Wannabe troublemaker, hacktivist and designer Fabrizio Gesuelli at Prokalo

Prokalo_Fabrizio Gesuelli_Web

Tuesday the 28th of April, Minto House Common Room – 5pm followed by drinks, nibbles and discussion – DON’T MISS THIS ONE!


Fabrizio is an architect, founder of the recently established firm FREUMh and he is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate at ESALA, the University of Edinburgh. Both his research and practice investigate the links between architecture and activism, hacktivism and social inequalities. He graduated in architecture from the University of Rome la Sapienza. His research has been awarded ‘… ehm, sorry academic labelling is really not my cup of tea – do these aspects; knowing where I studied, whether the research was awarded or published or presented somewhere, really make you more willing to come to this presentation? If you really want to know you can find them all on the internet, so go and have a look yourself. Do come though if you are interested in seeing a wannabe troublemaker presenting his work!’ – Fabrizio


Remediating the social through protest architecture: tʌɪt and St Peter’s Square in Rome.


This presentation will present an ongoing research and architectural activist project in Rome that combines the use of a dynamic and ad-hoc object as cultural probe- provotype (Boer, L. 2012) with an auto-ethnographical methodology.

In the portico area just a few steps away from the famous Bernini’s colonnade in St Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy there are two worlds that occupy the same physical space whilst remaining invisible to one another. There is the world of passers-by: the tourists, Roman denizens, priests, etc. and the world of rough sleepers: people who are homeless, who use the porticoes as a temporary sheltered areas to sleep over night.

The questions that were posed when I found myself facing these situation were multiple: is it possible to realise a bridge between the two worlds? Are there any common grounds that can be highlighted? These questions are explored through a design object called tʌɪt (read tait, pr. tight). It is a dynamic object made out of recycled cardboard that can be both city bench and a mattress for rough sleepers, providing a means by which the latter does not have to sleep directly on the ground. The name of the object is an acronym;  tʌɪt – the adjustment is ten. Ten centimeters is the thickness of each cardboard panel, which constitutes the object and the distance between a body and the ground.

Tʌɪt aims at functioning as both open source architectural activist project and critical mass object. On the one hand, the idea of open source wants to challenge traditional practices (and also alternative practices) by being capable of manufacturing momentum and involving people- project drawings and instructions that provide so called (h)acknowledgements for architecture as advertisements are freely available for people to build up a network by either remaking the object or simply advertising it to a wider audience – On the other hand tʌɪt aims at remediating socially the two worlds. The recycled aspect is then not simply related to tʌɪt’s materiality: Rather the object extends the idea of recycling also to metaphorical terms- the production of social waste that can be remediated and converted into a potential new set of relationships.