Francesco Paleari’s ‘Milano’s Profile’ series tells an architectural story, a personal story, and a demographic story simultaneously.  The photographs are personal in the sense that they tell a story of Paleari’s perception of Milan. He tells his story through portraits of the Milanese. Their portraits are also building profiles. The stories of people and buildings create the city’s collective profile. Paleari’s title for this series is very fitting. Each image is a profile view of a person combined with a building’s profile.

Arch2o-Milano’s Profile  Francesco Paleari (12)

Courtesy of Francesco Paleari

Here is Francesco Paleari’s description of the series: ‘Milan in architectural profiles of a historic city and modern at the same time, Milan in the profiles of the people who live it every day.’

Arch2o-Milano’s Profile  Francesco Paleari (7)

Courtesy of Francesco Paleari

Just as Paleari was careful in his choice of title, the series as a whole is a set of careful decisions. His allusion to history got me thinking about the Vitruvian notion of divine proportion. Building and human proportions become one and the same. Coincidentally, da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is dated in the same period da Vinci was in Milan. It is interesting to see Paleari relating building proportions to human form whilst telling a story of people and place using contemporary technology and contemporary ways of documentation.

Arch2o-Milano’s Profile  Francesco Paleari (4)

Courtesy of Francesco Paleari

There is something to be said about how Paleari decided to blend the two profiles. There is a set of decisions that dictate whether to fade out the building to highlight the person’s profile or whether to fade out the person to highlight a building’s profile. I think his decision-making was very successful. Paleari is basically stating that the building and the person tell the same story, and the collective stories of buildings and people tell the story of a city.

By Aiysha Alsane

Courtesy of Francesco Paleari

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