Fabrizio Gallanti

Usucapio. I fought the law and the law won

Starting from the political struggles of the ’70s, in Italy we have witnessed to the phenomenon of illegal squatting and the creation of self-managed social centers. Since the beginning of this story, the intertwining of politics, matters that are purely legal, urban planning and issues of built heritage has proven extremely complex. Over time there has been a consolidation of some of these centers, which have then used his legal instruments of the old “bourgeois enemy”, the State, to ensure the continuity of their action. Or, on the contrary, the institutions have acted in derogation of the laws and regulations in order to suspend their activities. The effects of this scenario are multiple: brownfield and derelict buildings, preserved by the occupants have acquired a status of political monuments, able to withstand the commercial logic of the city. Or we assisted t phenomena of gentrification partially induced by their presence. New types of spaces, shared services and cultural activities, the emergence of new community based on political affinities and punctual interests, the normalization of the so-called antagonist area are some of the elements of a trajectory that consistently has always moved at the margins of legality , thus forming infinite moments of exception. Leoncavallo in Milan and Cox 18, Forte Prenestino in Rome, Officina 99 in Naples are some of the more fanous names of a story that almost forty years is another of the zones of uncertainty, but at the same time of social dynamism of contemporary Italy.


Fabrizio Gallanti (Genova, 1969).

Architect (M.Arch Universita di Genova 1995, Ph.D. Politecnico di Torino, 2001). Founding member of the colltective gruppo A12 (1993-2004) and the architectural research studio Fig-Projects (2003-now). He has taught architecture design and architectural theory in Chile (Pontificia Universidad Catolica and Univesidad Diego Portales, 2002-2006) and Italy (Politecnico di Milano, 2007-2010). He has written for international magazines such as A+U, Domus, San Rocco, Clog, Journal of Architectural Education. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the architecture editor and web editor of Abitare. Between 2011 and 2014 he was the Associate Director Programs at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Canada, responsible of exhibitions, public and educational programs. He is the first recipient of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities 2014-2015 senior professorship, with a research and teaching project on the relationship between economic growth, urban development and architecture in contemporary Latin America.