31th International PLEA Conference



Director, Bennetts Associates
Rab and Denise Bennetts met at architecture school in Edinburgh, graduating together in 1977.
After ten years with different architects in London, they formed Bennetts Associates in 1987. The practice now has around 90 people, with a main studio in London and a smaller office in Edinburgh.
The practice’s workload covers a wide range of sectors and scales, from public buildings, universities and transport infrastructure to commercial offices, hotels and corporate headquarters. Notable award-winning projects include the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Jubilee Library in Brighton, the £200m New Street Square development in the City of London’s financial district, Edinburgh University’s Informatics Forum and Camden Council’s community building at King’s Cross in London. Current work includes two further projects at the huge King’s Cross regeneration project, a major project for Jaguar Land Rover near Warwick, a student centre at Cambridge University and theatres in Glasgow, Chester and London.
Although Rab Bennetts leads the practice’s design direction it operates a collaborative working method with all architects empowered to play a full part in the design process. Sustainability has been at the heart of the firm’s projects for more than 20 years and the practice has contributed extensively to research and dissemination. Rab helped to form the UK Green Building Council in 2007 and sits on its Board. He is also a Trustee of the UK Design Council and a Board member at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. He was awarded OBE for services to architecture by the Queen in 2003.
To date Bennetts Associates has won more than 130 awards and has been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize three times.


Federico M. Butera, formerly professor of Environmental Applied Physics at the Politecnico di Milano, is UN-Habitat consultant for the development of handbooks on sustainable building and community design in tropical climates and for the design and implementation of training courses on the same subjects in East Africa.
For more than 40 years he has been actively concerned in the field of solar energy applications, low energy architecture and sustainable urban development, pioneering the introduction of the topic “sustainable building design” in the architecture students’ education.
He has been involved in many research tasks of the IEA Implementing Agreement "Energy Conservation in Buildings and Community Systems" and "Solar Heating and Cooling", as well as in several EC research programs and in UN and World Bank development projects dealing with renewables and efficient use of energy at building and community scale.
Besides his wide scientific production he is also author of books, articles and videos on energy issues for non-specialised audiences.
In the last years he has been involved in the design of low and zero energy buildings and communities in Italy, China, Hungary and Niger.
He is author of more than 200 scientific publications and 11 books.
He was awarded “Pioneer for Contributions in renewable Energy” by the World Renewable Energy Network in 1998 and, for his “outstanding service to the utilization and promotion of Renewable Energies and Sustainable Architecture”, by Eurosolar in 2004.


Mario Cucinella is the founder of Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA), an architecture firm based in Bologna, where he leads an international team of architects and engineers. With more than 20 years of professional practice, MCA has developed an extensive experience in architectural design and urban planning with particular attention to energy issues and environmental impact of buildings. Mario Cucinella’s work has been internationally recognised.
Mario Cucinella was born in Palermo (Italy) in 1960. In 1987 he received an advanced degree (Laurea) in Architecture from the University of Genoa, where he was mentored by Giancarlo De Carlo. From 1987 to 1992 he worked as project manager by Renzo Piano in Genoa and in Paris. From 1998 to 2006 he taught at the Faculty of Architecture in Ferrara (Italy). Since 2004 he is ‘Honorary Professor’ at the University of Nottingham (England). In 2013 he is ‘Guest Professor’ in Emerging Technologies at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technische Universitat in Munich and in 2014 he is “Guest Professor” at Faculty of Architecture Federico II, Naples.
Mario Cucinella is currently Director at PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture) and he regularly holds conferences in Italy and abroad. In 2014 he worked as a tutor with Renzo Piano to the project G124 for the recovery of the suburbs in Italy.
In January 2012, he founded Building Green Futures a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development through green architecture and urban regeneration. The goal is to create built environments that incorporate clean technologies and local knowledge for better living conditions and sustainable access to natural resources in developing and least developed countries. The flagship project of Building Green Futures is “Kuwait City School” for Gaza, developed in partnership with UNRWA. Since 2014 he has started in Bologna (Italy) S.O.S. - School of Sustainability, a school focused on training new professionals in the field of sustainability.


Journalist at sole 24 ore and Director at Nòva.
Luca De Biase is innovation editor at Il Sole 24 Ore and runs Nòva, which he founded in 2005.
He is innovation journalism visiting professor at Padua University; member of the Scientific Committee at master in sciences communications at Sissa Trieste; member of the Scientific Committee at master in Big data analytics, Luiss University, Rome.
He is co-founder of the association ItaliaStartup. Luca is also member of the permenent committee for innovation and the Italian Digital Agenda; member of the Digital Agenda Scientific Commission in Emilia Romagna; and member of the Commission for rights in the internet, Chamber of Deputies at the Italian Parliament 2014.
He is a regular contributor to Edge’s Annual Question, has been invited to speak at the Oecd, at StsForum, Kyoto, at the International Journalism Festival, at the Mit-MediaLab, at Atomium Culture, at Falling Walls, at Università della Svizzera Italiana; at Aspen in Italy; at Sciences Po, Paris, Master of Public Affairs. Luca has been awarded Premio Web Italia 2012, Premio Città Impresa Fabbricatore di idee 2012, Premio Cultura di Rete 2007, Premio Sele d’Oro 1994. Nòva has been awarded a number of prizes: Moebius 2011, The Lovie Awards 2011, M20, Spd, iTunes Rewind 2011


