New Generations Festival: New Urban Challenges

June 30th, July 1st & 2nd at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome


The New Generations Festival is an annual event that brings together emerging architecture practices and professionals from various fields, creating a space for the contemplation and analysis of the architecture profession. Titled “New Urban Challenges”, the festival will take place this June 30th, July 1st & 2nd at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, in a hybrid format with a combination of virtual and public events. 

Registration for the public events in Rome is now open via the following webpage: The events will also be streamed live via the New Generations online media platform, and social media channels, such as FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

After Milan, Florence, Genoa, Madrid, and Warsaw, New Urban Challenges takes place in Rome, as the ongoing three-year edition of the New Generations Festival (2020, 2021, 2022) that explores the relation between the urban environment and six intertwined themes, two every year. The 2021 edition of the festival is based on the following two themes: ‘City & Technology’ and ‘City & Image’.

The Festival is curated by Gianpiero Venturini, on behalf of the New Generations Cultural Association, with the support of the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, AC/E through their mobility programme PICE, and Open House Roma. The project, promoted by Roma Culture, has been awarded the public tender “Estate Romana 2020 – 2021 – 2022” promoted by the Department of Culture of Rome.


The festival will be based on a curated selection of editorial projects and publications realised by emerging architecture and editorial practices. Participants have been selected through an open call that saw diverse submissions by over 150 emerging practices from more than 20 different countries. New Urban Challenges will feature a programme including a series of online and public events at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, followed by a travelling exhibition that will all illustrate and present some of the most engaging and stimulating current theoretical innovation in the field of architecture.


This year’s festival will tackle the following two topics:

(City and) Technology: while technology has always been a central part of human innovation, only recently have automation and hi-tech devices become such an integral part of our day-to-day lives. As we bridge the gap between our bodies and these devices, technology begins to visibly mutate the way in which we inhabit our domestic spaces. The rapid development of technology also paves way for speculation about the different possible futures that we are building in our contemporary cities and our collective imaginaries. How will the future of technological innovation affect our cities and the way in which architecture is not only conceived, but also produced and executed?

Keywords: technology, artificial intelligence, automation, devices, bodies, domesticity, isolation, loneliness.

(City and) Image: from Ledoux’s Architecture Parlante to Lynch’s Image of the City, urban theorists have always speculated on the city’s identity and the factors that influence the mental images we ascribe to our cities. However, in the heart of the information age where social media has become saturated with a panorama of methods to communicate architecture and urban space, how can we use research and experimental methods as a tool to reimagine the identity of our cities? Although social media spaces have fetishised the “architectural collage” and “pastel” aesthetic, perhaps its open and expansive nature can allow architecture to reconnect with a wider public. How can we rethink architectural representation in an increasingly virtual world where simulated environments are becoming more common everyday?

Keywords: communication, image, identity, representation, aesthetic, social media.

Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Spain in Rome
Patio of San Pietro in Montorio. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Spain in Rome


The 2021 New Generations Festival programme will involve the participation of emerging architects based on publications and editorial projects selected from the Call for Publications launched by New Generations. Exploring the two themes of 2021 (City and Technology & Image), the festival aims to create an active dialogue between the participants and the public through a hybrid format featuring a variety of online and public activities such as Pecha Kucha presentations, the inauguration of the Reading Room exhibition, Speakers Corner events with keynote presentations, Brainstorming sessions, live video interviews with the guests, and guided itineraries throughout the city.

Registration for the following public events are now open at the following link:

The Pecha Kucha event will involve the well-known Japanese presentation format that involves 20 images where the presenter speaks for 20 seconds per image. With presentations by guests such as Carnets Magazine presenting “Architecture is Just a Pretext”, and Jonas Tratz from FAKT presenting Berlin Maps”, the format aims to shed light on the diversity in editorial formats of the various projects involved. The event will kickstart the festival along with an inauguration of the Reading Room exhibition.

The festival will also feature a Brainstorming Session, generating a conversation through the means of a workshop involving the festival invitees, ending with a round of debates. The debate sessions called ArchiZines Review Ep. 02, curated by Järfälla will involve a discussion with a number of architects such as Accattone, an independent art and architecture magazine, and Traccia, architecture critique audio-magazine. The event will be conducted through a hybrid format, with participants online and in Rome.

