IF you've spent any amount of time in Italy, you've probably met a million different architects.
They're like ants here you know! So many of them around!
In fact, there has been research that indicates that Italy has one of the highest per capita rates of architects in the world. You can check that out here.
Renzo Piano is one of Italy's (and the world's) most respected architects. His projects are like a map of their own: the Shard in London, The New York Times Building, the Pathe remodel in Paris, the temporary Auditorium del Parco in L' Aquila...they're innovative and bold buildings that have added something new to every context.
I don't know how well it's gone down in the UK, but Piano's recent interview with the Guardian, in which he reflects on the importance of the creative process, and of how building sandcastles is both engrossing and ephemeral, is becoming a bit of a viral hit on Italian social networks.
And let's face it. Italians need something to celebrate. Rome has been getting a hard time in the press and Italians here are up in arms that the NYT have stepped into the fray. Why don't they worry about what is happening in New York rather than bother us, seems to be the bottom line behind the sentiment.
So, how refreshing that in this very hot summer, there's another publication that actually celebrates someone Italian. And perfect, just in time for these long days at the beach.
If you want more specifics, go straight to the source.
I'm off to the beach today, but as I'm heading there with an architect friend of mine, I'm not gonna give it a try. It would be like being pee shy if I tried to follow Piano's instructions with an actual architect watching over my shoulder. I ain't got time for that.