MAXXI in azione / MAXXI in Action
TARGETPrimary and secondary schools, families, adults
‘MAXXI in azione’ (‘MAXXI in Action’) was the first project about MAXXI’s architecture, and a blueprint of sorts that generated a long series of events and experiments with various target audiences. Based on an idea by Sarah Dominique Orlandi (Metaflow), the project presented the challenge of telling schools about an architectural project that was still in the design stage. Begun in 2006 when the MAXXI’s building designed by Zaha Hadid was still a construction site, ‘MAXXI in azione’ for nearly ten years measured the creative design-related evolution of learning through architecture at MAXXI. Over the course of the time, themes, strategies, and tools have been modified and replaced, gradually calibrated to achieve new objectives starting from the needs of an increasingly numerous target audiences but also as concerns the development of a construction site that, day after day, revealed the building in all its concreteness and space to be experienced. Hence the project made room for the object, the idea for the space. Hundreds of participants in the activities were witnesses, together with the educators, to this transformation. Even today ideas, reflections, experiments emerged and carried out in those years are fruitful and provide materials for new workshops. The first version of the educational project was divided into three workshops: ‘The Construction Site’, ‘The Museum’, ‘Hadid Effect’. When the museum building first opened to the public in 2010, these three parts were uniquely combined when it came to an examination of a space that was built and entirely perceivable and accessible. Architecture at MAXXI became the first learning tool at the heart of the project. The name ‘MAXXI in azione’, alluding to the performative and active nature of both the project with its learning strategies and MAXXI’s architecture, encompasses and preserves the topicality of this experience. Every workshop was evaluated by means of different strategies and tools, the process of evaluation and its outcomes helped MAXXI Educazione to rethink the workshops themselves as well as learning tools and approaches, and design new activities. ‘The Construction Site’ How does MAXXI’s construction site reflect the innovation of Zaha Hadid’s design? How can the memory of its landscape be preserved in time? In this open-air workshop the secret of MAXXI’s construction were discovered, gazing at it as though it were an artwork, capturing architecture in progress.
‘The Museum’ Which functions must the space of the museum fulfill? How did Zaha Hadid’s successful project satisfy the client’s request in an innovative way? The students worked on MAXXI’s spatial arrangement, identifying the specific features of the winning project and creating graphic compositions associated with poetic words. ‘Hadid Effect’ How does a sign become architecture? During the workshop the youngsters understood the processes of conceiving an architectural work, the synthetic force of Zaha Hadid’s sign, and her ability to remain coherent during the creative process; they thus developed an idea for a project starting from their own sign which they attempted to use despite the difficulty in maintaining their identity, going from the two-dimensional to the three dimensional volume. For a further exploration of the project: Bilotta, Sofia, Branchesi, Lida, and Curzi, Valter, eds. Io capisco solo l’arte antica. Educare, apprendere e interpretare al MAXXI, Roma: MAXXI, 2018