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The geometry (alchemy) of nature

by AdminAg

Written by Monica Camozzi
Photos by Anna Antonelli

Architecture is an art form, often confused with construction. My interest in the cosmos also comes from there.

Insufflating the soul into a perfect form already foreseen by the cosmic architect.
“Symmetry immediately identifies a living form, forms have been thought of in a universal way, they are part of the universe itself. When we use them, we start from physical laws that we cannot even imagine”.  When he speaks, Duilio Forte betrays a passion for architecture, his elective subject. But reading his artistic ‘manifesto’, the perception is distinctly philosophical.

A demiurge that acts as a bridge between the world of ideas and the – imperfect but sentient – world of reality translated into artistic expression.

ArkiZoic, this is the Manifesto born to coincide with the anniversary of Darwin’s birth, outlines the cornerstones of an artistic style based on the centrality of the vital spirit.

That breath, anemos, which has unequivocally characterized our planet for 450 million years.

“Like Geppetto with Pinocchio, Duilio Forte instills the breath of life into the already perfect forms of creation”.

I interview you following the points in your Manifesto

1) Put soul into your work: what do you mean?Having an attitude that leads to creating something with a life of its own. For example, my architectural-anthropomorphic forms set in a natural context create such a contrast that they also enhance nature. They live a life of their own in osmosis with the context. It is the composition of the whole that gives it soul.

“Architecture is an art form, it is often confused with construction.  My interest in the cosmos also comes from there.”

2) Use the mathematics and geometry of nature. How do you translate them into opera?
Nature has everything in it, often if you have an idea to make something the most interesting forms are simple, cheap, follow universal principles. Nature wastes nothing. And its geometries recur: what looks like a dune to our eyes, leads back to a microscope image. I draw on these archetypal geometries and bring them to life. I am passionate about science, but I am also attracted to mythological fairytale narratives and the fantasy world.

“If I had to define my position, I would say between Back to the Future and Leonardo”.

3) Give space to chance, error and the unfinished. This is my favourite…
Error is a principle of evolution, if there were no randomness there would be no evolutionary drive. The important thing is to be aware of what you are doing and to go a little beyond what you had thought, otherwise it is almost useless to realise it. A good example of this concept is the violinist: he plays a score but the piece changes depending on how you play it, the soul you put into it, the creativity you express. Thus, you give dynamism to the performance.

“Paganini cut the violin strings on purpose to create chaos”.

4) Is this why you say you use heuristics
(Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts, formulated to arrive at a decision more quickly, ed.)

You don’t have to follow a single path, because unforeseen events can suggest improvements. I am interested in the emotion you can build through the function. I also make changes to the design at the time of assembly.

5) Use traditional materials and forms. Which is?
If we have been using bricks for six or seven thousand years, there must be a reason. If we have used cotton or linen to make painting canvases, likewise.  

Wood, I use mainly in the development of large architectural works such as in the Sleipnir series, Odin’s mythical eight-legged horse, which merges with the tradition of the Trojan horse both to conquer fortresses and arsenals, and to glide lightly over the Venice lagoon or in the lakes of the Swedish Bergslagen.

 Iron, on the other hand, dominates in sculptural plastic.

The two materials bind together to create works with special characteristics. Structures that are light and at the same time very strong. Two ancient materials that combine to define a world projected into the future with deep roots in the past, history and tradition.

“There is no truth. There are things that are correct up to that point. Until proven otherwise.”

6) What attracts you about science
Science was somehow invented by Galileo with a new way of reasoning, with a repeatable method. As for the adjective ‘scientific’, I think we attribute qualities to a word that it does not have. A scientific truth is not apodictic: Einstein’s relativity overturned classical physics and the Newtonian paradigm. Scientific truth is a somewhat absurd definition, sooner or later the time will come when someone will disprove that assumption.

It is not an act of faith but a replicable mechanism…until proven otherwise.  

These years have made us realise that contemporary man thinks he has exhaustive knowledge of nature, but 500 years from now they will see us as we now see Galileo.  We need to scale back.

“These years have made us realise how ridiculous it is to think we have an exhaustive knowledge of nature.”

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