Science and Society meet in Architecture. Third edition.


Smart chicks, chimps good at maths, talking dogs: these are only few of the hottest topics discussed by scientists, artists and architects in a simple yet rigorous form in this third edition of Science and Society meet in Architecture.

The protagonists of this edition have both intrigued and involved the public, creating unusual dialogues and original performances following the file rouge of shapes, words, sounds, visions and flavours.

The 3rd edition of Science and Society meet in Architecture has been a great success in terms of public attendance: four days played to a full house with unique meetings, dialogues among experts and citizens, music, theatre pieces and food tasting.

Many were the novelties this year: starting with poetry readings from works by Ariosto, Leopardi and Verne to open the first evening, through to the national preview of the scientific theatrical piece “Pavlov’s Dog” , to images and sounds with the piano concert played by Arturo Stàlteri and the projection of two rare films for late evening-screening lovers.

Dulcis in fundo, science and architecture of taste offered inventions in gastronomy and delicious food appreciation. Tasting “coffee broth” and touching jelly prepared according to the rules of molecular cuisine were two examples of sweet interaction with the public.

Theatre for these events was the impressive Villa Caldogno, a suggestive location and a trait d’union among architecture, science, creativity and tradition.

After the welcome greetings on Thursday 16 April the evening kicked off with the poetry readings “From Earth to the Moon” : Ariosto, Leopardi and Verne performed by the actress Stefania Carlesso.

Discussing about Shapes has never been so amusing: the public went on a road trip between Milan, the Po valley, clouds and climate changes together with the architect and writer Gianni Biondillo (among his books “Metropoli per principianti” 2008), and with the climatologist Luca Mercalli (collaborator of the TV program “Che tempo che fa” ).

On Friday 17 the neuroscientist Giorgio Vallortigara (among his books “Cervello di Gallina” ) and the actor Neri Marcoré (anchorman of the Tv program “Per un pugno di libri” on Rai 3) confronted each other on the theme Words: animals and humans intelligence, language and other forms of communication, throughout curious video clips and witty anecdotes told by the protagonists themselves.

Laughing gags opened this second evening: Pierantonio Rizzato, accompanied by the sound played by Pierluigi “Igi” Meggiorin, proposed on stage the theatrical piéce “Pavlov’s dog” (national preview) by D. Lamberti.

What does an astronomer feel when peering into the space? What does a musician see when admiring the moon? The astrophysicist Andrea Possenti together with piano player and composer Arturo Stàlteri were the guests on Saturday 18, an evening fully dedicated to Sounds and Visions. The experience and thoughts of the scientists set against the artist’s creative ideas offered original insights on the observation of and listening to the universe.

“La mia pianta suona il rock”, a ‘natural’ performance of herbs and flowers to introduce the dialogue: plants’ voices with the musicologist Laura Silingardi took the audience deep into the world of the sounds of nature.

At 20:30 Arturo Stàlteri played on the piano his “Concert for the moon”, going back to the most moving stages of his musical history closely connected to the suggestions given by the outer space and by the stars.

Later on in the evening, for late-screening lovers, CinemaScienceArchitecture projected two rare films: Man on the Moon by Al Reinert with music by B. Eno (unpublished in Italy) and The Man Who Fell to Earth by Nicolas Roeg with David Bowie.

On Sunday 19 the four-day festival ended up with Science and Architecture of Taste. Around the theme of Flavours, the physician Davide Cassi performed unusual experiments of molecular cuisine, while the group Arabeschi di Latte (food designers e performers) played around the fully Italian tradition of the coffee espresso to blend art, design, cuisine, creativity and joviality. Lastly, a taste of coffee broth concluded the evening. Coffee and sweet specialties, offered by Lavazza and by the pastry chef Dario Loison closed the third edition of the festival with a touch of sweetness.

Youngsters and students’ imagination and creativity were integral part of the initiative. Two were the competitions set up this year: “Architecture in the Space” conceived for primary and junior high schools of the Istituto Comprensivo in Caldogno, a competition which saw the works exhibited in the “barchesse” of the Villa, and the brand new “Tell the Space”, a competition designed for the high schools of Vicenza in collaboration with the Vicenza district and the newspaper Corriere del Veneto.

The awarding ceremony took place on Sunday 19.

Science and Society meet in Architecture is an initiative promoted by Caldogno City Council and by the association Observa – Science in Society, Vicenza district, Abaco Architettura and Associazione Giovani Architetti Provincia di Vicenza (VAGA), with the participation of Librerie Galla, Hotel Vergilius, Tipografie Campisi, Corriere del Veneto, Loison Pasticcieri, Acqua Lissa, AutoTransfer, Lavazza.

Special thanks to Flavio Albanese, Valeria Arzenton, Anna Buccio, Patrizia Cazzaro, Roberto Cibin, Nicola Crovato, Stefania Crovato, Simone Cuomo, Daniela Doremi, Elisa Geremia, Giulia Mascarello, Ottavio Menara, Barbara Motterle, Marina Pase, Francesca Ponzecchi, Massimo Zancan, and all students, teachers and School Manager of the Caldogno Istituto Comprensivo.