Planet Earth Is Our Only Home
By Augusto Ferretti
The photos in A BETTER PLANET, A BETTER WORLD project are just a few examples of the marvelous planet we live on. There are spectacular and pristine locations throughout the globe that Alessandra Mattanza has captured in her travels. Oceans, landscapes, and scenes, along with indigenous flora and fauna, inhabit her photographs with a sense of peace.
Unfortunately, due to private interests and indiscriminate land use management, we are destroying more of these places. Each day, we are losing more natural habitats in and around our cities.
It is our fundamental RESPONSIBILITY to RESPECT and PROTECT NATURE in every aspect and possibly gain it back where it has been lost. The least we can do is mandate the incorporation of nature into our designed environments wherever possible.
As an architect, I have studied and witnessed how, over the past two centuries, our buildings and infrastructure have severely, and often detrimentally, impacted our countries.
We have spent the last decades designing and building non-stop often using quick, cheap, and easy construction methods. The integration of nature has not always been successful or even enough. This is why SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE has now become the most important branch of the construction process.
SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE and GREEN BUILDINGS are designed to reduce the negative environmental impact of buildings by incorporating efficiency and moderation in the use of MATERIALS, ENERGY, and DEVELOPMENT SPACE.
It is fundamental that we incorporate efficient use of systems and water by utilizing RENEWABLE ENERGY and reduce pollution and waste by introducing new measures for their reduction. I believe it is our moral and ethical duty to create not only good indoor environmental air quality spaces, but also utilize MATERIALS that are NON-TOXIC, ETHICAL, and, most of all, SUSTAINABLE.
Our designs must enable adaptation to a changing environment and integrate nature into our projects as a requirement for new structures.
Environmentally, GREEN ARCHITECTURE helps reduce pollution, conserve natural resources, and prevent environmental degradation. Economically, building operators reduce excess costs for water and energy and improve the productivity of those using the facility.
Socially, GREEN BUILDINGS are meant to be beautiful and cause only minimal stress on the local infrastructure. In fact, they can improve air circulation, as well as emotionally impact our own lives with places of calm, nurturing beauty.
We all have to gain from pursuing these goals. I personally appreciate when the promotion of WORLD PEACE and ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS THROUGH ANY KIND OF ART FORM is represented publicly.
THE ARTIST’S ROLE IS CRITICAL. Creative expression is vital to a healthy and open-minded society.
ARTWORK INSPIRES PEOPLE, gives them hope, and can touch souls in a way words cannot. The artist has a unique skill set to influence and help others. I believe ART can be THE BEST METHOD to INSPIRE THE CREATION OF A BETTER PLANET.
Born in Rome, Augusto’s formative teenage years were spent studying in Tokyo, Japan, before returning to Italy to graduate from Rome’s prestigious La Sapienza University where he received his Italian Architectural Master’s degree and practicing license. Influenced by the rich architectural history of both countries, Augusto developed early on a passion for structural design and architectural ideology.
Upon graduating, he moved to New York in 2001 where he felt he could experiment with a wide range of styles and forms, and began working as a freelance designer for exhibitions, art installations, and trade shows. Projects included utilizing lighting design in New York Art galleries and exhibits.
In the following years, he expanded this work to include several large-scale exhibition projects throughout the United States. As a multi-talented and diverse designer, Augusto oversaw and coordinated art exhibitions such as the Italian artist Gaetano Pesce’s large-scale Pesce for Lunch exhibit at the ICFF; the inauguration of the Italian Emigration Museum in New Jersey; the Moleskine New Notebook Design Launching Party; Inner Earth Exhibition at The MACC Art Museum; and most famously, he curated, designed, and built the photographic exhibition of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Images in tandem with the director’s retrospective at MoMA.
During this time, Augusto expanded his architectural portfolio by working as a freelance designer for New York architectural firms on residential and commercial projects, utilizing his specific interest in contemporary design and minimalist features. Partnering with local architects, he contributed to the planning and building of a wide range of projects that included residential complexes, private mansions, restaurants, galleries, landscaping, as well as landmark and industrial renovations.
As his body of work grew, he began branching out as an individual designer, allowing him to focus on a more artistically inspired career. He began personally designing commercial and residential spaces that included both interior design and exterior renovation work. In 2010, he formed crAft-nyc, an architectural design studio involved with interior renovations of residential and commercial spaces and exhibition design.
Today, Augusto is working on the design of several townhouse and luxury apartment renovations in New York, as well as lobby designs, and is planning more exhibition work in museums, galleries, and in the urban environment as well as in nature.