The Future is a Journey to the Past by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects

An exhibition curated and designed by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands, 29 November – 1 December, 2023, sponsored by Gessi

“The Future is a Journey to the Past” explores the past and present of sustainable thinking. This overview provides the ideal context for the kind of ecological practices that are now necessary to help bridge the divide between the natural world and human activity – including, of course, the way we build.

Photos Courtesy of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects

In this way, architectural history, in all its global richness, becomes a relevant source of inspiration to educate us about our sustainable heritage in vernacular building, in particular, while providing us with tools to become future guardians of the global environment.

For example, new solutions through planning and innovation often require expensive and complex stratagems, however, a journey into the past reveals how, in eras when sustainable thinking was a necessity, humans created ingenious practical solutions that we still have much to learn from.

Photos Courtesy of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects

While nature has offered us the sustainable environments of the termite nest and beehive, of forests and the very structure of trees and plants, human ingenuity once shaped the stepwells of India, the ice houses of the Iranian desert and the city of Hyderabad in Pakistan that catches the wind to naturally ventilate its buildings.

These and other examples are featured in the exhibition at WAF and many of them are also discussed in Mario Cucinella’s book that gave its name to the exhibition and is available at the WAF bookstore.

Photos Courtesy of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects

The exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of Gessi, Italy’s leading design manufacturer of luxury bath and kitchen systems with a showroom in Singapore – Casa Gessi Singapore – located in an architecturally interesting 19th century Victorian building. Details here

Mario Cucinella will be speaking at WAF on Wednesday November 29th on the Main Stage 1:10PM – 2PM followed by a book signing on the Oro Stand for The Future is a Journey to the Past – 10 Stories about Architecture (Quodlibet, 2022). Source and photos Courtesy of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects.


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