The workshop in Mazzano Romano inspired me to search for answers to many questions that had risen or were re-discovered. My reflection is a collage of feelings, information about the history and cultural life of the town, expressions of people.
The oldtown, heat, smiling faces and constant greetings.
Old men playing cards at the bar, women signing outside until late.
The wine and sunglasses filter.
Hiding Faliscan and Etruscan treasures, summer villas and apartments owned by foreigners, bilingual languages and different Italian-foreigners love stories, family relations.
The local celebrities of the community and communal support.
Long evening talks with wine.
Three tambourines and the dark archeology.
Calcata hippies and forests full of witches.
“Italy is freedom” – one Finnish resident described her relationship with the place. This intrigued me the most. Everyone’s perception of freedom is different and depends on personal and collective values, life experience and goals. It is most likely that this social happiness is hiding behind the cultural and historical heritage that one surrounds himself, especially by choosing one living location instead of another. One becomes part of the new history bringing his/her own values to play with the existing ones.
Knowing the praised social development of Finnish society the response of this woman triggered critical thinking in me. What actually can describe freedom? I identified a few first impressions that might be related to the freedom understanding in the Mazzano context in multiple realms:
- Hospitality, entertainment, care and attention coming from local people;
- You are happy with what you have, how it looks and want to provide and share it with others – self-confidence in your position;
- Openness – take out a table and some chairs, put it in the middle of a narrow street and enjoy the evening with neighbors, invite unknown people to join and share a conversation, wine. Just be there and enjoy life – less social constrains;
- Use wine, but do not become an alcoholic – part of the tradition, but maybe not the priority to get drunk (comparing with Eastern and Nordic countries and alcohol issues);
- More uncertainty – more adaptation to unpredictable situations – more self-confidence. If the bus is late, the post office is closed or certain public services do not work one might not become too stressed, just knowing that this might happen. But on the contrary – if one gets used to the punctual schedule and system, structure – any disturbances or abnormalities influence anxiety and stress (the bus is late for 2 min in Finland?) That means too much comfort and reliability on the system takes away humans natural adaptation capabilities and one becomes more dependent – less self-confident.
Where is the thin line?
Does socialism make your life boring?
Do you become boring to yourself if every time act based on the rules?
How much a too planned environment puts us into a box then we become boring to ourselves as a society? (dog in a fenced field, a child in a fenced field, a smoker in a box..)
Does planning eliminate unpredictability and spontaneous actions?
How much designing is too much?
Why historical, messy locations (their plan and architectural composition) attracts us more than the clean and neat places (freedom, less constrains?)? The messy origin of people mind is part of a place evaluation…
How messy bohemian lifestyle influence artists?
Why most likely neat, empty places will never be an inspiration or place of residence for them?
There are many answers to these questions, but my most interesting idea is how living conditions can foster the freedom of an individual and humanity as a whole?
Mazzano influenced me for sure to tackle these questions and continue my research in a wider architectural and planning related context.
People are the main components of the city. Only with certain social values, decisions, power relations and creativity the fascinating architecture and metropolis appear.