Green Table: looking to the future


AMDL Circle, Terracotta Station Ph Filippo Bolognese

The first edition of the Green Table international forum for architect and design of the future, has been held in Perugia. A hybrid event marked by thoughts, projects and sustainable behaviours.

4_Green_Table_ ACPV progetto sede Enel Roma

AMDL Circle, Terracotta Station Ph Filippo Bolognese

Perugia, an ancient city in the green heart of Italy, has carved out a key role in the debate on sustainability in the design world with the first edition of Green Table, an international forum on architecture and design of the future. Held in the wonderful auditorium in the former spaces of the 13th century church of  San Francesco al Prato, it attracted architects and designers such as Patricia Urquiola, Cino Zucchi, Stefano Boeri, Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto, and Massimiliano Fuksas, philosophers like Maurizio Ferraris and Aldo Colonetti, scientists such as Stefano Mancuso and Cinzia Chiriacò, entrepreneurs like Franco Caimi and Filippo delle Piane, not to mention economists, representatives of the institutions, musicians and artists.

The speakers gathered three at a time around a green table designed by Michele De Lucchi, to examine problems, perspectives and solutions relating to urgent sustainability issues bound up with the design world. The four main strands were urbanistics, landscape, architecture and design, which inevitably intersected. More than 20 round tables were held during the forum, some live and others recorded over the last few months in Italy and Europe, with contributions from places like Munich, featuring the designers Matteo Thun and Anne-Sophie Schwarz, and Barcelona, featuring the architects Benedetta Tagliabue and Daria De Seta. The aim of the Green Table, backed up by a digital platform that contains all the contributions and is always live, was to generate a cross-cutting community and spark a collective awareness that would inspire concrete and definitive actions.

A model that would appear to respond to the concerns of the neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, who opened the forum with an alarm signal: “The human race is in danger of extinction (not the planet, which will continue to exist even without us!) because of deforestation. Trees are the prime source on which human life depends - of the 6,000 billion initially present on Earth, there are now only 3,000. A good 2,000 billion have been destroyed over the last two centuries. Every year another 15 billion trees are lost.” Mancuso’s proposed solution draws on the plant world: “We have to create widespread awareness of the problem and a mutual aid network, like that of trees, and come up with a set of relational solutions, a great roadmap for our future.”

3_Green_Table_ Pnat Stefano Mancuso

Pnat Stefano Mancuso, Mercato Coperto Prato, Indoor

Michele De Lucchi was fully in tune with Mancuso, stressing that a change of paradigm is a truly urgent manner: “The issue of sustainability has revolutionised the way we think. My design 'circle' is responding with the Earth Stations: they’re not science fiction stations, but stations for living on earth and looking after it, it is our heritage and we have a duty to defend it. Five Stations were inspired by the climate, and also geared to social sustainability: the imbalance of wealth in the world is an even more immediate problem, on which the ability to solve the climate crisis depends. The Stations are models for our projects.”

1_Green_Table_AMDL Circle _Bamboo Station

AMDL Circle, Bamboo Station Ph Filippo Bolognese

Patricia Viel also reflected on the need for a revolution on the way we design, saying: “architecture should be a cultural tool that operates at landscape rather than at object level, it should be spread through an infrastructure of thought that goes deeper than design, organising design in a workflow, a methodological flow.” She also underscored the need for all projects to be monitorable in terms of performance and evolution over time.

There is also a cultural as well as social and environmental side to sustainability, discussed by the architects Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto, specialists in exhibition design and urban planning: “Cultural sustainability means pooling our wealth, cultivating skills, relationships between people and things, between people and places. It also involves the issue of accessibility: openness not just to those who have difficulties in seeing or hearing, but also to those without easy access to knowledge. If museums spoke to every cultural level, they would attract many more people.” 

2_Green_Table_ Migliore+Servetto Architects

Migliore+Servetto Architects, Busan Blue Line Park The entrances Ph Jae Young Park

The IN/ARCH Italian National Architecture Institute, the ADI Association for Industrial Design and the Italian National Council of Architects were the scientific and cultural references for the Green Tables, organised by the  Guglielmo Giordano Foundation and Media Eventi. Andrea Margaritelli, President of the Giordano Foundation and IN/ARCH had this to say: “We achieved a positive outcome from every point of view, not just numerically but also in terms of the level of involvement. We reached maximum capacity for the events held in the auditorium, carved out of a 1250 building, and one of the most modern in Italy in terms of digital infrastructure. The Green Table created especially designed for this non-profit event and generously donated by the architect Michele De Lucchi formed the physical meeting place and the symbol around which the community gathered.
As well as the large public attendance, the forum was also a major success on a remote front, thanks to the interactive Wyth digital platform, which allowed users to access the meetings at their own convenience and from all parts of the world, and to network with the speakers at and the partners of the event. More than 3,000 registered users formed the initial nucleus of this sensitive and active sustainability-conscious community, which was the real aim of the event.” One of the most innovative aspects of the event was a special video camera set up in the middle of the table, which took  360° shots, allowing online participants equipped with virtual reality headsets to follow the proceedings as if they were actually in the middle of the table.

5_Green_Table_ AMDL CIRCLE Log Station

AMDL Circle, Log Station

6_Green_Table_ San Francesco al Prato i

Green Table, San Francesco al Prato installation micromegasuoni by Ipercollettivo

7_Green_Table_ Migliore+Servetto Architects

Migliore+Servetto Architects, Busan Blue Line Park, The Rainbow Tunnel, Ph  Jae Young Park

8_Green_Table_ Migliore+Servetto Architects

Migliore+Servetto Architects, Busan Waterfront, Ph Hoyeon Shin


Pnat Stefano Mancuso, JFB Jellifish Barge, Floating greenhouse  Ph Matteo De Mayda

10_Green_Table_ Pnat Stefano Mancuso JFB

Pnat Stefano Mancuso, JFB Jellifish Barge, Floating greenhouse  Ph Matteo De Mayda

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29 October 2021