Sergio Giusti

Places of work, places of culture.

Milan, like many other European cities, is a post-industrial city.
The city’s urban fabric is filled with areas and buildings that testify its manufacturing past, where social relations have developed around factories, large or small.

Today, almost all of the manufacturing buildings have lost their original function, and one of the urban challenges that must be faced is the transformation of Milan with strategic choices for their conversion.

The larger areas have already been transformed into new residential neighborhoods, with offices and services, but the work that the students of the CFP Bauer School did, focuses on the spots where the process took place with cultural aims. A reclaiming of this kind, in fact, retrieves these areas, returning them to the community with a renewed purpose.

The work starts with the buildings of the area 6 of Milan, where many conversions have taken place according to this logic, and then develops throughout the entire city.

The focus of the project lies within each work, where the photographic sequence is a kind of exploration that through samples, surveys, inputs and outputs, concentrates the attention both on the overall vision and on details, even small or seemingly insignificant. It can be intended as a study of those elements that link to the past, or a focus on the contrasts created by the building’s new use. Often these elements are combined within the same photographic investigation to underline the complexity, the contrast and sometimes even the problems that could arise.

Regardless of the success of the various projects, the aim is not to report a hierarchy of values - a private or a public transformation - but to enhance the responses to the different needs expressed by the citizens, following the belief that if workplaces were and are cultural places, places of culture have been and still are places of work.