Mankind and the environment at the heart of architecture: Manni Group partners with the YACademy 2020 high-level training courses

The cooperation between Manni Group and YAC – Young Architects Competition continues: following a successful first edition of the Manni Group Design Award, which focused on designing the new Xi’An Train Station in China, the Group will be the main partner of the high-level training courses that will begin in the autumn.

YACademy is an architecture academy based in Bologna that promotes international design competitions and training programmes for today’s “young architectural minds” who are set to be tomorrow's professionals.

Four courses are scheduled for the 2020-2021 academic year: this year, lessons will begin between September and November and will be held both in the classroom and online, with face-to-face teaching, company visits, lectures by professionals and workshop activities; participants will then have the opportunity to start an internship or collaboration with one of the partner studios.

The key topics will be the environment and mankind: the Architecture for Humanity, Architecture for Exhibition, Architecture for Heritage and Architecture for Landscape programmes will put architecture into context, linking design themes and topical issues.

Leading professors

Daniel Libeskind, Paolo Matteuzzi (Zaha Hadid Architects), Giuseppe Zampieri (David Chipperfield Architects), Shigeru Ban, Kazuyo Sejima, Eduardo Souto De Moura and Michele de Lucchi: these are just some of the starchitects who will serve as lecturers in these four training courses.

It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young architects to learn directly from experts, as well as being a prestigious partnership for Manni Group. In fact, after a successful experience with the international jury of the Xi’An Train Station Contest, it has maintained contacts and continues to exchange views with the world’s leading architects and designers.

Four training programmes focusing on mankind and the environment

The first course, starting on 21 September, is inspired by the current global situation and, in particular, the economic and ecological crisis that had already led to a humanitarian emergency before the pandemic even began. Architecture for Humanity considers architecture as a response to mankind’s basic needs: after analysing the global scenario and discussing it with some of the most influential humanitarians, participants will be involved in designing a nursery school on the atoll of Tarawa, the capital city of the Republic of Kiribati, capable of withstanding the extreme weather conditions that are becoming more and more frequent in this natural paradise. Professors will include: Shigeru Ban of the Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban Architects studio, Kengo Kuma, who founded Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990, Giancarlo Mazzanti, Tatiana Bilbao and Anupama Kundoo.

The Architecture for Exhibition course, which will begin on 23 September, will be aimed at training expert designers capable of implementing a wide range of artistic and museum experiences, enhancing all the different stories behind each cultural initiative. The professors involved will include Daniel Libeskind, who in 1989 founded his well-known architecture firm Studio Libeskind in Berlin, Paolo Matteuzzi, who joined Zaha Hadid Architects in 2002 and worked on the MAXXI project in Rome, Giuseppe Zampieri, founder of the David Chipperfield Architects office in Milan, and Patrick Lüth, director of the Austrian office of Snøhetta. The course will be held in cooperation with MUDETEC - Museum of Technologies of Automobili Lamborghini and will offer participants the opportunity to help set up the Lamborghini Museums for 2021, envisioning a museum experience focusing on the history, innovation and identity of one of the world’s best-known brands.

The two courses, starting in November, will address the topic of landscape and the environment from two different perspectives.

Architecture for Heritage will provide designers with the necessary tools to discover and preserve the legacy of historical architectures, drawing inspiration from them in order to integrate contemporary buildings, including archaeological and industrial sites. The course will end with a project for the Rocca dei Conti Guidi in the Municipality of Modigliana (in the province of Forlì-Cesena), an iconic fortress in a medieval village located in the heart of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, which will house an international school of architecture and design. Kazuyo Sejima of the Japanese architecture firm SANAA, Benedetta Tagliabue, the artist Edoardo Tresoldi, Alberto Veiga, Fokke Moerel and Stefano Russo are just some of the professors who will provide participants with theoretical knowledge and guide them through the planning process of the final project.

Finally, Architecture for Landscape will focus on the pure natural environment as the stage for design: participants will learn how to design architectures suited to the specific characteristics of each landscape, always working in close contact with the surrounding environment. An excellent example of this is the subject of the last workshop: the construction of a dispersed hotel and a treehouse system in the French village of Repère. During the course, students will be guided by professionals of the likes of Eduardo Souto De Moura, founder of the architecture firm of the same name and winner of prestigious international awards, Michele de Lucchi, one of the stars of Alchimia and Memphis and former head of Design for Olivetti, Larry Toups, a contributor to numerous NASA studies, Giulio Rigoni of Big Bjarke Ingels Group, and Paolo Fortuna of Snøhetta.