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Cosimo Balestri

Founder, Associazione Culturale [Chì-Na] & Founder, ECÒL

Cosimo Balestri is the Founder of Associazione culturale [chì-na] and the Founder of ECÒL.

In 2013, he graduated from the University of Florence with his thesis entitled ‘One City: Piana Metropolitana’. Recipient in 2009 of the Erasmus scholarship, has studied one year at the ENSA Paris Val de Seine.

He’s interested in graphics and web, as a quick response to his need to translate systems into visual entities. Constantly fluctuating between conceptual and pragmatic instances, he’s currently creating identities systems for clients in the fields of arts, education, technology and food industry.

Lecturer for many conferences on public space and architecture, he collaborated with several Universities and cultural institutions as the Oslo Triennale and the University of applied arts of Vienna.

In 2014, with the purpose of studying the urban dynamics of the city and better understanding social engagement in public space, he co-founded the cultural association [chì-na] in the Macrolotto 0, the chinatown of Prato. [chì-na] investigates issues related to culture and deals with different kinds of activities from organizing exhibitions up to shaping and activating public spaces.

In the same year, within the framework of the cultural association, he curated and designed two architectural exhibitions about projects in the neighborhood of the Macrolotto 0 (in collaboration with Università degli Studi di Firenze, UNIFI and Università degli Studi di Ferrara, UNIFE).

In 2015 he designed and realized Piazza dell’ Immaginario, a project where several actors worked together through the redefinition of a new public space inside the dense and intricate urban fabric of the chinatown of Prato.

In 2016 he co-founded the team of architects ECÒL. In the same year the team partecipate at the international competition “il parco centrale di Prato” together with the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena and his studio ELEMENTAL. In 2017 ECÒL developed several projects on public space and public art: the main ones were specifically carried out for the Nuit Blanche in Taipei and Vienna Design Week – Stadtarbeit 2017.

ECÒL recently has been awarded the prize PAT “Premio architettura Toscana 2017” inside the category “Opera Prima” for the best architecture made by an architect under 40 in Tuscany.

Currently working with the team on a collaboration with the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, in order to develop projects for their 30th anniversary.