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The City in the Image

The City in the Image
Vibok Works, 2018.
Finalist XIV BEAU Awards / Research and Publications
Authors: Davide T. Ferrando
Epilogue: Marco Trisciuoglio
Edition and Prologue: Paula V. Álvarez
Graphic Design: Vibok Works

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The City in the Image gathers a variety of contents that we seldom find together. A quick look at these pages will make us wonder about the enigmatic relationship between the recent and brutal transformation of the suburban landscape under the pressure of financial urbanism and the codification of the city in Western culture visual memory over the past five centuries. As we dive into the contents, Davide T. Ferrando will be proposing many other associations between topics and images that, at first glance, might seem unrelated.

Whether they are the sophisticated technical images of the digital age or the elaborate images created through traditional media such as painting, engravings or the first photographs, these visual materials serve the author to explore and underpin a single idea: that urban images, far from being neutral, are always a political fact. Modelled by our perception and at the same time outlining it, urban images can be read as the visual manifestations of deeply intertwined systems of territorial, social, cultural and media-related factors. As expressions of the way we understand, represent and transform the city, they also provide a valuable tool to reconstruct the complexity of the urban realm, bringing it to a thinkable dimension.

Ferrando deploys these arguments—through close and tangible examples—in three autonomous chapters that shed light on one another. In them, he enters the invisible network of matter, people and messages that lies between the flat surfaces of what is visible, raising the following question: what effects do urban images have in the understanding and the very conception of the city and the urban realm, with all the social and political burden that this entails?

Davide T. Ferrando is an Italian architecture critic, researcher and curator, particularly interested in the intersections between architecture, city and media. He holds a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design at ETSA Madrid (2012) and received his Ph.D in Architecture and Building Design from the Politecnico di Torino (2012) with a dissertation that approached the genesis of the idea of urban landscape. He was an adjunct professor at Politecnico di Torino and Università di Ferrara, and has been a Post-Doc University Assistant in the Department of Architectural Theory and History at the University of Innsbruck since 2016, where he researches and teaches on architecture and social media.

Ferrando has published numerous articles and critical essays in books and international journals specialised in architecture. He has also edited several books and has curated various exhibitions focusing on Italian architecture. In 2016, he was scientific consultant for the Meeting the Commons section of the Italian Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, and curator of the Festival Architettura in Città of Turin in 2017. He has been a scientific advisor of the Fondazione per l’Architettura / Torino since 2017.