Design Disruption

Prathima Manohar

The webcast and podcast series Design Disruption will explore these shifts and address other disruptive issues like climate change, inequality and the housing crisis — through chats with visionaries like architects, designers, planners and thinkers; and by putting forward creative solutions; reimagining the future of living and built environment. The series is co-hosted by New York-based architectural writer Sam Lubell, who has written ten books about architecture, and contributes regularly to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Architectural Digest; and Bangalore-based Social Entrepreneur Prathima Manohar, founder of think do tank The Urban Vision. Our goal is to provide an international perspective, mixing guests from different continents. read less


Design Disruption with Mario Cucinella -Technology & Craft
Design Disruption with Mario Cucinella -Technology & Craft
We speak with talented Italian architect Mario Cucinella about his firm's unique merger of technology and craft. Bio: Born in Palermo, Mario Cucinella (1960) is an Italian architect, designer and academic, particularly renowned for his environmentally sustainable buildings. Graduating from Genoa with Giancarlo De Carlo in 1986, in subsequent years he worked with Renzo Piano in his Building Workshop in Genoa and Paris. He founded his own practice, Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA), in Paris in 1992 followed by Bologna in 1999. MCA now has a team of 90 professionals with a variety of expertise, including architectural, engineering, urban and regional planning, and industrial design. The practice’s mission is to create projects with a reduced environmental impact in an ongoing attempt to conserve energy. Using the most innovative technology, combined with environmental sustainability, ethical behavior and positive social impact, buildings such as the Sino Italian Ecological Building (SIEEB), Beijing, Center for Sustainable Energy Technologies in Ningbo (China), new Town Hall, Bologna, 3M headquarters in Milan, project for ARPA (regional environmental agency) in Ferrara, “La Balena” nursery school, Guastalla which replaced the public nursery school damaged in the 2012 earthquake, and One Airport Square in Accra, a mixed-use building located in a commercial area under development. "Holistic design, sustainability applied to the building and rational use of resources is at the heart of Cucinella’s work and research. All his projects point to the long-term positive impact each building should have on its surroundings and natural, social, economic and urban regeneration. Working side by side with clients and communities, Cucinella has always adopted architectural concepts which convey the beauty, richness and resources of local cultures.” Projects under construction include the University Center in Aosta, with the renovation and transformation of a former barracks totaling over 56,000 sq.m., new “Sud Salento” hospital in Maglie, City of Health and Research, Sesto San Giovanni, and new surgical and accident and emergency center, I.R.C.C.S., S. Raffaele Hospital, Milan. Two iconic buildings are under construction in Algeria, ARPT (Post and Telecommunications authority), inspired by the "Algerian desert landscape where dunes appear like natural buildings, shaped by the wind and sand", and University Hospital Center, where the "physical and visual are integrated in green areas and areas for patients and visitors(...) promoting humanization and environmental control", referencing traditional care spaces in Islamic culture. With the aim of developing and disseminating architectural principles aimed at respecting the environment, in 2012 Cucinella founded Building Green Futures, a non-profit organization which combines environmental research and technology in developing countries. In 2015, Cucinella also founded SOS - School of Sustainability, a post-graduate academy “focused on the application of sustainable architecture, from urban to production, development to advanced communities, integrating education, research and practice in a multi-disciplinary context.