Campi Salentina (LE), Italy, 2010

“Every time an old man dies in Africa, it is as if a library has burnt down” (Amadou Hampâté Bâ, a Malian philosopher). Today in many communities of Africa the wisdom of the elderly continues to be respected. In a research carried out in Senegal, respondents of various ages stated that knowledge depends on age and the elderly are considered “sources of knowledge” in key fields such as agriculture and health. In the West, attitudes towards the elderly are negatively affected by the idea of ​​aging (“State of the World 2010”, Worldwatch Institute).

Until the sixties in the countryside of Salento local farmers used to build the so-called “pajari“. They were very simple structures, made with waste material from the workings of the fields such as the pruning of the olive trees used for the load-bearing structure, the straw used for covering and the peel of the chickpeas used for waterproofing. The pajari were at no cost, quick to assemble and lasted even ten years. We created one with the help of some elderly peasants who built them up to more than forty years ago. The Salento Green Architecture Workshop is a path of research and awareness that wants to give importance to simple architecture and the process of socialization to which they bring if self-built. Recovering the knowledge of the elderly by promoting and reactivating the ancient building techniques we believe may have important social consequences. In fact, we believe that in the face of current problems of impoverishment and depletion of resources, an architecture that rediscovers natural and technical values ​​capable of increasing the resilience of the community becomes indispensable.

Team: Paolo Robazza, Fabrizio Savini, Caleb Murray Burdeau
Type of project: experimental workshop
Cost: 2.000 euros
Dimensions: 20 sq.m.
State: completed
Participants: Emanuela Grasso, Stefania Stamerra, Filippo Stievano, Andrea Serena, Claudio Cantore, Emanuela Grasso, Gabriella Bonaccorso, Vincenzo Antonucci, Valeria Capodieci, Claudia Di Paolo, Elisa Ceccarelli, Rossella Arma, Luigi De Carlo, Roberta Biscozzo, Barbara Melcarne, Marco Patruno, Eleonora Loche, Cinzia Tarantino, Virginia Meo, Chiara Birattari