“I have always thought as a non-architect that architecture is crucial and destined to return to that of Leon Battista Alberti, Michelangelo and Borromini, just to name familiar names even to non-specialists. An open discipline, made up not only of aesthetic and functional research but above all of extensive knowledge based on a humanistic approach, which today is called holistic approach.
Before being vertical knowledge, architecture and design create horizontal connections within society, between nature and human beings, between values and behavior, connections that if they have value remain over time. Partly because we are all extremely fragile beings living on an extremely fragile planet where everything has been connected since long before globalization and the digital age.
This is why I believe architects, designers and the cognitive ecosystem that supports them are on the front line serving the planet and the community. Because the balance between imagination and preservation, memory of the past and vision of the future depends on their work.
It is with this spirit that Domus welcomes 2023 by calling not one but two architects – Steven Holl and Toshiko Mori – to its scientific leadership. A “couple-not couple,” as Editoriale Domus President Giovanna Mazzocchi Bordone called it, who will be the first duo to hold the scientific directorship in the history of the magazine founded back in 1928 by Gio Ponti and Gianni Mazzocchi. And who hails Toshiko Mori as the first woman to board the deck of an idea that for ninety-five years has brought the world to Milan and from Milan imagines the world.
Steven Holl and Toshiko Mori do not need my introduction. Leading figures in the architecture scene, as well as in the global cultural jet set, they are both based in New York. The United States [is] a country that beyond the development of other areas of the world remains an essential reference for all those involved in architecture, design and art, as well as anyone who is interested in the transformation of lifestyles.
In 2023, Holl and Mori will introduce “reflective and refractive perspectives” that help us think about the lives we live, and create a “collective platform to promote an open dialogue.” This is the original meaning of the purpose of Domus, which I believe in and have been promoting since my arrival thanks to the trust and possibilities granted by the publisher. Rather than separating the traditional categories of architecture, art and design, today we need to recognize that everything is connected. Climate change is not only related to an idea of development, but also to social migration, preservation of the natural landscape, and urban conditions. This is why the boundaries among architecture, design, and art look more and more like “blurred frontiers,” just like the title of the Manifesto of Domus 2023.
We believe that 2023 is a turning point year. Not only for us at Domus, as we turn the halfway mark of the 10x10x10 project, but for the world. This is because the difficulties that we are already seeing are actually a great opportunity for knowledge, development and improvement. We can only say that we will be there and will try to contribute as always and even more. Therefore, we thank Steven and Toshiko and give them a warm welcome to Domus.”
– Walter Mariotti
Read more about Steven Holl and Toshiko Mori’s guest editorship at Domus.
Photo © Ramak Fazel; covers © Domus