Nicola Di Battista

Domus appoints new editor

News: Italian architecture and design magazine Domus has appointed architect and theorist Nicola Di Battista as its new editor, and announced a new editorial strategy.

Di Battista, who previously served as deputy director of Domus from 1989 to 1995, will take over from current editor Joseph Grima this summer. The September issue will be the first under the new editor.

The 59-year-old Italian will introduce a "Board of Maestri" consisting of five practicing architects: David Chipperfield, Kenneth Frampton, Hans Kollhoff, Werner Oechslin and Eduardo Souto de Moura.

"The decision to assemble a group of Maestri to support us with their authority, opinions, enthusiasm and advice stems from my conviction that there is a need to establish an empathic relationship between masters and the younger generation in order to promote this discipline’s worldwide advancement," Di Battista told the Domus website.

"This is how the magazine aims to fill an obvious gap in architecture journalism," he added. "The high standing of our publication will be greatly enriched by the presence of these high-profile Maestri, who will be invited to become leading figures in discussing and determining the strategic and cultural direction of the magazine."

The magazine is also introducing a "Study Centre" populated by young professionals "selected for their ability to offer a fresh perspective on contemporary architecture".

However the news was greeted by scepticism in some quarters. "Once great journal now in the hands of 'maestri' taking it back to the dark ages," tweeted architect Jeremy Till, who is head of Central St Martins in London.

"White male 'maestri' to have their egos stroked by new domus editorial concept," tweeted critic and V&A senior curator Kieran Long.

Grima, the current editor, joined Domus in 2010 as digital editor and became editor a year later, following the one-year editorship of architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, who had himself edited the publication 30 years earlier.

During his tenure, Grima overhauled the magazine's digital strategy, introduced new writers and ideas and curated the well-received Future in the Making exhibition on open design and digital manufacturing in Milan last year. See more stories about Joseph Grima.

Di Battista lives in Rome, where he has his studio, and is a professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Cagliari, Sardinia.

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