Fabrizio Furiassi MSc
Assistant / PhD candidate
Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät
Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften
FG Cupers

Assistant / PhD candidate

Petersgraben 52/Spalenvorstadt 2
4051 Basel

Tel. +41 61 207 67 02

Fabrizio Furiassi is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the University of Basel, where he teaches within the MA in Critical Urbanisms and coordinates the AA Visiting School Basel, a joint programme of the Urban Studies division and the AA School of Architecture in London. He works at the intersection of academia and practice and has over ten years of international experience at design firms and cultural institutions. Fabrizio graduated in architecture and urbanism from La Sapienza University of Rome (BSc and MArch), Columbia University GSAPP in New York (MSc), and completed the postgraduate research program at the Strelka Institute in Moscow. He is the founder of Distributed Architecture, a New York-based design and research practice focusing on participatory design projects. Fabrizio’s recent awards include the Independent Projects Grant from the Architectural League of NY and New York State Council on the Arts, the GSAPP Incubator Prize from Columbia University, and the Doc.CH and the Mobility Research Grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Fabrizio’s doctoral thesis “Mafia, Concrete, Territory: A Material History of Power in Sicily, 1945-1992” questions the role of architects and planners since Italy's postwar building boom, identifying the Mafia’s monopoly on the industry of concrete as a key factor in the rapid urbanization of the region. With the combination of archival research, oral history, and ethnographic methods, the project analyses the transformations of the Sicilian territory by tracing the trajectory of concrete constructions to the very landscapes where the aggregates of concrete were sourced. Concrete is examined not as a static product but as continuous with the land and people that shape its transition from liquid to solid. As such, the thesis centralizes the crucial agency of materials in historical and social changes, showing how the form and condition of Sicily have been regulated by nontraditional actors otherwise considered external to the discipline’s discourse and practice. An introduction to the project was published in Log 53: Why Italy Now?


Furiassi, Fabrizio. "Mafia Matters," in Log 53: Why Italy Now? (New York: Anyone Corporation, Fall 2021), pp. 117-122.

Abstract: Architectural historians have given scant attention to the long and profound impact of the Mafia on the spatial transformations of southern Italy. Considering crime and organized crime indistinctly, most of the existing scholarship that intersects territory and criminality tends to examine the production of space as a precondition to illegality. These studies aim primarily at identifying regulatory instruments and actionable measures to counter criminal phenomena through design and planning. This article hinges on the opposite assumption: that the Mafia produces space, it's not produced by it. By looking at the relationship between the Mafia and territory through the lens of materiality, the article explains how the Mafia used buildings and construction materials to assert its economic and political rule in the Italian South. The study focuses geographically on Sicily, the region where the Mafia's powers had origin and concentration, and thematically on concrete, the material associated with the most acute spatial changes in the region and with the Mafia's business in construction.

Attached image caption: Rapidly built mass housing in Conca d'Oro, Palermo, Sicily, 1961.

Material Investigations: Concrete in Switzerland, Fall 2023
The Materiality of Art Fairs: Art Basel, Summer 2023