Elisa Dainese is the winner of the Bruno Zevi Prize 2017
Following a careful evaluation of numerous essays submitted for the competition, the jury has decided to award the 2017 Bruno Zevi Prize to Elisa Dainese for the essay entitled The CIAM Construction of “Habitat”: From the Modern Project to the Cameroon Hut for the following reasons:
This essay fully meets the stated competition criteria. In particular, the jury appreciated the originality of the argument discussed in the essay, as well as the quality and effectiveness of the text, which we found to be rigorous, erudite, and insightful. The underlying theme of the paper is the concept of the “habitat” in the context of post-WWI CIAMs. It subsequently provides critical and interpretative tools for the understanding of the new settlement phenomena generated by the rapid demographic expansion in the post-colonial world. At the center of this analysis we find, for example, some memorable moments related to the CIAM 9 held in 1953 in Aix-en-Provence. On this occasion, the participants began investigating the questions of modernism and modernity (which are still relevant today), opening up the discourse to the issues of cultural hybridity, in particular as it concerned various African countries and their unique housing traditions. The essay sheds new light on a little-known chapter in the history of the CIAMs, providing us with new analytical instruments for understanding the role played by Africa in the redefinition of certain key paradigms of modern architecture in the post-WWII period.