International architect and landscape designer, Andreas Kipar works in the field of planning and landscape design, with emphasis on green, historical and environmental recovery in Italy and abroad.
He has practiced in Germany since 1985, when he opened KLA_kiparlandschaftsarchitekten with the headquarters in Duisburg. In 1990, he founded the design company LAND (Landscape Architecture Nature Development) along with the Agronomist Dr. Giovanni Sala in Milan.
He is a member of the German Association of Landscape Architects (BDLA), of the Italian Association of Landscape Architects (AIAPP) and of the German Association for Garden Design and Landscape Architecture (DGGL).
Andreas Kipar collaborated from 1985 to 2000 to the creation of the North Park (600ha), the Park Rubattino (Ex Maserati), the Public Park (Ex Industrial Area OM), the Portello Park (Ex Alfa Romeo) in Milan, Parco Krupp in Essen, the “Spina 3” Park in Turin, “Parco delle Sabine” in Rome and all the outside areas in Porta Nuova, Milan.
He teaches in various universities in Italy and abroad, and is currently a professor at the Milan Polytechnic, where he teaches Public Space Design. In 1990 he won the public award of INU-Lombardy (Italian Institute for Urban planning), in 2002 the European award for landscape architecture of ELCA – European Landscape Contractors Association, in 2006 the “North Renania Westfalia landscape Architecture Award” LandschaftsArchitektur-Preis NRW 2006 and in 2008 he won the Special landscape prize of Sardinia.

Facebook - LAND srl


Antonio Navarra (Naples, 1956) has graduated in Physics in Bologna on 1980 and has come back to Italy on 1986, after getting a Ph.D. at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of the Princeton University. He is Dirigente di Ricerca at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, where he carries out his activity in the field of the climate simulation with general circulation numerical models. He is now President of the CMCC – Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici, an interdisciplinary center for climate change studies and their impacts (www.cmcc.it).

The scientific interests of Dr. Navarra focus on the investigation of the dynamical mechanisms which control climate on the global scale, particularly regarding the climate variability of the atmosphere-ocean system on interannual, decadal and centennial scales using statistical methods, numerical simulations and simplified models.

Dr. Navarra is also teaching a course at the Università di Venezia, in the context of the Dottorato di Ricerca in Scienza e Gestione dei Cambiamenti Climatici. He is the author of several books and articles of general interest and contributes to national newspapers. He has written: El Niño. Realtà e leggende del fenomeno climatico del secolo (Avverbi, 1997), Le previsioni del tempo (Il Saggiatore, 1996) and, with Andrea Pinchera, Il Clima, (Laterza, 2000).
He has written Le previsioni del tempo (Il Saggiatore, 1996), with Andrea Pinchera, Il Clima, (Laterza, 2000), and recently, with Emanuela Guidoboni and Enzo Boschi, Nella spirale del clima, Bononia University Press, 2010.


Director, MIT Senseable City Lab
Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati

An architect and engineer by training, Carlo Ratti practices in Italy and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Senseable City Lab. He graduated in engineering from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD in architecture at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Carlo holds several patents and has co-authored over 250 publications. As well as being a regular contributor to the architecture magazine Domus and the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, he has written for the BBC, La Stampa, Scientific American and The New York Times. His work has been exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Design Museum in Barcelona, the Science Museum in London, GAFTA in San Francisco and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Carlo has been featured in Esquire magazine’s ‘2008 Best & Brightest’ list and in Thames & Hudson’s selection of ‘60 innovators’ shaping our creative future. In 2010, Blueprint magazine included him as one of the ‘25 People Who Will Change the World of Design’, Forbes listed him as one of the ‘Names You Need To Know’ in 2011 and Fast Company named him as one of the ’50 Most Influential Designers in America’. He was also featured in Wired magazine’s ‘Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world’. His ‘Digital Water Pavilion’ at the 2008 World Expo was hailed by TIME magazine as one of the ‘Best Inventions of the Year’. In 2011, Carlo was awarded the Renzo Piano Foundation prize for ‘New Talents in Architecture’.

Carlo has been a presenter at TED (2011), program director at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow, curator of the ‘2012 BMW Guggenheim Pavilion’ in Berlin, and was named ‘Inaugural Innovator in Residence’ by the Queensland Government. The Italian Minister of Culture also named Carlo as a member of the Italian Design Council - an advisory board to the Italian Government that includes 25 leaders of design in Italy. He is currently serving as a member of the World Economic Forum ‘Global Agenda Council for Urban Management’ and is a curator for the ‘Future Food District’ pavilion for 2015 World Expo in Milan.

For further information on Carlo’s projects, please visit www.carloratti.com and senseable.mit.edu

PLEA 2016 - Los Angeles

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