| 15. November 2023 – The speakers

Mario Cucinella, Mario Cucinella Architects, IT-Bologna/Milan

For Mario Cucinella Architects sustainability is an exploration of an empathetic way to approach the design, regeneration and renewal of our towns and cities from different perspectives.

Mario Cucinella is the founder and creative director of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects, an international design firm based in Bologna and Milan, specializing in research focussed on environmental issues. In 2015 Cucinella founded SOS – School of Sustainability, a post-graduate training centre for professionals. In 2018 he was curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale with the exhibition “Arcipelago Italia“. The follow year, he founded MCA Design department dedicated to working with the circular economy and introducing close collaborations with renowned Italian companies. The impact and importance of Cucinella’s work, both from an environmental and social point of view – and as an architect and educator – has been recognized with the Honorary Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects (2017) and with the International Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2016).

In his talk „Sustainability and Empathy“ Mario Cucinella will explore sustainability as an empathetic way to approach the design, regeneration and renewal of our towns and cities. His studio has tackled this from different perspectives. For example in 2019, MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects completed a bold restoration and remodelling community project – the Palazzo Senza Tempo – that is at the heart of reviving the small Tuscan hill town, attracting new life and cultural pursuits into the region.  On a wholly different scale, the architects are working in Milan on a garden city inspired scheme called SeiMilano. Located in the green belt, SeiMilano will extend Milan in a way that is about attracting a healthy and active way of life. The SeiMilano sports park is a focal part of this wellbeing concept. These projects and others discussed during Cucinella’s talk will highlight the importance of integrating sustainability as part of the very culture of a place.

Binke LenhardtCROSSBOUNDARIES, CN-Beijing

Crossboundaries believes that renewal nurtures community, preserves memories, and shapes spaces.

Binke Lenhardt is co-founder and partner of Crossboundaries, established in 2005 in Beijing. She graduated from architecture in Germany and the United States and worked in both countries, before moving to China in 2002. She is a registered architect in Germany and appointed member of the BDA (Association of German Architects) and AIA Associated Member. Binke Lenhardt has been practicing for about two decades working on diverse projects in Germany, Holland, the US, and mainly China.

Crossboundaries develops long-lasting buildings that are technically innovative and made for people in materialization, functionality, and atmosphere. In their work, they view designing as a process marked by research and exchange. With this way of working, they have successfully managed very different projects in the past – from production facilities, to recreational facilities for children, to cultural buildings. The international team is educated in Asia, Europe and North America and combines local cultural experience and transnational expertise.


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