Adriano Olivetti believed that the factory could be the focus for a new ideal community that could counteract the fragmentation of modern society. In the 1950’s, the Olivetti complex in Ivrea became a world industrial capital and a pioneering embodiment of his vision of ‘Comunità’ – a direct application of architecture to improve the living standards of the workers.

Participants will have the unique chance to immerge themselves in the cultural and material heritage of the Olivetti legacy in Ivrea: once again, we will scavenge the Olivetti archives, drift through industrial landscapes, encounter luminaries and (mis)use computational and graphical means to construct our very own architectural sensibilities upon the fragments of a once flourishing industrial epopee.

Ivrea is the most well-known place in Italy where the ideas of the Modern Movement in architecture found a fertile field of experimentation. The architecture of the city, linked to Olivetti, was made of the most radical and experimental ideas of young architects and planners, who had the possibility to create new models and languages in architecture.

The 1990s in Ivrea were marked by the productive and financial crisis of Olivetti that by 2003 caused the complete decay of the industrial units and the definitive transfer of the company trade-mark.

Today, Ivrea is a laboratory of several initiatives and the Adriano Olivetti Foundation and the City of Ivrea actively work together towards the valorisation of its modern architectural heritage.

In this framework, the collaboration between the AA and the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti through the AA visiting scool in Ivrea aims to catalyse several and diverse opportunities: the possibility to confront ourselves with a high quality architectural and cultural context left from the Olivetti legacy to the city; a territory open to cultural debates and experimental design proposals; a sensibility towards the themes of higher education and advanced research.

Olivetti Complex in Scarmagno - Ivrea - Building Site - M.Zanuso 1968