Ephemeral permanence

Ephemeral permanence
The festive machine of the Baroque celebrations in Rome transformed the public space. Painting: Filippo Gagliardi and Filippo Lauri, “La Giostra dei Caroselli”, 1656, Museo di Roma.
Stories of temporary architecture: mapping the traces of what has not remained. A way to understand modern public spaces: rituals, events, people.

Alessandro Pasero
Milan and Rome, Italy.
Team members
Alessandro Pasero
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Multimedia, Curating, Research
Project category
Public space
Project submitted

Alessandro Pasero is an architect and researcher living and working in Milan, Italy.
He moves on the border between architecture, research and site-specific installation. His practice deals with space as a storytelling media to investigate possible alternative narrations.
He completed his studies in architecture between Milan and Brussels and he graduated at Politecnico di Milano in 2021. He collaborates with architectural offices while being involved in research and teaching activities. His personal and collaborative work has been shown in Milan, Brussels, Labro and Rome.
He has been trained as an architect at Salottobuono (2021-2023) and has collaborated with Yellow Office, Matilde Cassani and other international practices. Currently, he’s working as the exhibition design architect of the 2023 “Paris Internationale” art fair for the office Christ & Gantenbein.
Recently, he’s being shortlisted for the Gibellina Festival by Triennale di Milano (2022) and invited to join the “Curatorial practices in the public space” round table to discuss his practice (Feb. 2023).
He is a collaborator of the research platform “Assume there is a Landscape” and a contributor of Elle Decor Italy (architecture) magazine.
On September 2023 he will present his paper “To be temporary. Learning from the Roman Summer, 1977-82” at the Italian Congress of Urban Studies and on November 2023 he will publish on the Journal of Architectural Design and History a piece titled “A spectacular city. On the 1989 Pink Floyd floating concert”. Both of this works are part of a wider ongoing project on the value of temporary and non-permanent architecture in the contemporary public spaces.
Moving across practice, academia and personal research Alessandro Pasero tries to understand what his agency – as a spatial practicer – can be today: questioning the need of building and rather working with space as a narrative device.

The project is an ongoing research framework that tries to investigate ephemeral architecture and its potential in our contemporary public spaces. Such architecture, despite its temporariness, constructs a permanent and alternative imaginary for the city, for its use, its functioning and its construction. “Ephemeral permanence” deals with the importance of what is supposed to disappear, and yet leaves traces in other ways.
"The ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable", wrote Baudelaire about the dual soul of modernity (1863): this research project investigates ephemerality to verify its potential in the construction of a particular kind of urban and collective permanence for our times.
Being aware of the contemporary knowledge of the consequences and meanings of "building" as an architectural and therefore political act, the project was born from the intentions to construct a history of architecture (or rather histories) that look at the unbuilt and the non-permanent with the same degree of seriousness as one does towards the built space.
And this is the reason why the project is articulated both through research works (papers, publications, lectures) and projects (events, temporary interventions, unbuilt proposals and performances). Both of these two macro-categories are tools to study the potential of the ephemeral and reflect on local traditions, urban rituals and specific socio-political conditions.
From a historical point of view (in academia) "Ephemeral permanence" is a filter through which to re-read modern events or phenomena from a different point of view, as lessons to be learnt today, while from a design point of view, it is a series of different design outputs, from exhibition design to installation. This project proposal needs to be considered as a framework, as a method, and as such flexible around its core points.