Maria Joao Cunha
I am a young milanese architect but I grew up in Rome, the cradle of classical culture, and thanks to my high school education - devoted to humanistic subjects - over time I’ve cultivated sensitivity and respect towards pre-existence, as a bearer of historical and cultural values belonging to the collective imaginery. However, I also believe in the role of reinterpretation, as a tool of dialogue between new and ancient, in order to retains the complexity of the past by translating it into simple, contemporary means.
That’s why I’m following a professional track oriented on topics such as urban regeneration and landscape design. To pursue an architecture that is not self-referential, but arises from context and for its benefit, that appreciates and renews the aesthetic and historical value of material respecting the economy of means. Finally, I strongly believe that architecture should move in the direction of care rather than exploitation and I hope to make my contribution in this change.
In a symbiotic relationship, the result of combined forces is empowering and enlarges the potentiality with the minimum effort.
How can sinergy affects our thinking of humanity?
In the first six months of 2021, at least 1,146 people lost their lives while risking the journey to European shores. Additionally to the “search and rescue” effort, we need to create fixed rescue spaces. The ocean is a hostile place, it devours everything with its corrosive fury. Our artifact is an oasis in the marine desert for all those who escape from the fear of the endless horizon.
Its textile forms an intelligent skin, transforming movement into electricity signalizing the presence of a human in danger with the pulsating enlightenment.
The so-called piezoelectric fabric converts kinetic energy into electric power. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes, the more electricity it generates, enough power to light an LED, send wireless signals or drive small electric units.
The special feature of these fabrics is that they can be produced at low cost and thus adapted to a very wide scale of application, and can withstand extreme mechanical deformation without performance degradation.
At the same time, the fabric improves the efficiency of water collection from fog, and once it crosses the column, it gets filtered into freshwater. The fabric switches between absorbing moisture directly from the air when it is foggy and cold, and releasing it as water at warmer temperatures. The construction combines the vernacular archetype of the shelter with the current technical progress.