The Duke in His Domain

  • Matt Ozga-Lawn Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias


The Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga (1621-1687) was a true renaissance man. A prince,soldier, poet, artist and architect, he lived amidst the emergent and unstable originsof the architectural discipline. He created through force of will the città ideale ofSabbioneta, a place that in conflating the military and civic gives insight into themilitarised mindset that helped birth the discipline we recognise today. Sabbioneta isthe result of this mindset: the Duke was free to explore his existential conditionthrough the medium of architecture. One means he used to achieve this was atheatre he commissioned at the centre of Sabbioneta, designed by VincenzoScamozzi. The theatre was a space, housing a stage-set representation of thesurrounding city, for the Duke to viscerally engage with the ideal, militarised worldcreated around and through him.The paper will show how the duke and his domain, interacted with via the theatrespace at Sabbioneta, can act as allegory for the architect in his studio space. Thepaper blurs agencies of the military and the architectural, with the designer’s role asviscerally engaged with and immersed within the design process discussed in thiscontext.Keywords: process, methodology, installation, representation, allegory, agency

Biografia Autor

Matt Ozga-Lawn, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias
Lecturer in Architecture and Ph.D. by Creative Practice candidate, MArch (Dist.), MA (Hons)