The term “Maestro” is derived from the eponymous Italian word meaning “master” or “teacher” which also refers to the sense of mentoring and respect. In the contemporary world, the role of the conductor, rhythm and tempo has largely shifted, with the aura of a single authoritarian figure on the podium quickly dissipating in favor of other, more open and creative forms of teaching, leading and rhythm-giving.
The architectural journal Il Quaderno invites paper submissions on the the manifold
expressions of the notion of Maestro in architecture. Rather than purely focusing on “dead masters” we seek submissions that creatively reflect on the idea of the Maestro: as a teacher, a form of inspiration, a form of learning; it could be a person -someone who is a teacher by vocation or maybe not, it could also be an idea or an experience.
In their Project “Cultura Materiale Extraurbana”, Superstudio learned from a seventy year old man from the Tuscan countryside called Zeno Fiaschi. In many ways an “ordinary” person— a peasant, a craftsmen, a citizen—he was also an extraordinary mentor showing Superstudio local tools and materials made to function and not to display, based on centuries of vernacular knowledge and experience. Relatedly, we ask a question—who is your Zeno?
Who is a Maestro?
Is it someone from a school, or someone who is a teacher more broadly, but not necessarily a professor by vocation; someone who operates outside the conventional teaching institutions.
Is a Maestro a person to begin with? Or, could we think of a city, or a landscape even, as a Maestro?
We propose that all architects, students of architecture, faculty and other members of the community could be seen as teachers and scholars. In many ways, teaching is a form of magic and a form of trust between (their roles could be interchangeable) a teacher and a student. The magic relates to the idea that the future can only be guessed and the trust relates to the idea that a Maestro must be convincing—charismatic even—in his or her ability to challenge the students to imagine a distant and very different future.
Rather than seeking submissions that are hagiographic, we are interested in thoughtful, playful and critical submissions that take on the idea of the Maestro in new and unique ways. Submissions can take the form of scholarly essays, 3,000- 4,000 words long, or shorter reflections documenting particular episodes of intersections with the Maestro. Essays could also be visual in nature, experimenting with still frames and visual documentaries that work together with various creative written formats. All papers must be original contributions. They must be written in English and could not have been published previously. All submissions will undergo a peer review process and those selected will be published in the forthcoming issue of Quaderno, the architectural journal of ISI Florence. Authors will be fully responsible for securing image rights and covering any image permission fees. All submissions must be sent vie e-mail to the journal’s chief editor, Franco Pisani, firstname.lastname@example.org. They must be formatted as Rich Text Format (RTF) files for the text and as 300dpi JPEGs for all images. The submission deadline is October 1, 2017.
Il Quaderno – the Architectural Journal of the International Studies Institute, ISI Florence, is a peer reviewed topical journal published twice a year which features and collects original contributions and ideas on architectural education.
INTERNATIONAL STUDIES INSTITUTE