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Building as a Verb


This paper describes the approach of architecture/urbanism practice and research workshop “orizzontale”, based in Rome, Italy.
The approach of the group is heuristic: it is to get involved, to put themselves on the line, to “play the game”. As a machine that absorbs and transforms every kind of things, orizzontale has a clear attitude for mutation over production. The act of building things is a primary tool the group uses to build communities, link them together and create confidence in the idea of a better society.
Experimental does not mean “avant-garde” but rather “empirical, exploratory, in-progress”. The scientific attitude toward fact-finding and result-testing is an integral part of orizzontale approach, together with the artistic aspects of the work. Among the strategies adopted by the collective a special attention should be given to the attempts to translate in a spatial language the ideas, very literally. The results of this process can be called “spatial metaphors”, “discursive buildings” or “talking machines”. What orizzontale leaves behind is not necessarily a construction, but the process which is able to build up knowledge, consciousness, and trust.

Pages:7 to 40
Section: Art and Activism
How to Cite
Ammendola, J. (2019) “Building as a Verb”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(3), pp. 7-40. doi:

Author Biography

Jacopo Ammendola is an architect, designer and researcher. He studied Architecture at Università di Roma Sapienza and at FAUP Porto. He is currently a research fellow and PhD candidate at the Department of Architecture of the Università di Firenze in Italy. The focus of his research is the construction of contemporary public spaces. As a multidisciplinary explorer, he examines the intersections between architecture, landscape architecture, urban studies, social sciences and communication design. He co-founded Orizzontale in 2010.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658