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VOID | Part of the "Four Conversations on a Changing World Between Canada and Italy" Series



VOID | Part of the

Wednesday, September 23 | 12:30pm EDT


The ongoing global pandemic is forcing us to rethink the word VOID, that we all experienced with the lockdown and the social distancing - an empty space in our homes and cities, but also a feeling of unhappiness because someone or something is missing. Instead of filling the void, we'd like to explore the positive and generative possibilities of new forms of the empty space with Davide Pizzigoni, architect, scenographer and artist, author of The shape of the empty space, and Bruce Kuwabara, one of Canada’s leading architects, founding partner of KPMB Architects, in conversation with moderator Francesca Molteni.


BRUCE KUWABARA | Founding Partner, KPMB Architects

2020 09 23 kuwabara bruce 1Bruce Kuwabara is one of Canada’s leading architects. His unwavering belief in the power of architecture to implement social change and maximize cultural, environmental and economic potential has earned him an Officer of the Order of Canada, the RAIC Gold Medal and the Ontario Association of Architects Lifetime Achievement Award.
His exemplary projects include the LEED Platinum Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University, Canada’s National Ballet School, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, and the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa. Recently completed works include the Remai Modern art gallery in Saskatoon, and the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Bruce serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, co-chairs the Design Review Committee for the University of Toronto, and is the former chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel. In fall, Bruce was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from McMaster University.

DAVIDE PIZZIGONI | Architect, Scenographer, Artist, Author

2020 09 23 pizzigoni davide 3 websiteDavide Pizzigoni was born in Milano and attended university in Rome where he graduated in architecture. His first painting exhibition, presented by Alessandro Mendini, was held in 1986 in Milano. In 1987 he began a collaboration with Olivetti and designed posters, covers and litographies, which culminated in 1990 with the publishing of a drawing book about the cities of Arabian Nights. In 1994, he designed the set and costumes for Die Frau Ohne Schatten by Richard Strauss at the Zurich Opera House, direction by Cesare Lievi. One year later he designed the set and costumes for the world premiere of Gesualdo by Alfred Schnittke, at the Staatsoper in Wien, directed by Mstislav Rostropovic. From 1992 to 1995 he was in charge of the worldwide advertisement campaign for Bulgari. From 1996 to 2007 he designed the accessory collections for Bulgari. In 1999, he designed his first porcelain collection for Bulgari. From 1999 to 2003 he published four books dedicated to lyrical operas : The Magic Flute, Carmen, Madama Butterfly and Rigoletto. They were printed by Abbeville Press in U.S.A. and by Mondadori Electa in Italy. In 2003 he started his collaboration with Bruno Magli shoes, designing couture collections. In 2002, he was given the task, from the New National Theatre of Tokyo, to design set and costumes for several operas and ballets. L’Heure Espagnole by Maurice Ravel, was performed in February 2004, together with the ballet Bolero and Dapnis et Chloè. Così fan tutte, by W.A. Mozart, was performed in march 2005. From 1995, the stage experience led him to begin his research about the space, which turned into a real investigation about The shape of the empty space. This research was based on ethical and philosophical thoughts that took him to explore the physical and metaphisical dimension of the empty space. In October 2005, his installation The breath of the empty space at Arènes des Lutèce was showed in Paris during the Nuit Blanche. It was a multimedia installation where volumes, lights and sounds were performed at the old roman theatre of Paris. Pizzigoni’s studies about the empty space are still carried on. The last developments require the construction of settings with mobile parts that change the space at sight, underlining their dynamic and plastic capacities. As a consequence of the research on the space, he designed sets for the TV programs Ultrafragola (2004) and Ultrafragola II(2005), dedicated to the architecture and design world (on the satellite channel Sky Cult). In 2010, he designed his first Jewelry collection for Rosenthal. Since 2008, Davide Pizzigoni has been working on the theme of invisibility, focusing on three different directions: Guardians of the museums. The people of the XXI century, who don’t exist anymore. The body of the space, everything that is in between things. He had personal exhibitions in Milan, Rome, New York, Tokyo and Osaka.



molteni francesca 1Francesca Molteni graduated in Philosophy in Milan, studied Film Production at New York University. Since 2002, she produces and directs films and documentaries, and curates design exhibitions. In 2009, she founded MUSE Factory of Projects, a production company based in Milan. Latest films include, ‘Superdesign. Italian Radical Design 1965-75’ (2017), ‘The Power of the Archive. Renzo Piano Building Workshop’ (2018), and ‘NEWMUSEUM(S). Stories of Company Archives and Museums’ (2019). She is the author of the book Oggetti d’impresa [Objects of Enterprise], Carocci 2016.



Alessandro Ruggera
Director, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto

alex 3 finSoon after the outbreak first hit China, Italy and the world, it became clear that it was not to be a temporary, superficial disruption. The drastic measures of containment and the strict lockdown imposed by the authorities in order to limit the spread of the virus, as well as the constant exposure to the threat of an invisible danger, have forced us all to abruptly and radically modify our social and daily life habits. Social relationships, work environments, use of public spaces, all the different aspects of our lives have suddenly changed in a way that would have once seemed inconceivable. A moment of serious reflection and thought is necessary in order to start drafting a new theoretical framework to respond to the transformations.

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto has called upon eight thinkers, each in different fields, to reflect upon the changes and transformations imposed on our lives by the effects of the pandemic.

Together with curators Sascha Hastings and Francesca Molteni, we have chosen to focus on four key concepts: Void / Body / Breath / Care. The Italian and Canadian thinkers will each discuss the transformation from their own perspective as it relates to their individual field of expertise. Using these four concepts as metaphorical cardinal directions, our hope is that the outcome of the discussions will give us a sense of direction as we navigate through this collective experience.



Wednesday, September 30 | 12:30pm EDT

Wednesday, October 7 | 12:30pm EDT

Wednesday, October 14 | 12:30pm EDT



Data: Mer 23 Set 2020

Orario: Dalle 12:30 alle 13:30

Organizzato da : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Ingresso : Libero