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Student Showcase Archive

Francesca Romana Forlini

PhD Work

PhD work

From Within

The research focuses on the cultural relationships that unfold inside inhabited domestic interiors. It aims to position itself within the current debate around domesticity and cultural heritage preservation. The latter provides new instruments for the architectural practice by introducing concepts such as that of ‘intangible’ heritage comprising memory, identity, traditions, rituals and so on. These cultural factors are arguably shaped by and simultaneously affect individuals, and this is clearly manifested in dwelling interiors since they are not only the spaces of intimate expression of one’s self, but they are also the places in which modern subjectivity has been historically constructed. These cultural relationships will be captured and mapped in order to inform new design approaches that will address the current tension between the architectural plan and the inhabitants.





  • PhD


    School of Architecture


    Architecture Research, 2017–

  • Francesca is an architect and PhD candidate in Architecture at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, and recipient of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Scholarship. She is a prior Fulbright scholar and alumna of the Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Master's in Design Studies in Critical Conservation (with distinction). She previously studied at the Architectural Association (AA) in London (MPhil Projective Cities), the ENSA Paris-Belleville and graduated in Architecture with Distinction from Sapienza University, Rome.

    Francesca has worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the RCA, Harvard GSD and Sapienza University. Her past research work has been presented at the New England chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (Boston University), at the  ICOMOS conference “Places of Memory" held in Florence and at MaXXI in Rome. 

    She is interested in the history, theory and philosophy of architecture and she is currently working on Modernist architecture, interior and housing studies, domesticity and more. She is also interested in architecture/art criticism and curation, cultural studies, preservation and conservation theory and practices.

  • Degrees

  • MDes Critical Conservation (Distinction), Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2017; BA Architecture (Distinction), Università Sapienza, 2014
  • Experience

  • Research Assistant, RCA, London, 2018; Research and Teaching Assistant, Harvard GSD, Cambridge, 2016–2017; Editor, OBL/QUE Critical Conservation Journal, 2016–2017
  • Exhibitions

  • Research Itineraries, 40 Kirkland Gallery at Harvard GSD, Cambridge (MA), 2016; Documents at WiP Show, RCA, London, 2018
  • Awards

  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation PhD Scholarship, 2017; Fulbright Scholarship, IIE Placed , 2015; John R. Mott Scholarship, 2016; One Term AA Graduate Bursary, 2014; ERASMUS Scholarship, 2011
  • Conferences

  • "Immagini di città. Riflessioni di una Città-ponte nella mente di Sacripanti", Forum AAA/Italia 18 anni: Un viaggio negli archivi di architettura contemporanea, MaXXI, Rome, January 12th 2018; "Memory and the Heritage of Everyday Life", Conference Place of Memory - Protection, Conservation, Interpretation, ICOMOS, Florence, March 2017; “Towards a French Interior, Dialectics of Tradition and Modernity”, 39th Annual New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians Student Symposium, SAH, Boston University, February 2017; "The Preservation of the Domestic Condition", Postgraduate Study Day 2017, organized by the Centre for Studies of Home at the Geffrye Museum, London, January 2018
  • Publications

  • “Not Beautiful Enough: Interview with architect Anne Lacaton”, OBL/QUE vol. 2, Critical Conservation Journal, May 2019, pp. 4-7; Eliana Capiato, Giovanna Cresciani, Francesca Romana Forlini, Matteo Flavio Mancini, “Immagini di Città: Riflessioni di una Città-ponte nella Mente di Sacripanti”, AAA journal, Apr 17th 2018, pp. 4-39; “Love’s Locus, the Bed and the Invention of the Family”, MASKS the Journal, Dec 6th 2017, pp. 3-14; P. Rowe, F. R. Forlini, Y. Fu, C. Guan, Y. Lu, The Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Palava City: A Brief Account and Evaluation, Cambridge: Harvard GSD, 2017; “Druot, Lacaton & Vassal’s PLUS Principle and the Preservation of the Domestic Condition”, OBL/QUE vol. 1, Critical Conservation Journal, November 2016, pp. 74-79; “Open Letter to arch. Francesco di Salvo” in Harvard GSD Open Letters issue#34, November 2015; Jacopo A. Colarossi, Francesca R. Forlini, “Left Overs”, AArchitecture, September 2017