Educity 2024 booklet
Educity 2024 booklet

UNPACKED goes to Educity Conference 2024 in Berlin

Great experience in Berlin thanks to Tesserae (Lorenzo Tripodi and Laura Colini) ! We’ve presented our community based projects focusing on the “Don Sardelli Aromatic Garden” in Rome.

This is the website of the event:

The Erasmus plus project Edu-City aims at promoting field educational experiences with a specific attention at deprived urban contexts in which often fragile adults are excluded from opportunities of inclusion, participation, learning and local resources valorisation. The project will train an emerging professional figure, that of neighbourhood facilitator, to support fragile adults in becoming aware of their territorial resources and activating processes of participation and civic engagement.

The following text is about the presentation given in Berlin the 26/01/2024

Introduction. Community in Motion. Good evening, everyone. Today, I wish to share a meaningful project that reflects the work of a dedicated community. Often, it’s easy to talk about community when things are stable, but the true challenge arises when individuals decide to take action. Some move quickly towards their goals, while others feel frustrated by their inability to participate. It is at this point that we should consider the community as an organism of individuals relating to each other elastically and collaboratively to collectively achieve the goal of sharing happiness.

Garden Project. In 2022, we collaborated with a community of approximately 2000 people to create a special garden dedicated to the memory of Don Roberto Sardelli. Don Roberto Sardelli was an extraordinary man who chose to live beyond the comforts of his parish in San Policarpo. Don Roberto Sardelli went to live in the shacks of the archaeological remains where immigrants from the surrounding area had taken refuge to find work and a better life.

Don Roberto’s Contribution. Don Roberto not only engaged in pastoral activities but involved young people in reading and discussing bourgeois newspapers. He believed in the importance of educating not only spiritually but also civically. They discussed crucial issues such as Malcolm X, real estate speculation, tax evasion, and more. Each day, they compiled a logbook. This method was inspired by other prominent disobedient figures of the time, such as Don Milani, who assisted the marginalized in asserting their dignity by claiming their rights, including the right to live in dignified homes equipped with water, sanitation, and electricity.

Digigreen. This activity is part of the DIGIGREEN project, of which I was the project leader. We coordinated with 10 schools in Italy to reflect on ecological thinking and the opportunities of digital transition. During the process, we transformed the face of Don Roberto Sardelli into an artwork composed of points resembling pixels. This representation aimed to reflect the essence of the digital world, based on the idea of information fragmentation.

Implementation on the Public Garden Artwork. After drawing the artwork on a large scale in the public garden’s lawn, around 1200 people actively participated. Each of them deposited a pot of aromatic plants. The result? A garden that, when viewed from above, transformed into the iconic image of Don Sardelli’s face.

Union of Ecology and Technology. This connection between ecology and technology is not just a visual demonstration but reflects the fundamental concept of the digital world: fragmentation that, when assembled, creates a complete and meaningful image. It is a tangible way to show how digital tools can be creatively used to support ecological initiatives.

The Essence of the Project. At the end of the civic ceremony, involving the placement of aromatic plants, these were left on the lawn and free to be collected by the neighborhood residents. In this way, each of them, consciously or symbolically, took home hope, a small fragment of Don Sardelli, and his philosophy.

Personal Connection to Berlin. I conclude my presentation with the joy of being here in Berlin, a city I hadn’t visited since 1997. Back then, as a student, I participated in a workshop on the development of European cities, where the esteemed Saskia Sassen spoke. Even today, just like then, Berlin confirms, thanks to Tesserae, its status as a culturally welcoming city.

International Presentation of Don Sardelli. Today is a significant day as it marks the first time the figure of Don Roberto Sardelli is presented in an international context. As I share our story and the project that involved our community, I hope it inspires others to embrace the innovative approach and social responsibility embodied by Don Sardelli.

Conclusion. Don Roberto Sardelli reminds us of the values upon which Europe is built—principles of fairness and subsidiarity. Assisting the weaker ones and enabling them to be fully European. The essence of our community project reflects these fundamental European values, and through initiatives like this, we strive to contribute to a compassionate, just, and inclusive Europe

References on this blog:


// What is

UNPACKED Studio is a professional practice based in Rome (Italy) operating within the traditional fields of architecture and urban planning but also interested in exploring the contemporary through other creative approaches.

// What we do

UNPACKED Studio provides services in the fields of Design, Communication, Architecture, Urban Planning, Participatory Process, Innovative Education and Research.

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// Mission

UNPACKED Studio is a common ground for speculations over cross-fertilizing projects involving several professionals from diverse disciplines. We like experimenting cutting-edge approaches between digital and analog.

// Who we are

UNPACKED Studio has been founded by Daniele Mancini and Irene Rinaldi, both architects and educators.

Daniele Mancini is Ph.D. in Theory of Architecture. He worked in France at Jakob+ MacFarlane Architects and in The Netherlands at Wiel Arets Architects. He is currently involved in teaching activities at IED Istituto Europeo di Design di Roma.

Irene Rinaldi worked in Spain at De La Puerta Architects and in Italy at Schiattarella Associati where participated to the design of Italian Pavillon for the Japan Expo 2005 in Aichi (Nagoya)

UNPACKED Studio started in January 2005 thanks to the Young Entrepreneurs European funds “Sviluppo Italia”.