Main _ utilitas _ parasites in the city


Parasites in the city


AUTHOR: Simone Porfiri
PLACE: Various
YEAR: 2019
STATUS: Unbuilt
INSTAGRAM: @s_porfiri


This work investigates the vocabulary of forms that are generated as a corollary of the human activity of inhabit, and, more specifically, by the practice of use. These parasites in the city landscape complete the architecture and landscape condition with their function and therefore with their shapes.

Antennas and technical installations on roofs and terraces, abusive volumes obtained on building artifacts, piping systems, air conditioning systems, technological systems for communication and energy management (pylons, antennas, wind turbines, silos, etc..) redefine a new landscape, and compose a language made of superfetation and shapes spread all over the territory which tends to be marginalized and hidden to the background.

These technical and functional elements have played a central role in the history, becoming integral parts in the design of the city and architecture, and having their own aesthetic value according to the paradigm of concinnitàs (as a synthesis of the Vitruvian triad of utilitàs, venustàs and firmitàs) such as Roman aqueducts, salt warehouses, granary, stables, etc. Nowadays utilitàs seems to have partly assumed an autonomy of language that goes out of the logic of the unitary project, a virus of devices that accumulate, spontaneously, as parasites in the city landscape text, without having a properly urban and qualitative vocation; a sort of collateral effect that is generated as a direct consequence of inhabiting.

The images proposed provocatively overturn this reality relegated to a secondary side; a series of fragments that reconstruct a parallel reading of a world made of marginal forms and often recognized as an element of disturbance or degradation, yet necessary for human life. A sort of complementary and inevitable city contaminated by parasites in the city landscape; it is the story of the forgotten things that claim their aesthetic condition becoming a monument; the redemption of the minor (and in any case necessary) that regains the dignity of being part of the city and the landscape scenery.


Simone Porfiri is an architect based in Sarnano (Italy). He was born in 1988 and he earned his master’s degree in architecture in 2015. He is working in the field of architecture and landscape design and as university tutor following urban design and composition laboratories. He is also active in the field of research using the instrument of drawing/collage to make experimentations to study the city and the landscape features and transformations.


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