Scuola Archivio Leonardi is an independent school established to disseminate the working methods developed by the architect Cesare Leonardi (Modena, 1935), a multifaceted and little known figure in the contemporary architectural and artistic scene. Over the course of almost fifty years of activity Leonardi has been involved in architecture, urban design, photography, interior design, sculpture, and painting, working across design and artistic practice.
His transverse approach has been characterised by the ability to adapt an idea across different disciplines, which constitutes the cornerstone of the School's philosophy.
In his work it is impossible to differentiate between design practices and theoretical reticular patterns applied to parks, landscapes, cities; or 1960s-70s design production from later artisan production - Solidi - an endless variation of furniture made from a single material, yellow formwork wood. Similarly his photographic work, used as a tool for architecture and landscape research, cannot be separated from documentation activity (The Architecture of Trees, unsurpassed tool for arboreal classification, and the Photographic Atlas of the Duomo of Modena); or even sculpture from painting, to which he dedicated the majority of his time in recent years.
The objective is to train designers outside the logic of ‘specialisation’, enabling them instead to manage the specific demands of projects through critical capacity, investigative work and technical know-how. In this approach, design vision and practical handcraft skills are perceived as inseparable, the modus operandi through which understand and transform reality.