The festival closes on each day through a Speakers Corner event wherein guests are invited to present their projects through 20-min presentations ending with a Q&A session. Under the (City and) Technology theme, Scott Lloyd from TEN Studio will present “The Distributed Cooperative”, a project dealing with the situation of affordable housing in Zurich. The event will also feature artists and industry experts leading the discussion in architectural critique such as Lucia Tahan, Mar Santamaría, and Nicholas Korody in an event moderated by Francesco Degl’Innocenti representing the magazine, Archis Volume.

Under the topic, (City and) Image, “Concrete and Ink: Storytelling and the Future of Architecture”, a project published by Theatrum Mundi dealing with the role played by urban imagery in storytelling, will be presented by Marta Michalowska. The event will also feature international guests such as Mireia Luzárraga from the spanish collective TAKK, Alberto Martínez García and Héctor Rivera Bajo, from “Hidden Architecture”, and the local editorial practice, Panteon. The speakers corner session will be moderated by Davide Tommaso Ferrando

The festival will also involve a number of activities throughout the three days such as itineraries organised by the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, and Open House Roma. A number of architects will also be interviewed via live video interviews, streamed through the New Generations Instagram Page. During the festival inauguration at the Royal Academy, the Reading Room exhibition will be opened to the public featuring a selection of publications and editorial productions selected through the call for publications. 

New Generations Festival 2018, Warsaw – Speakers Corner lectures – @Kuba Mozolewski
New Generations Festival 2019, Rome – Workshop ATLAS – Museo Macro ©Luca Chiaudano


The Reading Room has been conceived as an itinerant device that provides a new space to feature innovative research publications by emerging architecture practices in Europe. Through the open calls launched by New Generations in the context of the three-year edition of the New Generations Festival, a selection of editorial projects in the form of books, magazines, zines, small publications, and other formats will be made available to the public. The installation is conceived as a mobile device divided into six pieces, each piece referring to one of the six themes under New Urban Challenges. 

The Reading Room installation will open to the public in the summer of 2021 during the festival at the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome with publications from four of the topics under New Urban Challenges: (City and) People, (City and) Responsibility, (City and) Image, (CIty and) Technology. The remaining two pieces of the total six-piece installation will be revealed in 2022 during the inauguration of the 3rd edition of New Urban Challenges. The exhibition will be open to the public until September 3rd.

The installation has been devised with the objective of compiling and mapping the vast production of architectural research by emerging architecture firms in the European territory that generally goes unnoticed or unpublished by mainstream architecture media. With this intention, the installation will travel through various locations, making available the selection of editorial projects at some of the most prestigious locations and diverse cultural institutions across Europe.

New Generaitons Festival 2017, Rome – Workshop Brainstorming Session, Acquario Romano – @Giordano Solimando
New Generations Festival 2015, Genoa – Pecha Kucha – ©Giuseppe Briguglio.
New Generations Festival 2014, Florence – Festival presentation, La Palazzina Reale – ©Raffaele Bernardo


Further information about the festival, event streaming, speakers, and details about the event programme can be obtained by following our website (, Instagram (@newgens) and Facebook (@ngenerations) pages. We will be sharing links to our live streaming events via our website and social media platforms.

BIO – New Generations

New Generations is a European platform that investigates the architectural profession and the changes around it through a network of some of the most innovative emerging architecture studios and practices, providing a new space for the exchange of knowledge and confrontation, theory, and production. Since 2013, New Generations has involved more than 500 practices from over 20 European countries in its cultural agenda through festivals, exhibitions, open calls, video-interviews, workshops, and its new online media platform. To date, New Generations has curated and produced eight international festivals, held in cities like Milan, Florence, Warsaw, Genoa and Rome. The association has been awarded on multiple occasions by renewed international entities such as Fondazione Cariplo and Funder35, the Creative Industries Fund NL, Estate Romana, and MiBACT. 


Curated by

Gianpiero Venturini | New Generations

With the contribution of

Roma Culture

In partnership with

Royal Academy of Spain in Rome

With the support of

Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) through PICE (Programa para la Internacionalización de la Cultura Española) under the “Movilidad” modality.

Open House Roma

The project, promoted by Roma Culture, has been awarded the public tender “Estate Romana 2020 – 2021 – 2022” promoted by the Department of Culture of Rome.

Media partners

World Architecture Community


Il Giornale dell’Architettura

World Architects


For further information please visit:

New Generations Online Platform (

Instagram ( & Facebook ( & LinkedIn (

To get in touch, write to Akshid Rajendran: