Icon selects San Rocco as Emerging Architect of the Year

“Books of Copies” at the 13th Venice Biennale

have been announced as the recipients of the inaugural Icon Award for Emerging Architectural Practice of the Year.

However, San Rocco is not your typical architectural practice. Departing from the traditional model, San Rocco is a collaboration of firms with different disciplines; Instead of buildings, they are known for their publishing projects.

AD Interviews: San Rocco at the 13th Venice Biennale

During the 13th Venice Biennale we had the chance to interview the team behind San Rocco: Matteo Ghidoni, Giovanni Piovene and Pier Paolo Tamburelli.

is a very particular architecture magazine, described by its creators as something that “does not solve problems. It is not a useful magazine […] is neither serious nor friendly”, a curated selection of writings around particular topics related to the current state of architectural thinking and criticism. has a five year plan, a limited time frame where 20 editions will be published with topics that range from “Scary Architects” and “Collaborations”, to “What’s wrong with the primitive hut” or “Houses for billionaires”.

Book of Copies at Museum of Copying, Venice Biennale © Nico Saieh
Book of Copies at Museum of Copying, Venice Biennale © Nico Saieh

During the 13th Venice Biennale, San Rocco was present in two exhibits at the Arsenale, including the launch of their project “Book of Copies” at the “Museum of Copying” exhibit curated by FAT. ”Books of Copies” is an online database comprised of images that can be copied in order to produce architecture. As such, “Books of Copies” are receptacles of a collective form of knowledge that we can provisionally call “architecture”. During the Biennale, visitors can photocopy and remix their own magazines.

San Rocco can be found online, or as part of the itinerant Archizines exhibit. You can connect with San Rocco on Facebook for more updates.

San Rocco 01 / Islands

“… if someone who has a valid point of view wants to give it an audience, he has no choice but to start a magazine.”
- Eno Dailor
On Pamphlet Architecture 1-10 [1998]

Magazine is a new architecture magazine conceived under a five-year plan which researches on their creators fields of interest. Their second issue covers the subject of ISLANDS in whatever meaning you can imagine for the word “island”. As they wrote:

An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water.
An island is any object lost in an endless extension of a uniform element. As such, the island is isolated.
The island is by definition remote, separated, intimately alternative.
The island is elsewhere.
Islands can be natural or artificial: atolls, rocks, volcanoes, oases, spaceships, oil rigs, carriers.

Based on Gilles Deleuze book, L’île Désert et autres textes, the magazine is divided in two main blocks: oceanic and continental islands. Can we talk, then, about the possibility of architectural islands? More after the break.