Mario Cucinella: Creative Empathy: Creativity and Responsibility in Architecture

MCA. Aosta, Polo Universitario
Mario Cucinella Architects, Aosta, Polo Universitario. rendering / Engram Studio
MCA, ARPT, Algeri.
Mario Cucinella Architects, ARPT, Algeri. rendering / MIR
Mario Cucinella Architects, Aosta, Polo Universitario. rendering / Engram Studio Mario Cucinella Architects, ARPT, Algeri. rendering / MIR

Mario Cucinella is the founder of Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA), an architecture firm based in Bologna, Italy where he leads an international team of architects and engineers. With more than 20 years of professional practice, MCA has extensive experience in architectural design and urban planning with particular attention to energy issues and the environmental impact of buildings.

Cucinella's most significant projects include: the Sino-Italian Ecological Building in Beijing; the Municipal Building in Bologna; the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies in Ningbo, China; the new Headquarters of 3M Italy in Milan; and the Regional Agency for the Environment ARPA in Ferrara; the Kuwait City School in Gaza, designed in collaboration with UNRWA; the Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et des Télécommunications headquarters and the new University Hospital Center in Algiers.

Cucinella received an advanced degree (Laurea) in architecture from the University of Genoa in 1987, where Giancarlo De Carlo mentored him. From 1987 to 1992 he worked as project manager by Renzo Piano in Genoa in Paris. From 1998 to 2006 he taught at the Faculty of Architecture in Ferrara, Italy. Since 2004 he has been teaching as an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham in England. In 2013 he was a guest professor in emerging technologies at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technische Universitat in Munich and in 2014 he was a guest professor at Faculty of Architecture Federico II, Naples.

He is currently the director at Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) and regularly holds conferences in Italy and abroad. In 2014 he worked as a tutor with Renzo Piano to the project G124 for the recovery of the suburbs in Italy.


The lecture will focus on the contribution that architecture and buildings can give to sustainable development. Cucinella's presentation will reference the work done by his architecture firm (MCA) and the initiatives of Building Green Futures, a nonprofit organization he has recently created to promote the principles of sustainable architecture in developing and underdeveloped countries.

Cuinella will explain his approach to sustainable architecture, which takes into account the environmental performance of a building. According to this approach, each building has the potential to redesign, not only the internal spaces, but also the surrounding natural, cultural, and socio economic systems. Buildings can recreate the intimate relationship or “creative empathy,” linking places, their inhabitants and local technologies, thus enabling the achievement of enriching and enabling environments for life and work.

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