Conversion+ is a collective device creating itinerant festivals about the bottom-up reuse of abandoned urban landscapes.

Born in Bari, South-Eastern Italy, in 2011, Conversion+ is a non-stop investigation on the possible ways to inquire, represent, share the urge of action on the problem of abandonment. Understanding it as a complex question with deep economical, social and even global reasons that affect the urban dimension, Conversion+ tries to experiment constantly evolving methodologies to collect ideas and transmit them to the technical audience of designers, as well as to the large public of the communities of citizens.

During the first three yearly editions, Conversion+ has been using many tools to approach the problem: short and mid-length festivals; architectural design, photography and videoart workshops; “open source set-up” collective shows; exhibition design and DIY performances; placehacking explorations; locative media participatory mapping; public talks; online photogeotagging contests; innovative funding methods; best practices sharing; strong local relations; national and international networking; all with the aim to stress the boundaries of the expertise that architects and designers are no more bound to. Conversion+, then, is the tale of the complexity of urban landscape abandonment as well as a tool to put under the light the possibilities of shared knowledge about the city.

Since 2011, SMALL – Soft Metropolitan Architecture & Landscape Lab is an office and open platform investigating the contemporary urban condition through architectural design and parallel research forms, hybridizing curatorial practice with independent publishing and academic studies.

SMALL’s recent research work have focused on the reuse of abandoned urban landscapes, particularly through the curatorship of three editions of the annual festival Conversion+ and organizing Standbyldings, network connecting the <<enablers of reuse>> throughout all Italy.


Alessandro Cariello – PhD Architect at Politecnico di Bari. He focuses on the transformation processes of urban landscapes in dynamic evolution. His research is developed through continuous reformulation of inquiries that include land use strategies, weak dimensions of the project, publishing and investigation through open platforms. He is research fellow in Urban Planning and Urban Management and lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture of Politecnico di Bari since 2013.

Luigi Falbo – PhD Architect at Politecnico di Bari. He researches on processes of innovative energy implementation in the architectural and urban open spaces fields. Since 2013, he has focused on the reuse of urban landscape, concerning abandoned artifacts and underused open spaces, through energetic upgrade processes.

Rossella Ferorelli – PhD student at Politecnico di Milano with a research on the redefinition of infrastructure and public space notions under the socio-spatial effects of location-aware information. She focuses on the interactions between information networks, biopolitics and built environments and on the evolutions in the forms of communication, curatorship, representation and criticism of architecture on the web. She collaborates with magazines like Domus and Abitare.

Andrea Paone – Architect at Politecnico di Bari. He focuses on urban regeneration and reuse in architecture. His research begins with a thesis on the transformation of a manufacturing plant in Fier, Albania, and expands to the architectural links between dismissed buildings and complex practices of adaptive reuse.