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The Architecture of Knowledge

© Federico Scarchilli

Federico Scarchilli has documented the most important and oldest operating European universities.

The oldest one is University of Bologna, which has been founded in 1088 and it is also referred as "Alma Mater Studiorum", that means "Prolifc Mother of Universities" suggesting an intellectual nourishment to its students. The modern university system has its roots in the medieval Europe, indeed the word university is Latin for “universitas magistrorum et scholarium”, which means "community of teachers and scholars". So Europe became a cauldron of different cultures that blend and unite inside these places.

Aiming the documentation of these melting pots, in a period where European values are in crisis, my project is a witness of the old world uniquenesses; which it has also been built inside universities walls. The idea of the Architecture of Knowledge is to have a great architectural variance in a single body of work. When entering in a university we can understand more about a country than travelling around it, because these places trace their own history through, paintings, libraries, museums, halls and architecture.

However, even though universities have all the same function, which is to spread education, they differentiate each other because of their own culture and origin. In this way variance becomes precious for giving distinction and for reinforcing any identity; and this is why Europe is the most visited continent: all the diversity that did contrasted, in a good or bad way, has created one of the uniquest part of the world. For sure that is also a merit of universities, in fact, as a proverb says: “If You are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people”.

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