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Global Architecture Platform

An Atlas of Imagination

It is not easy to write something about Luca Galofaro’s atlas of imagination because the author – also a collector and curator in this case – has already explained almost everything about the collection himself. Followed by an open-ended sequence of public talks, discussions, presentations and exhibitions in the physical space and on the internet, the book An Atlas of Imagination describes the idea of montage as a form of production, presenting a collection (an atlas, an archive) of found and worked images and texts. Like in a beautiful movie, the images–montages fold and unfold before our eyes, unbounded by either the associated concepts and meanings inherited in the images–origins they were built from, or the otherwise ubiquitous gravitational force. Like in an interesting scientific paper, the accompanying texts–quotes verbalize the images within a certain intellectual tradition, providing the context to bind the sum of parts into the coherent whole. An Atlas of Imagination is not just another picturesque assemblage of pictures and words; is a higher- order montage in its own right.


Beyond the naivety of seemingly similar products of contemporary artistic practices and despite the partial cancellation of the gravitational force, I like to think about Luca Galofaro’s pictorial montages as genuinely architectural tools. This means that they may be instrumental in the conscious production of architecture and knowledge on architecture. The fact that author named them “montages” instead of “collages” emphasises the qualities of time, space, and possibly even movement included within the fixed forms similar to movie stills printed on paper. As independent end-documents in the form of gallery exhibits with layers printed on the overlaid sheets of glass, the montages turn out to be real three-dimensional objects. But from an architectural perspective, they are even more interesting as by-products documenting ideas around concrete architectural projects or the working models documenting certain critical moments in their production. They are nothing like “I have forgotten the plot, but I am certain that I watched this movie,” or “I was in a place like this, I have only forgotten when and where.” Paraphrasing Gerhard Richter, whom Luca Galofaro quotes twice in his atlas, his montages may indeed become real places and architectures. “We are still not there. We are only on the way.” The most delightful thing about each of the montages is this purely architectural quality of incompleteness which includes the promise of the spatial implementation of an architectural project.


The most delightful thing about the book as a whole is that the original images and the original quotes retain their original properties. We easily recognise the heavy Pantheon section as the section of Pantheon only multiplied into a weightless space station. We read Sol Lewitt’s emphasis on things illustrating mental process as more interesting than the final result as proper to his own work and at the same time descriptive of Luca Galofaro’s montages. An Atlas of Imagination is a mixture with clearly distinguished parts and joints, not a compound with differences that are blurred and obfuscated. The parts are not sacrificed for the sake of the whole, but they interfere in accordance with a certain tectonic order. Moreover, the resulting montages recall some real architectural collages, surprisingly uncovering the origins of things and the hidden relationships between them.


All images published in: Galofalo, Luca, An Atlas of Imagination (Seoul: DAMDI Publishing House, 2015)

24.Jul.2016 3172 views
Luca Galofaro

Luca Galofaro is an architect and educator. Associated Professor at University of Camerino from 2016, visiting professor at Confluence in Lyon 2015, at the Bartlett school of Architecture in 2013 and at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris from 2007 to 2013. He obtained the Master degree on Spatial Science at the International Space University, UHA. His research around architecture is made by architectural projects (founder member of Ian+ (1997-2015) and LGSMA (2016) and through research tools: two blogs The Booklist and The Imagelist, a new phisical space, gallery Campo in Rome, and a new independent magazine Divisare. He is the author of many essays and several books, including Artscapes (GG, 2003 / Postmediabooks, 2008), Aristide Antonas (Libria, 2014) and An Atlas of Imagination (Idea Books, 2015).
24.Feb.2016 3172 views
Krunoslav Ivanišin

Krunoslav Ivanišin (Dubrovnik, 1970) holds the diploma in architecture from the University of Zagreb and the doctorate from the University of Ljubljana. He is a practicing architect with international teaching and publishing experience, founding partner in IVANIŠIN. KABASHI. ARHITEKTI since 2003, and professor of architectural design at the University of Zagreb – Faculty of Architecture since 2015. He won competitions and constructed buildings for public and private purposes, lectured and exhibited internationally, including the Venice Biennale in 2010. He is the co-author of Dobrović in Dubrovnik: A Venture in Modern Architecture (Berlin: Jovis, 2015) and Middle East: Landscape, City, Architecture (Zürich: Park Books, 2013).

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