Architecture and science fiction – the arts of building and writing – share an ability to imagine worlds and bring them to life. This common ground will be the theme of a conference entitled “Design transformed into science fiction”, to be held on Tuesday, September 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the Architecture Gallery atCersaie, the Italian tile trade show held in Bologna, Italy. The participants are two leading figures in their respective fields, Italian architect Cini Boeri and the American science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, author of the anthology that launched the cyberpunk genre.

Cini Boeri graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1951 and, following a brief collaboration with Gio Ponti’s practice, worked for many years at the firm of Marco Zanuso. In 1963, he set up his own practice specialising in civil architecture and industrial design, devoting a great deal of attention to the functionality of space and the psychological relationships between humans and the environment. He has given conferences and lectures at a number of universities in Italy and abroad, including the University of California at both Berkeley, CA, and Los Angeles, CA. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the XVI Triennale in Milan.

Michael Bruce Sterling was born in Austin, TX. He came to public attention with the anthology Mirrorshades, a collection of science fiction stories that helped establish the cyberpunk genre. He has published a number of science fiction novels. Since 2007 he has lived in Turin, Italy. He contributes to the monthly magazine Wired, has his own column in the magazine XL, and writes for the Turin-based daily newspaper La Stampa. Sterling also has a deep knowledge of the world of design. In 2003, he was appointed professor at the European Graduate School, where he teaches intensive Media and Design courses.

The conference will be moderated by Stefano Mirti, coordinator of the Interaction Design Lab projects in Turin and professor of design at the Bocconi University in Milan. Mirti has particularly strong links with Japan, where he did a post-doctorate at Tokyo University and has taught for many years. He worked as a consultant for Torino World Design Capital 2008 and was one of the founders of Cliostraat, a group of architects, artists and photographers who design buildings, parks, public structures and exhibition halls. Mirti has won the European Architectural Prize three times.

The conference will be held at 2 pm on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 in the Bologna exhibition centre’s Architecture Gallery.