. Dr. Ákos Moravánszky, in which she completed her doctoral dissertation on the work of the Milanese architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni. From 2012 to 2018 she was Professor for Design and Housing at TU Darmstadt, where she conducted a comparative study of post-war European housing. Since 2018 she has held the position of Professor for Architecture and Design at ETH Zurich.

More events